Theatre and Performance Design Journal

Theatre & Performance Design – Call for Submissions

Call for papers: Design for Opera

Special issue on Design for Opera, Autumn 2018

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for a special edition of the journal, Theatre and Performance Design, autumn 2018, Design for Opera.

As an art-form, opera has always been associated with spectacle; in early definitions of the form “machines” were deemed as essential as music or singing. This special edition of the journal will examine the specific challenges for all aspects of design for opera, both past and present. From the designer’s perspective, what is different and distinct about designing for opera? How are designers currently incorporating technology into their stagings and to what effect? In the past operatic design often reflected the contemporaneous pre-occupations of the cities in which they were first staged; now as a global phenomenon, how does opera reflect current preoccupations and concerns through visualisation and scenographic composition?

Ever since its inception around 1600 opera has provided a focal point for the social, cultural, and even political, life of cities. In the nineteenth century opera houses in cities like Vienna and Paris were a significant factor in the planning of urban renewal, and even in the later 20th century cities like Sydney, Cardiff, Shanghai, and Dubai saw the building of an opera house as a sign of civic maturity. We would therefore like to extend this discussion to also consider the architecture and design of opera houses and their position in civic society. How are the prevailing political, social and economic conditions, as well as technological discoveries, ways of seeing and theories of knowledge, manifested through the location and design of opera houses around the globe?

Submissions are invited about, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Design for opera in a digital culture
  • Operatic design and globalisation
  • Opera and urbanism
  • The architecture of opera houses
  • Opera and spectacle
  • Opera and visual cultures
  • Opera and technology
  • Opera and sonic design
  • Opera and costume, lighting, and projection

The editors also welcome interviews with designers and architects as well as visual essays.

In the first instance proposals should take the form of a 300 word abstract to be submitted to editorial associate Nick Tatchell at [email protected] by January 3rd 2018.

For accepted proposals the deadline for full articles, 6.000-8.000 words, June 30th 2018.

Jane Collins and Arnold Aronson, editors

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Volume 4, Issue 1: On Models

Submissions to Nick Tatchell, Editorial Associate: [email protected]
Deadline: 30th November 2017

The editors, Arnold Aronson and Jane Collins have pleasure in calling for submissions to the
journal Theatre and Performance Design Volume 4, Issue 1 Spring 2018, On Models. This special
issue, guest edited by Thea Brejzek and Lawrence Wallen, invites scholars and practitioners to
engage with the model in expanded practices of theatre and performance design. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

– Modelling practice as research
– From the Model to the Stage
– Material Thinking
– ‘Reading’ the model
– Virtual and Augmented Models
– Scenographic Notation
– Models and Reality
– Models and Temporality
– Scale and Narrative

Scenographic models or maquettes together with sketches, drawings, and renderings are
principal instruments in the design and communication processes of stage design for theatre
and performance. Scale models clarify and explain spatial configurations and relations. In
design terms, models evolve through iterations, material experiments and explorations that are
elliptical and non-linear, and most models are finalized to represent the future production.

A close look at the model also reveals examples in theatre and performance design that move
beyond the purely iterative and representational toward an autonomous status. These models
constitute their own end product, and generate no further artefact, design or production. The
autonomous model, we argue, is neither process-driven nor representational but conceptualized and built to be autonomous and appears increasingly in exhibitions of scenography and performance as well as on the stage itself.

For the proposed issue, On Models, we invite contributions that look at the theory and practice
of all manifestations of the stage set model in theatre and performance while engaging with its
performative and epistemic attributes. We are interested in proposals that explore speculative,
projective or retrospective, as well as realistic, experimental or pragmatic models in the form of
scholarly articles, dialogues, interviews, visual essays, manifestos, and production diaries.

Thea Brejzek’s and Lawrence Wallen’s forthcoming book The Model as Performance. Staging Spacein Theatre and Architecture, Bloomsbury 09/2017, charts new territory by examining the historyand development of the physical scale model across theatre and architecture practice from theRenaissance to the present. The aim of this book is to establish the model as an active agent inthe making of space within an expanded theatre and architectural discourse.

Submissions to Nick Tatchell, Editorial Associate: [email protected]
Deadline: 30th November 2017


Theatre & Performance Design – Call for Submissions

Volume 3, Issues 3: Video in the Theatre

The editors, Arnold Aronson and Jane Collins have pleasure in calling for submissions to the journal Theatre and Performance Design Volume 3, Issue 3 Fall 2017. The issue will consist of general articles on scenography but we are also seeking submissions on the subject of video in the theatre.
The presence of projected moving images in live theatrical performance dates back at least to the work of Erwin Piscator in the 1920s. Video technology became viable after World War II, but it was the introduction of the Sony Portapack in 1965 that made video available to non-broadcast consumers. The new technology quickly led to the creation of a new art form, almost single-handedly invented by visionary artist Nam June Paik. Video soon found its way into theatre with pioneering work by Josef Svoboda, Video Free America, Squat Theatre, and, of course, the Wooster Group, among others. (See Chris Salter, Entangled [Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010] for a more complete history.) Video has the possibility of being live or pre-recorded; projected or shown on video monitors. It can function as a “wormhole” in the space of the stage and it can introduce several time matrices simultaneously. With the ever-increasing sophistication of video equipment, coupled with the ever-decreasing size and cost of recording equipment (and the expanding size and resolution of monitors and screens), video has become a standard, even ubiquitous, presence in live performance.
We are seeking articles that explore the aesthetic and theoretical implications of these developments over the past two decades or so, as well as articles exploring the use of video by innovative theatre artists and companies. Although video projection is related in some ways to still and film projection, this special issue of the journal will focus exclusively on video—both analog and digital. (However, articles that explore the relationship of video to other forms of projection may be considered.) We welcome articles by practitioners as well as scholars.

Submissions to Nick Tatchell, Editorial Associate: [email protected]