CATR Montreal May 28-31 2010: Seminar: Magnitudes of Scenography

full name / name of organization: 
Canadian Association for Theatre Research

The 2010 conference of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR) will take place at Concordia University in Montreal, May 28 to 31, as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The theme of the 2010 Congress is "Le savoir branché/Interconnected Knowledge."


Seminar 2: Magnitudes of ScenographyNatalie Rewa (Queen's University) and Hélène Beauchamp (Professeure émérite, UQAM)

AbstractHans-Thies Lehmann identifies the current period as the post-dramatic in which the visual plays a crucial role in performance.  By this approach Lehmann suggests that artistic teams register the scenography as performative over the simply metaphoric, and that it can be characterized as a series of lenses through which the spectators engage with the performance.  Similarly Pamela Howard reviews the processes of scenographic design as dramaturgical – beginning with creating visual notes and establishing sequences of events akin to storyboards for the potential staging.   Taken together their work confirms scenography as a four dimensional practice that has all too often been considered as a series of still images.  The purpose of this seminar would be to consider the magnitudes of scenographic design in theatre in Canada and Quebec identified in a wide range of practice – for target audiences (children, politicized groups) or genres of performance (theatre, opera, puppetry, site-specific or dance, for example).     Working Plan            The seminar will consist of two parts: during our meetings at Concordia we would meet for a three hour session to consider the contributions of the members.  Members of the seminar will post a five page position paper to the seminar site one month in advance of the conference, bringing any visual material with them to Montreal to be included in our discussions.  The second part of the seminar will consist of a specialized afternoon, Saturday May 29, 2010, of two site visits: the first to the performance at Maison théâtre (1:00 pm) of  La Chenille qui fait des trous et autres petits contes  (The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other stories) by Mermaid Theatre (a marionette show for young audiences aged 3-7 years, and the company's first show in French), followed by a visit to the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (TNM) to consider the mandate of scenography within the current artistic direction.  Please note: Tickets to the performance at Maison théâtre cost $12 and payment will be required in advance of the conference. Interested participants are asked to submit 250-word abstracts to both Natalie Rewa ( and Hélène Beauchamp ( by December 1, 2009. The seminar will be limited to eight to ten members. Participation is welcome in either official language.  Participants will be notified of their acceptance by January 20, 2010.