Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Principles of Scenography
Academic Year
Semester 1
Successful completion of Part 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 hours Lecture/Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay (2000 words)  40%
Semester Assessment Creative Portfolio  60%
Supplementary Assessment The modes of assessment permit repeat submissions (based upon new questions) during the Autumn re-sit period.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Critically consider specific examples of significant scenographic practice within a broader context.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the function of scenography within the dramaturgy of the performed aesthetic event.

3. Identify and apply a range of fundamental principles informing the construction and interpretation of scenographic material.

4. Employ skills of research, analysis and evaluation and apply these in the formulation of responses, through a diversity of media, to well defined and abstract problems.

Brief description

This module identifies and applies a range of fundamental scenographic principles and offers an analytical model for the evaluation of a significant body of historical, contemporary and global scenographic practice. This practice will be introduced and evaluated in lectures employing a variety of media, and further illustrated and considered through accompanying screenings and seminars. The module is assessed through two assignments that develop skills of research, analysis and evaluation, formulated and expressed through a combination of written, visual and aural media.


This module, together with TP22420 (Process of Scenography) establishes the critical context and the theoretical and methodological basis for the degree schemes in Scenography and Theatre Design at Part Two. Specifically, this module:

  • Offers an analytical model with which to evaluate scenographic concepts at an abstract level.
  • Advances critical consideration of a body of significant contemporary, historical and global scenographic practice.
  • Fosters an increased understanding of the function of scenography within the dramaturgy of the performed aesthetic event.
  • Identifies and applies a range of fundamental principles informing the construction and interpretation of scenographic material.
  • Develops skills of research, analysis and evaluation and applies these in the formulation of responses, through a diversity of media, to well defined and abstract problems.


1. Module overview. Key concepts and terminology. Assignment 1 introduction.

2. Holistic vision: Adolphe Appia/Edward Gordon Craig; body; space; light; movement.

3. Adolphe Appia: Hellerau and after.

4. Expressive abstraction: Oskar Schlemmer and the performance of art.

5. Scenography and Encounter: Artaud, Grotowski, and the re-negotiation of spatial contracts.

6. Theatre Svoboda (screening)

7. Scenography, performance and virtual space: Josef Svoboda, context and legacy.

8. Re-addressing the frame: Robert Wilson & Heiner Goebbels.

9. Performance and place: the specifics of site. Brith Gof, Station House Opera.

10. Constructions of Reality: Meyerhold, Neher. Summary and assignment (2) orientation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Tackle problems involving number within IT data handling.
Communication Read in different contexts and for different purposes. Write in an academic context. Speak in different contexts and for different purposes (including presentation and discussion). Listen effectively.
Improving own Learning and Performance Devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies.
Information Technology Use a range of commonly used software packages. Present information and data. Use email/internet appropriately and effectively.
Personal Development and Career planning Whilst not an especial focus or assessed element of teaching and learning, the module extends a range of analytical, conceptual and creative skills, and students are made aware of the transferable applications of these across academic and career borders.
Problem solving Identify conceptual problems. Identify factors which micht influence potential solutions. Develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving. Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions. Construct a rational proposal in response to a problem.
Research skills Understand a range of research methods. Plan and carry out research.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2007). The following subject specific skills are developed and directly or indirectly assessed: describing, theorising, interpreting and evaluating performance texts and performance events from a range of critical perspectives; reading the performance possibilities implied by a script, score and other textual or documentary sources; engaging in performance and production, based on an acquisition and understanding of appropriate performance and production vocabularies, skills, structures and working methods; developing skills of observation and visual, aural and spatial awareness; engaging in research, whether independent, group or performance-based.
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics in discussion. Play an active part in seminar group activities.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Baugh, Christopher (2005) Theatre, Performance and Technology Palgrave Macmillan Primo search Collins, Jane and Nisbet, Andrew (2010) Theatre and Performance Design: a Reader in Scenography Routledge Primo search McKinney, Joslin and Butterworth, Phillip (2009) The Cambridge Introduction to Scenography Cambridge University Press Primo search
Recommended Text
Adcock, Craig and Turrell, James (1990) The Art of Light and Space University of California Primo search Aronson, Arnold (2005) Looking into the Abyss (essays on Sceonography) University of Michigan Primo search Bachelard, Gaston (1994) The Poetics of Space Beacon Primo search Beacham, Richard C. (1994) Adolphe Appia, Artist and Visionary of the Modern Theatre Harwood Primo search Bentley, Eric (ed) (1992) The Theory of the Modern Stage Penguin Primo search Burian, J.M. (ed.) (1990) The Secret of Theatrical Space Applause Primo search Goldberg, RoseLee (1999) Performance Art Thames and Hudson Primo search Gropius, Walter (ed) (1961) The Theater of Bauhaus Methuen Primo search Holmberg, Arthur (1997) The Theatre of Robet Wilson Cambridge Primo search Howard, Pamela (2001) What is Scenography? Routledge Primo search Huxley, Michael and Witts, Noel (eds) (1996) The Twentieth-Century Prtformance Reader Routledge Primo search Kaye, Nick (1996) Art into Theatre Harwood Primo search Kaye, Nick (2000) Site-specific Art (performance, place and documentation) Routledge Primo search Roose-Evans, James (1989) Experimental Theatre, from Stanislavsky to Peter Brook Routledge Primo search Lotker, Sodja and Gough, Richard (eds) (2013) Performance Research: On Scenography Volume 18 Issue 3 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5