Imagine developing over fifty shows for professional, amateur and school productions and adapting Broadway shows like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid for junior audiences. That is exactly what Ken Cerniglia has done since becoming the literary manager for Disney Theatrical Group in 2003. Cerniglia is a dramaturg based in the New York and San Francisco Bay area where he works on plays, musicals, operas, films and symphonies. He has been working as a dramaturg for more than 14 years, and has developed plays for both on and off Broadway.
“I knew when I was in my later college years that theatre was my vocation,” shared Cerniglia. “It wasn’t until grad school, and then an internship at Arena Stage, that dramaturgy as a specialty rang my bell.”
Cerniglia is currently working on Hadestown with Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin. According to Mitchell’s website, Hadestown is a folk opera “based on the Orpheus myth and set in a Depression-era-esque political dreamscape.” Cerniglia has been workshopping the piece with Mitchell since 2013.
He enjoys working on projects that cross disciplines and with accomplished artists who are trying a new discipline. As a dramaturg, he gets to work in several areas of theatre from working with writers to helping develop a way to promote and pitch their projects. `
Cerniglia has a B.A. in theatre and psychology from the University of California, San Diego, an M.A. in theatre history from Catholic University, and a Ph.D. in theatre history and criticism from the University of Washington.