Meet the Dramaturgs!

(Reblogged from Zach Apony’s Dramaturgical Website)

Villanova Theatre deploys dramaturgs (theatre artists focused on the literary, historical, and current context of plays) in two different capacities: production and education. Below, the two dramaturgs working on Bakkhai Variations will introduce themselves.

Hello, everyone! My name is Zach Apony and I am serving as Production Dramaturg for Bakkhai Variations. I am supporting each project individually and collaborating with Supervising Director James Ijames to curate the entire event into a singular event for you all to enjoy!! I am a second-year MA Theatre student, planning to graduate this upcoming May. My theatre career prior to attending Villanova centered around dramaturgy, but I also have a background in stage management, producing, front of house, and theatre administration. 

I came to dramaturgy specifically during my undergraduate years earning a BA at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA where I was searching for a way to combine literary analysis of dramatic texts and performative embodiment. My advisors told me that dramaturgy would be one of the best ways to do that and I have been hooked ever since! While at Hampshire, I studied Ancient Greek and tragic plays from around the world, culminating my studies by writing and producing an adaptation of Medea. Needless to say, the fortuitous alignment of these amazing adaptations of Bakkhai with my undergraduate thesis is not lost on me!

I am deeply indebted to our wise faculty and staff as well as my talented fellow students for the growth I have already experienced in the past 12 months and will undergo during this process. My excitement for what Bakkhai Variations will mean for me personally and the broader Villanova community is beyond words, but I hope this blog will be a small gateway into the amazing collective of artists Villanova Theatre has assembled to bring this endeavor to life. Outside of the class and rehearsal room, I can mostly be seen playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons or petting my two cats, Miranda and Serenity.

And now a few words from Cristy Chory:

Greetings from your friendly neighborhood Education Dramaturg! My role in this incredible, unprecedented undertaking is that of an interpreter, emissary and advocate between the production team and you, our adoring public. I’m here to offer insight and foster conversations around the creative, intellectual and culturally-relevant topics you’ll encounter in Bakkhai Variations. Think of me as your overly educated, aggressively supportive Villanova Theatre Backlot Tour Guide.

A little bit about me: I am a second-year graduate student pursuing a Masters in Theatre with a certificate in Nonprofit Management. Since graduating from NYU Steinhardt with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music Performance, I’ve worked extensively in PK-12 arts education and diversity, equity and inclusion spaces. In addition to credits as a director, music director and choreographer, I have also managed to get on stage from time to time, including in Villanova Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius) and Bakkhai Variations: She Makes Knives Now (Agave). In addition to theatre, other mild obsessions and favorite pastimes include crochet, cross-stitch, yoga, gardening, cheese, cycling, and my dogs, Duke and Laila.