Module Identifier SG20110  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Richard D Downing  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite DR10120 , DR10220 or, SG10320  
Course delivery Lecture   15 Hours 10 x 1.5 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   4 Hours 4 x 1 hour seminars  
  Other   5 Hours 5 x 1 hour screenings  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Critical Analysis (2000 words)  60%
Semester Assessment Group Project For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at 40%

Learning outcomes

Typically, upon completion of the module, the student will be able:

to employ an analytical methodology in the consideration of scenographic practice.
to demonstrate an awareness and understanding of a range of exemplary scenographic and associated performance practice.
to articulate an increased understanding of the function of scenography within the dramaturgy of the performed aesthetic event.


The module establishes a working definition of scenography and introduces an analytical approach to the evaluation of scenographic practice and its dramaturgical function and potential. This approach is then applied in the consideration of a wide range of significant contemporary, historical and global scenographic practice, manifest and serving diverse functions within a broad range of performed aesthetic events. This work will be introduced and considered in lectures through a variety of media, and further illustrated through the accompanying screenings. The module is assessed through two assignments; an independent Critical Analysis demanding engagement with, and exposition through, a variety of media, and the presentation of a collaborative, conceptual, Group Project.

Lecture Schedule

1. Module overview. Key concepts and terminology (1): space.   

2. Key concepts and terminology (2): scenography   

(Screening: Revolution and Rebirth: Modern Theatrical Reform and its Debt to Antiquity)

3. Holistic vision: Adolphe Appia; body; space; light; movement.   

(Seminar/demonstration: working with PowerPoint)

4. Scenography and encounter: Antonin Artaud, Jerzy Grotowski and the re-negotiation of spatial contracts.   

(Screening: Man and Mask - Oskar Schlemmer and the Bauhaus Theatre)

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

(Group Project: seminar/surgery 1)

6. Re-addressing the frame: Robert Wilson, Hotel Pro Forma; formality, duration and the deep surface.   

(Screening: The Theatre of Robert Wilson)

7. Ex-auditoria and the specifics of site: Brith Gof, Christo, Robert Wilson; location, landscape and scenography.   

(Screening: Christo, Richard long, Rachel Whiteread)

8. The language of objects: Christian Boltanski, Caspar Neher, Joseph Beuys; placement, resonance, and juxtaposition.   

(Screening: Christian Boltanski)

9. Perception, illusion and emotion: Achim Freyer, JamesTurrell, Bill Viola; immersion and the poetic sense of space.   

(Group Project: seminar/surgery 2)

10. Scenography, performance and virtual space: Josef Svoboda, Robert Lepage, Mark Reaney, LaurieAnderson; applications of projection and interactive technologies.   

(Group Project seminar/surgery 3)


The aim of this module is:

to establish a working definition of the artistic practice of scenography.
to offer an analytical model with which to evaluate scenographic practice.
to introduce and analyse a body of significant contemporary, historical and global scenographic and associated performance practice.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Huxley, Michael & Witts Noel (eds) (1996) The Twentieth Century Performance Reader Routledge
Mirzoeff, Nicholas (1998) The Visual Culture Reader Routledge
Goldberg, RoseLee (1999) Performance Art Thames and Hudson
Adcock, Craig (1990) James Turrell: The Art of Light and Space University of California
James Roose-Evans (1989) Experimental Theatre, from Stanislavsky to Peter Brook Routledge
Gropius, Walter (ed) (1961) The Theater of the Bauhaus Methuen
Howard, Pamela (2001) What is Scenography? Routledge
J.M. Burian (ed) (1993) The Secret of Theatrical Space Applause
Beacham, Richard (1994) Adolphe Appia, Artist and Visionary of the Modern Theatre Harwood
Kay, Nick (1996) Art intoTheatre Harwood
Holmberg, Arthur (1997) The Theatre of Robert Wilson Cambridge

Web Page/Sites
Professor Chris Baugh & Dr Christine White (eds) Scenography International (on-line journal)


This module is at CQFW Level 5