Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Principles of Scenography
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 10 x 2 Hour Practicals
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment 1: Essay, 2,500 words.  A critical, comparative analysis of the work of two key practitioners studied in the module.  50%
Semester Exam 7 Hours   Assignment 2: Group Presentation (20 minutes).  A presentation, in groups of 2 or 3, of models, drawings and other media which represent a scenographic proposal in response to a given text. This response should be grounded in the principles of one of the key practitioners studied in the module.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Assignment 1: Essay, 2,500 words.  A critical, comparative analysis of the work of two key practitioners studied in the module.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Assignment 2: Design Portfolio (equivalent to 2,500 words).  A portfolio of documents representing an individual scenographic proposal in response to the set text. Besides graphic material and other media, the portfolio should include a written element of 1000 words, relating the proposal to the principles of one of the key practitioners studied in the module.   50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Identify a range of key scenographic principles and practices in historical and contemporary contexts.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the function of scenography within the broader theatrical event.

3. Formulate responses to abstract problems through research, analysis and academic writing.

4. Formulate responses to abstract problems through oral presentation and representational media.

Brief description

This module introduces and explores a range of fundamental scenographic principles through the analysis and evaluation of key historical and contemporary scenographic practice. This practice will be introduced through a series of mixed-media lectures, and explored in practice through the accompanying workshops. These workshops are designed to enable students to consolidate understanding of key design principles through model-making and other forms of representation and experiment. The module is assessed through two assignments that develop skills of research, analysis and representation, formulated and expressed through a combination of written, oral, visual and aural media.


10 x 1 hour weekly lectures (thinking through analysis)

1. Module introduction and overview. Assignment 1 orientation.

2. Adolphe Appia: Wagner, Hellerau and the Work of Living Art.

3. Edward Gordon Craig; (de) parting of the ways.

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

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

6. Joseph Svoboda: the century of light.

7. Re-addressing the frame: Robert Lepage & Heiner Goebbels.

8. The object animates: Tadeusz Kantor& Phillipe Quesne.

9. Constructions of Reality: Vsevolod Meyerhold and Caspar Neher.

10. Scenography expanding: summary. Assignment 1 navigation.

10 x 2 hour weekly workshops (thinking through representation)

1. Introduction: principles of representation. Assignment 2 orientation.

2. Horizontals and floors: Adolphe Appia.

3. Verticals and kinetics: Edward Gordon Craig.

4. Body/space/architecture: Oskar Schlemmer.

5. Proxemics and immersion: Grotowski.

6. Light and structure: Joseph Svoboda.

7. Orchestral space: Heiner Goebbels.

8. Balance and displacement: Phillipe Quesne.

9. Assignment 2, workshop 1.

10. Assignment 2, workshop 2.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number • Tackle problems involving number within IT data handling • Understand and apply the mathematics of working to scale
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 critical 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 • Engage with specialist software packages for the purposes of representing and investigating ideas
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 might influence potential solutions • Develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving
Research skills • Understand a range of research methods • Plan and carry out research
Subject Specific Skills 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 and work effectively and responsibly amongst others • Play an active part in group activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 4