Tag Archives: TPD

Theatre & Performance Design – Call for Submissions

Volume 3, Issues 1&2: Drawing & Design

The editors, Arnold Aronson and Jane Collins have pleasure in calling for submissions to the journal Theatre and Performance Design Volume 3, Issues 1&2 spring and summer 2017. The volume will consist of general articles on scenography but we are also interested in receiving articles that address the specific theme of Drawing and Design.                                             

 ‘Drawing… is at once medium and process, performative act and idea, it is sign, symbol and diagram. It is a space of negotiation for both established meanings and what is yet to be known, defined and articulated. It is a medium for analysis, for the acquisition and facilitation of understanding. It is observational tool and recording practice.’ Flavia Loscialpo[1]

There is a substantial canon of writing about drawing in fine art but relatively little on drawing in theatre and performance.  In the 2017 spring and summer issues of the journal we are keen to explore how drawing works across the full range of scenographic practices.  As a means of making ideas concrete and as a discursive tool drawing is instrumental in theatre, costume and performance design, spatial design and architecture. Articles might consider; how precisely does drawing work as ‘a space of negotiation’ in these practices? What kind of drawings do designers make and how are they evaluated? In a recent edition of the journal David Bisaha, with reference to the New Stagecraft movement early in the last century, has argued that ‘‘Renderings’ depiction of composed dramatic moments afforded designers greater control and autonomy over the completed stage picture…’’ [2]  What is the status of drawing as scenographic artefact and process in contemporary theatre and performance practice? As work has moved beyond theatre buildings and into diverse sites, both urban and rural, have performance scores and maps replaced ground plans and renderings? What materials and tools, including the digital, do designers use to draw? What kind of drawings do sound and lighting designers make? How might a close analysis of the drawings of designers from the past help us to understand the visual culture and the professional context in which they were made?  Can a close study of different approaches to drawing help us to understand the evolving role of the designer?

We welcome articles on drawing of between 5000-8000 words. Contributions from practitioners talking about their own use of drawing, articles on CAD and its applications as well as visual essays that explore the currency of drawing as design practice past, present and future.  In addition we continue to encourage submissions on issues relating to scenography in general.

Submissions to Nick Tatchell, Editorial Assistant: tpdjournal@arts.ac.uk   

Deadline: October 31st 2016

[1] Drawing and The Body, Exhibition Catalogue KG52 Gallery, Kammakargatan 52, Stockholm, 18April -14 May 2011published by The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Boras and London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London.

[2] Bisaha, David. 2015. Robert Edmund Jones’ scenic rendering as design artefact and professional tool. Theatre and Performance Design 1 (3): 220-235 (p.220)

Launch of Theatre and Performance Design

CCW Professor Jane Collins, Professor Arnold Aronson of Columbia University and Routledge will launch the new journal Theatre and Performance Design, devoted to the study of scenography, on 22 June at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, PQ 2015. Theatre & Performance Design is a quarterly journal publishing in March, June, October and December.

In their introduction to the journal Aronson and Collins explain why this new publication is so timely. ‘In the past, discussion pertaining to design and production has been hampered by the fact that it was spread across a range of different publications where debates were often subsumed by other aspects of practice. As a result the field has been denied the opportunity to engage with other related areas at the appropriate level, and the critical edge in debate has often been diffused. Further complicating the effort, a de facto firewall was seemingly erected between practice and theory. We hope that with the publication of Theatre and Performance Design, there will be a true conversation, and that researchers, teachers, students and practitioners will now have a dedicated journal that will facilitate rapid and informed response to current, ongoing and emerging concerns, thereby stimulating further enquiry and providing a strong base from which theatre and performance design and scenography can confidently engage with other discourse on its own terms. We hope that this journal will not only make a contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field but crucially shape how that knowledge is produced.

We wanted this first double issue to address the state of the art in theatre design and scenography internationally and explore the challenges and questions the field faces in the twenty-first century. In the call for papers we suggested that we are currently undergoing a significant “turn” towards scenography, both as a critical framework and as an expansion of practice across a broad range of theatre- and performance-related activities.

What is a “turn”? The Oxford English Dictionary lists more than 40 definitions for the noun “turn” and another 28 for the verb. None cites the academic usage, but a few definitions seem relevant: “change of direction or course”; “the action, or an act, of turning or changing; change, alteration, modification”; “The point at which one named period of time gives way to the next; the beginning or end of a named period of time, regarded in relation to the transition point between it and the preceding or following period”. One definition stood out as particularly apt: “The time for action or proceeding of any kind which comes round to each individual of a series in succession; (each or any one’s) recurring occasion of action, etc. in a series of acts done, or to be done, by (or to) a number in rotation”. This, of course, is the definition embodied in the song “Rose’s Turn” from the landmark musical Gypsy: “Starting now it’s gonna be my turn”. So not only do we believe that theatre and performance studies are altering their direction, moving into a new period, but also that within those fields and beyond it is time for scenography to take centre stage. It’s our turn.’

The online version of the journal is now available from Taylor & Francis Online.