Redefining Scenography (DRA2308.01)

Michael Giannitti

In her book What is Scenography?, Pamela Howard states: “Scenography is the seamless synthesis of space, text, research, art, actors, directors and spectators that contributes to an original creation.” While the term “scenography” was regarded for centuries as synonymous with “theater design,” Howard’s definition does not mention theater or a stage, and other artists and theorists now address the scenographic qualities or aspects of various spaces and events, many of which are unrelated to theater. In this course, we will explore how these concepts, originally deeply rooted in theatrical practice, have evolved into a considerably broader paradigm. We will consider how the concerns of scenography, such as dramaturgy, spatial composition and focus, and most essentially visual storytelling, can inform the making or viewing of work beyond the boundaries of theater spaces, in situations ranging from public art and spectacle to politics.


Learning Outcomes:
- Understand scenography as a paradigm substantially broader than historical notions of theatrical design
- Ability to identify scenographic aspects of spaces and events
- Ability to apply scenographic principles in written and oral assessments of places and events
- Ability to apply scenographic principles in conception of original work


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
W 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: Dance , Drama , Fully In-Person , All courses
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