Theatre design but not as we know it : the scenographic process as an integral part of making meaning in theatre

MacLaurin, Alison (2003) Theatre design but not as we know it : the scenographic process as an integral part of making meaning in theatre. Scenography International, 2.

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This article is a follow-up of a paper that was originally presented at the International Federation for Theatre Research Conference, 'Sound Space, Visual Space' in Lyon in 2001 and is a continuation of Maclaurin's interest in the role and purpose of scenography in varying contexts. The theories put forward in this article led onto the Bloomin' Actors project, where they could be observed, developed and documented in practice. Bloomin' Actors was funded by the Children's Fund and took place under the auspices of Charnwood Arts, a leading participatory arts organisation at which Maclaurin was chair of the board. The group was developed over three years by Maclaurin with a colleague researcher at Loughborough University, Jess Naish. The paper posits, using examples from Theatre is Education projects in which a 'fictional place' was designed and made in the 'presentational space' by the audience, that in such settings the scenographer needs to evolve ways of working which are very different from those of much professional theatre and which put her in a very different role. The designer, instead of being controller of the space, becomes a facilitator to allow the participants to use the skills that they have in order to create their own collective vision through a scenographic vocabulary that is inclusive and accessible. In this manner they learn to create visually using fluid, familiar and simple materials and easily grasped techniques. This work can be seen as part of the growing body of research that is beginning to theorise scenography as reflected in such organisations as the TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association) working group, of which Maclaurin is a member.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management > Media, Communication and Production
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2008 15:25
Last Modified: 12 May 2011 09:31


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