Perpich News

Carla Steen, Dramaturg at Guthrie Theater, Visits with Theater and Musical Theater Students

September 12, 2023

Carla Steen, Dramaturg at Guthrie Theater, meets with Perpich Arts High School Theater and Musical Theater students

On Tuesday, September 12th, Theater and Musical Theater students welcomed Carla Steen, Dramaturg at Guthrie Theater, to their classroom. A dramaturge or dramaturg is a literary adviser or editor in a theater, opera, or film company who researches, selects, adapts, edits, and interprets scripts, libretti, texts, and printed programs, consults authors, and does public relations work.

“I brought Carla in to speak with the class about the importance of understanding historical and cultural contexts of drama and knowing the world of the play,” said Tory Peterson, Theater Instructor. “We are starting source work which requires students to delve into story and create historical/cultural contexts that actors will be living in and playing with and against.”

Carla Steen (left) with Tory Peterson, Theater Instructor. Steen and Peterson are both from Moose Lake, Minnesota.

Steen has been a dramaturg at the Guthrie Theater for more than 20 years. In addition to recent productions of “Noura” and “The Glass Menagerie”, she has been a production dramaturg for more than 75 productions since 1996 including “Cyrano de Bergerac”, “Frankenstein – Playing with Fire”, “Noises Off”, and “Familiar”, a number of plays by Arthur Miller, George Bernard Shaw, and several plays by Shakespeare, including “As You Like It”, “King Lear”, “Othello”, and a recent workshop of the second Histories tetralogy. She is a graduate of the M.F.A. program in dramaturgy at Columbia University and did her undergraduate studies in English and History at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, where she has taught a script analysis class for the theater department and served as a dramaturg for “Cymbeline”. Carla grew up in northern Minnesota and graduated from Moose Lake High School in 1987; the same alma mater as Tory Peterson.