Happy 284th Birthday, Mr. Lessing!
My desk is currently host to a plethora of baked goods, individually bagged and awaiting sale. While we dramaturgs generally strive to bring good will and sugary cheer to all, there is a more specific reason behind these efforts today.
On this day in 1729, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was born in Kamenz, Saxony. A prominent philosophe of the Enlightenment and friend of luminaries such as Moses Mendelssohn, Lessing was also a playwright and critic whose work in creating a national theater for Germany led him to the invention of dramaturgy. By advocating a close working relationship between art critics and artists, stressing the importance of classic models from Aristotle to Shakespeare, and emphasizing reasoned negotiation rather than absolute principle as the best route to the truth, Lessing laid the foundations of modern dramaturgy.
In honor of his contributions, the Huntington resident dramaturgs and their associates are holding a bake sale to benefit the Early Career Dramaturg Fund. This organization offers grants to budding dramaturgs, often to help them attend the national LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) conference each summer.
Among the treats on offer are classic chocolate chip cookies; decadent chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting; splendid snickerdoodles; and dangerously good chocolate peanut butter bars.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Lessing!