Scenography Expanded


An Introduction to Contemporary Performance Design

Editors: Joslin McKinney, Scott Palmer

Bloomsbury: published: 29-06-2017

Paperback, 240 pages, colour & b&w illustrations

SKU: 9781474244398 Category:


Scenography Expanded is a foundational text offering readers a thorough introduction to contemporary performance design, both in and beyond the theatre. It examines the potential of the visual, spatial, technological, material and environmental aspects of performance to shape performative encounters. It analyses examples of scenography as sites of imaginative exchange and transformative experience and it discusses the social, political and ethical dimensions of performance design. The international range of contributors and case studies provide clear perspectives on why scenographic design has become a central consideration for performance makers today.

The extended introduction defines the characteristics of 21st-century scenography and examines the scope and potentials of this new field. Across five sections, the volume provides examples and case studies which richly illustrate the scope of contemporary scenographic practice and which analyse the various ways in which it is used in global cultural contexts. These include mainstream theatre practice, experimental theatre, installation and live art, performance in the city, large-scale events and popular entertainments, and performances by and for specific communities.

Joslin McKinney is Associate Professor in Scenography, Deputy Head of School and Programme Manager for the postgraduate course in Performance Design in the School of Performance & Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds, UK.

Scott Palmer is Associate Professor in Scenography at the University of Leeds, UK and co-convenor of the International Federation of Theatre Research Scenography Working Group.


Table of contents
Illustrations, Contributors, Acknowledgements

Foreword – Arnold Aronson

Introducing ‘Expanded’ Scenography – Joslin McKinney and Scott Palmer

1 Devices of Wonder: globalizing technologies in the process of scenography – Christopher Baugh (University of Leeds, UK)
2 Screen Space: Bearing Witness & Performing Resistance – Dorita Hannah (University of Tasmania, Australia)

3 Between Symbolic Representation and New Critical Realism: Architecture as Scenography and Scenography as Architecture – Thea Brejzek (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
4 City as Site: Street Performance and Site Permeability during the Festival Internacional Teatro a Mil, Chile, 2012-2015 – Marcela Oteiza (Wesleyan University, CT, USA)

Section 3: AGENCY
5 Scenography Matters: Performing Romani Identities: Strategy and Critique – Jane Collins (University of the Arts, London, UK) and Ethel Brooks (Rutgers University, NJ, USA)
6 Scenographic Agency: A Showing-doing and a Responsibility for Showing-doing – Kathleen Irwin (University of Regina, Canada)
7 Thinking that Matters: Towards a Post-Anthropocentric Approach to Performance Design – Maaike Bleeker (Utrecht University, Netherlands)

Section 4: AUDIENCES
8 Audience Immersion, Mindfulness and the Experience of Scenography – David Shearing (University of Leeds, UK)
9 Cognitive Approaches to Performance Design, or How the Dead Materialize and Other Spectacular Design Solutions – Stephen Di Benedetto (University of Miami, FL, USA)
10 The Matter of Water: Bodily Experience of Scenography in Contemporary Spectacle – Nebojša Tabacki (University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany)
11 Ecologies of Autism: Vibrant Space in Imagining Autism – Melissa Trimingham (University of Kent, UK)



“[An] excellent and comprehensive collection [that’s] suitable as introduction for undergraduates and for developing ideas, histories and approaches for researchers.” – Paul Geary, University of Birmingham, UK

“The collection of essays make for an engaging and accessible examination of the myriad possibilities of the way scenography can be framed. These topics will certainly act as a catalyst for discussions on the ways in which my students will contextualise their own practice.” – Andy Hurst, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

“An excellent, contemporary introduction to scenography.” – Kit Lane, University of Derby, UK

Additional information

Weight 0.75 kg