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Scenographic Things / Scenography Objects

The Trinity Long Room Hub

23 April 2015

Scenographic Things / Scenography Objects will be the first TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association) event to be held outside the UK. It focuses on the interactions and disruptive possibilities of performing bodies and material objects in space. Bringing together a range of scholars and arts practitioners from the intersecting fields of theatre, performance, design and visual arts, it examines two connected, topical issues: scenography’s materiality and status as a craft; and its potential to ‘object’ – to challenge tradition through its material and visual aesthetics – as part of theatre, performance or political activism. The Scenography Working Group actively promotes practice-as-research methods and transdisciplinary approaches. Ideas will be presented in a variety of formats including paper/practice presentations, roundtable discussions and PechaKucha.

There is a small participation fee of £5 and all participants must be members of TaPRA. Registering for Scenographic Things / Scenography Objects allows you to avail of one year’s TaPRA membership, through which you can join all the organization’s working groups at the special interim event rate of £10. Registration and interim membership are available only online by clicking here This option will close on Monday, 13 April 2015. Spaces are limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment.

If you’re not currently a member of TaPRA, you must join via the link above and then book a slot on this event.



09.15-11.15: Social and Political Scenographies

Rosalind Parker – curator, opera director, theology and choral scholar

  • ‘Religious objects in museum spaces: new audience encounters with religion’

Elizabeth Howard – performance maker, theatre director, PhD researcher on Waterford Institute of Technology’s ‘Performing the Region’ project.

  • ‘From Bottom to Big Top: Red Kettle produces A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Roma Patel – Scenographer, Theatre Artist, PhD student at the University of Nottingham, Horizon Doctoral

  • ‘A Conversation with Objects: The Potential of Interactive Objects in Children’s Theatre’

Niall Rea – Artistic Director of TheatreofplucK, AHRC-funded PhD researcher at Queen’s University, Belfast.

  • ‘Towards an Obscenography: Queering Performance Design’

Judit Colomer – scenographer and theatre studies scholar at Institut del Teatre, Barcelona

  • ‘Things behind Scenography Objects: Practice-Based Perspectives on Soy el Pueblo (‘I am the people’), Barcelona, 2014’

11.15-11.30: Tea/coffee, snacks

11.30 -13.30: Diversifying Scenography

Tom Lane – composer, sound designer, working towards a PhD in composition for theatre at University College

  • ‘Re-imagining the Samuel Beckett Bridge as a Musical and Theatrical Sound Object’

Áine Phillips – performance artist, Head of Sculpture at the Burren College of Art, Co. Clare

  • ‘Visual performance and Live Art in Ireland since the 1970s’

Conor O’Kelly – PhD candidate at the Department of Film Studies, Trinity College Dublin

  • ‘“The Colportage Phenomenon of Space”: Walter Benjamin and the Intoxicating Environment’

Helen Murphy – PhD candidate at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London

  • ‘For the Scenographic Production of Everyday Material’

Janie Davies – scenographer, dance and architectural glass artist, graduate in Spatial Design, Bucks New University, High Wycombe, England.

  • ‘Stately Homes and Performativity: Creating Dialogue between Object and Visitor’

13.30-14.00: Lunch (light lunch provided)

14.00 – 16.00: Guest Panel

Presentation by Christopher Baugh, Emeritus Professor of Performance and Technology at the University of Leeds, and author of the ground breaking Theatre, Performance and Technology: The Development and Transformation of Scenography (Palgrave Macmillan: 2nd edition, 2014), followed by round-table discussion featuring: Sodja Lotker, artistic director of the Prague Quadrennial; Jamie Vartan, award-winning designer of theatre, opera and dance; Sabine Dargent, award-winning scenographer; and representatives from MART, who will curate Ireland’s participation in the Prague Quadrennial 2015.

16.00-16.15: Tea/coffee, snacks

16.15 – 17.30 Making and Mechanics

Néill O’Dwyer – artist, practice-based PhD researcher at the Arts Technology Research Lab in the Drama Department, Trinity College Dublin

  • ‘Algorithmic Scenography: The Increasing Responsibility and Autonomy of Machines in Performance’

Richard Downing – Lecturer in Scenography at Aberystwyth University, founder and Artistic Director of the interdisciplinary arts collective U-Man Zoo, 1994-2006

  • ‘The Case for Ticking: Practice-Led Research Emanating From the Development of the “Scenographic Thing”, The Fractal Clock’

Eleanor Margolies – London-based writer and theatre-maker with work published in Performance Research, New Theatre Quarterly and the TLS; founder and former editor of the Puppet Notebook magazine.

  • ‘Papier Mâché: Theatre’s own Special Material?’

17.45 – 19. 30: Dramaturgy and Design

Anna Birch – Artistic Director of March of Women, lecturer and researcher at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

  • ‘Updating Suffragette Objects to Object!’

Christopher McCormack – theatre critic, Abbey Theatre Digital Archive Fellow at NUI, Galway

  • ‘“Did You See an Old Woman Down The Path?”: Cathleen ni Houlihan’s Transformation at the Abbey Theatre (1990)’

Lucy Thornett – scenographer, artist, senior lecturer in spatial design at London College of Communications

  • The Double (Melbourne 2014) – Towards a Design-Led Dramaturgy

Marie Kelly – Lecturer in Drama, University College Cork, formerly worked with the Abbey Theatre where she set up the Abbey’s existing Casting Department

  • Sacred Objects, Sacred Things: The Theatre of Tom MacIntyre

19.30: Wine Reception

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