Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I was browsing the Sceno:graphy site today. It is a UK based site and has articles and information regarding design and technical theatre, though it isn't very active.

They address the question of what is Scenography and why it seems to be a title / function in most places except for America.

The question is an interesting to me for a variety of reasons, including history and the function of theatre structures and so forth. Since scenography is the historical standard it is interesting that America didn’t continue this tradition. I also, unfortunately, don’t know if it did come to America and then we evolved out of that tradition. One of the reasons that is offered is the difference in funding between the countries, which of course could be probable, but I’m not sure that it is the “right” answer. Intuitively, I would say that America was found on individuality and in a sense that affects our jobs also. Even our unions have evolved individually. These issues have been involved in most of the research I have done for the many theatre history courses I took when I got my MFA. Who was the first TD? When was the TD first recognized as a TD. What did the TD evolve out of? When did design and fabrication separate? How do technical theatre traditions and practices vary currently and historically between cultures or countries? Why is the American system so much different on the surface than some of the European examples? It is harder to unify a vision when you use 4 different designers than when there is one sceneographer. In that vain, did some of the split occur with the growth of a director? At any rate, the site is worth a look.

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