Scenography in the staging / on the Stage / in the Mind of the Audience


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Performance Research;18(3)


Taylor & Francis

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In contemporary theatre the division between the different components within the production of a performance or play is often blurry. What then is the role and function of scenography? And who is the scenographer? In this article we explore how scenography relates to the performance as a whole and how it is now more explicitly considered to be a ‘producer of meaning’, resulting in a particular focus on the visual and sensuous aspects of the production process. Three pairs of theatre and performance creators within the Norwegian contemporary scene have been interviewed for this article, and their projects constitute the material for discussion: 1)The art and theatre company Verdensteatret, 2) Heine Avdal and Yukiko Shinozaki, contemporary dance developers, and 3) Director Eirik Stubø and scenographer Kari Gravklev. Through an analysis of their performances in relation to the interview material, it has become clear that the role of the scenographer as a distinct function is far from distinct - only one of the interviewed artists calls herself scenographer, for the others it is more a matter of opposing to the term or of not really relating to it. Here, the theatre institutions as well as the art institutional contexts seem to be significant. Scenography however, as a field of investigation, becomes all the more relevant both inside and outside institutions, representing a sensuous landscaping that involves both context and matter.



This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Christensen-Scheel, B., Lindgren, C., & Pettersen, A. T. (2013). Scenography in the Staging/on the Stage/in the Mind of the Audience. Performance Research, 18(3), 126-134.[copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:

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