Module Identifier SG21120  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Mr Richard D Downing  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Mr Simon J Banham  
Course delivery Lecture   5 X 2 HOURS (EVERY OTHER WEEK)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 2 hour SEMINAR/VIEWINGS  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment * 1 x Critical Analysis: a comparative analytical consideration of the work of two key practitioners within the broader context of the field of scenography. This is to be submitted in electronic (CD) format and must incorporate a written element of 2000 words together with appropriate, supporting, visual/aural material. This format of submission is intended to encourage critical consideration of the communicative value of diverse media, and to direct attention towards selective and effective compositional technique within specific parameters. A printed transcript of the text (for purposes of comment and feedback) must accompany the submission. 40%
Semester Assessment 2 x analytical considerations, each of 1000 words, applying key scenographic principles discussed and conducted in response to an assignment brief determined by the course tutors and linked to a major dramatic text. Each assessment task is conducted and submitted through two complementary elements: [1] a verbal presentation in the form of an audio or video recording, not more than ten minutes in duration, and [2[ a supporting word processed transcript.30%
Supplementary Assessment The modes of assessment permit repeat submissions (based upon new questions) during the Autumn re-sit period. 

Learning outcomes

On 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 via three 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 SG21220 (Process of Scenography) establishes the critical context and the theoretical and methodological basis for the Joint Honours scheme in Scenographic Studies at Part Two. Specifically, this module:


Lecture schedule:

1. Module overview. Key principles and terminology (1)   
2. Key principles and terminology (2)

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

3. Holistic vision: Adolphe Appia; body; space; light; movement.   
4. Adolphe Appia; Hellerau and after.   
(Screening: The Bauhaus)
5. Expressive abstraction: Oskar Schlemmer and the performance of art.
6. Scenography and encounter: Antonin Artaud, Jerzy Grotowski and the re-negotiation of spatial contracts.   

(Screening: The Theatre of Robert Wilson)
7. Re-addressing the frame: Robert Wilson, Hotel Pro Forma; formality, duration and the deep surface.

(Screening: Christo)   

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

(Screening: Tadeusz Kantor)   

9. The language of objects: Tadeusz Kantor, Christian Boltanski, Caspar Neher.   

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

Module Skills

Problem solving * Identify conceptual problems * Identify factors which might 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  
Communication * Understand a range of research methods * Plan and carry out research  
Improving own Learning and Performance * Devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies  
Team work * Understand the concept of group dynamics in seminars * Play an active part in seminar group activities.  
Information Technology * Use a range of commonly used software packages * Present information and data * Use email /internet appropriately and effectively  
Application of Number * Tackle problems involving number within IT data handling  
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  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Adcock, Craig, Turrell , James (1990) The Art of Light and Space, University of California
Baugh, Christopher (2005) Theatre, Performance and Technology Palgrave Macmillan
Beacham, Richard C, (1994) Adolphe Appia, Artist and Visionary of the Modern Theatre Harwood
Burian, J. M. (ed), (1990) The Secret of Theatrical Space Applause
Goldberg, RoseLee, (1999) Performance Art Thames and Hudson
Gropius, Walter (ed), (1961) The Theater of the Bauhaus Methuen
Holmberg, Arthur, (1997) The Theatre of Robert Wilson Cambridge
Howard, Pamela (2001) What is Scenography? Routledge
Huxley, Michael & Witts Noel (eds), (1996) The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader Routledge
Kaye, Nick , (1996) Art into Theatre, Harwood
Roose-Evans, James (1989) Experimental Theatre, from Stanislavsky to Peter Brook Routledge


This module is at CQFW Level 5