Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre & Dance

First Advisor

Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin

Second Advisor

Amanda Beth Giguere

Third Advisor

Oliver Gerland


Polish theatre professor Jan Kott (1914-2001) is often regarded as a critic and scholar because of his distinguished collection of essays Shakespeare Our Contemporary (SOC). While theatre scholars have long agreed that Jan Kott’s essay “King Lear, or Endgame” inspired Peter Brook's production of King Lear (1962); no one has critically examined Kott's contributions to Brook’s production of Lear as a pattern of dramaturgy. This thesis utilizes a broader perspective of Kott’s work and examines the aspects that would constitute his pattern of dramaturgy for Brook’s Lear as the following: first, Kott formed a scholarly and personal perspective of how Shakespeare should be performed, which he believed should be realistic and cruel, and this perspective came out of his WWII and post-WWII experience in Poland. Secondly, Kott wrote dramatic criticism that contained “playable values” for his director to translate on stage. Lastly, Kott actively pursued the director, Peter Brook, whom Kott believed agreed with his own perspective of how Shakespeare should be done. Accounting for Kott’s contributions to Brook’s production of Lear as a pattern of dramaturgy clearly situates Kott in the field of dramaturgy and more precisely describes the nature of this alternative dramaturgical approach to Shakespeare.