Module Identifier SG20520  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Simon J Banham  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite SG20110 For those other than Scenographic Studies students  
Course delivery Lecture   40 Hours LECTURE PRACTICALS  
  Other   8 Hours SCREENINGS  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Critical Analysis For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at 40%
Semester Assessment Group Project Mon-Wed 12-14th May 200360%

Learning outcomes

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

To demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the function and possibility of identifying primary scenographic elements.
To apply and inter-relate primary scenographic elements in the generation of a fragment of visual performance.
To manifest a particular understanding of, and facility with, the tools and practical methodologies pertaining to two primary elements of scenographic composition.
To critically analyse the function of two primary scenographic elements within a fragment of visual performance.


The aim of this module is:

To conceptually consider the function and possibility of primary scenographic elements.
To examine the application and inter-relationship of identifying primary scenographic elements within a fragment of visual performance.
To introduce, and actively engage, specific tools and practical methodologies pertaining to four primary elements of scenographic composition.
To facilitate critical analysis of the function of primary scenographic elements within a fragment of visual performance.



Through focussed lecture/workshops and related assignments, this module invites conceptual consideration and practical exploration of the function and possibility of four primary scenographic elements: `Space?, `Light?, `Sound? and `Body?. Whilst retaining an holistic overview, specialist study is made of the particular properties and practical methodologies pertaining to these elements, and their inter-relationship is further examined through the generation of fragments of visual performance. Students may elect to make particular study of any TWO elements. Assessment is made via the conception, realisation and presentation, (conducted in small groups) of a fragment of visual performance, and a written critical analysis of the function of scenographic elements within this event.



Theatre lanterns, their function and status: the construction, primary qualities and use of key lantern types.
Light and darkness, a possible beginning: key notions of light, focus and duration.
Colour temperature: primary structural and ambient principals (1).
Contrast: the primary structural and ambient principals (2).
Direction, intensity, reflection and diffusion: the qualities of light.
Structure, ambient and the dramatic quality of space: primary tasks in the creation of a credible and effective design.
Form and style: light within the definition and animation of a sustained spatial and dramatic construct.
General conventions of a venue based practice.
Towards the construction of a design.
Towards the realisation and manipulation of a design.


Clothing and social context 1: the language of clothes.
Clothing and social context 2: the resonance of fabrics.
The biography of clothing: reading the history and body memory of clothing.
The body and place: extrapolating from abstracted and actual locations.
The body in performance: from street to stage and from page to stage.
The scenic figure 1: the notion of costume.
The scenic figure 2: dilating the performer.
The scenic figure 3: costume as scenery.
A period perspective: researching historical garments.
Case notes: contemporary costume designs.


Objects in space 1: abstract form and structure
Objects in space 2: resonant relationships
Objects in context 1: inhabiting given perimeters
Objects in context 2: defining/delineating place
Space/place/location: the specifics of site - the appropriateness of choice
Shaping space 1: the body and structure ? physical and temporal considerations
Shaping space 2: scenographic text - physical and temporal considerations
Mapping space: scale and the virtual site
Conceiving space: tension, balance, juxtaposition, repetition, rhythm, viewpoint
Case notes: 2/3 contemporary practitioners


An analysis of the major functions of sound in relation to performance
Uses of sound in modern performance practice
Technical sound requirements within performance production
Requirements and intentions of sound design within modern performance
Assessing the needs, research and sources
Sound generation, manipulation and editing
Sound design: the underlying creative processes
Preparation of a soundscape
Structure and construction of a soundscape
Production and presentation

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Pillbrow, Richard (1988) Stage Lighting Cassell Ltd
Taymor, Julie (1999) Playing with Fire Abrams
Berger, John (1986) Ways of Seeing BBC/Penguin
Barba, Eugenio & Savarese, Nicola (1991) The Secret Art of the Performer Routledge
Adcock, Craig (1990) James Turrell: The Art of Light and Space UCLA
Burian, J (ed) (1993) The Secret of Theatrical Space Routledge
Ruthven, Peter & Burnett Kate (eds) (1999) Time + Space (Design for Performance and Alternative Spaces) SBTD
Fraser, Neil (1989) Lighting and Sound New York
** Essential Reading
Peacock, John (1991) The Chronicle of Western Costume Thames & Hudson

To Be Announceds
** Recommended Text
VIEWING - Wiene, Robert (dir.) (1919) The Cabinet of Dr Caligary Decla-Bioscop
VIEWING - Maheu, Gilles (dir.) (1996) Les Ames Mortes Carbonne 14
VIEWING - Scott, Ridley (dir.) (1982) Blade Runner (the director's cut) Warner Bros
Tarovsky, Andrey (dir.) (1979) Stalker Mosfilm Unit 2


This module is at CQFW Level 5