Theatre and Performance Design - A Reader in Scenography
‘This Reader is long overdue. It will prove to be an essential reference document for any student encountering scenography at an early stage of their careers’ - Simon Banham, University of Wales Aberyswyth.
Theatre and Performance Design is an essential resource for those interested in the visual composition of performance and related scenographic practices. Theatre and performance studies, cultural theory, fine art, philosophy and the social sciences are brought together in one volume to examine the principle forces that inform understanding of theatre and performance design.
This major collection of key writings provides a much needed critical and contextual framework for the analysis of theatre and performance design. By locating this study within the broader field of scenography – the term increasingly used to describe a more integrated reading of performance – this unique anthology recognises the role played by all the elements of production in the creation of meaning.
‘White Spectatorship in Victorian Britain’
The African Choir in Victorian Dress 1891
From The 'Calling of Katie Makanya', Margaret McCord, David Philip, 1995 Cape Town.
Reproduced by kind permisiion of New Africa Books
This research draws on Dr Veit Erlmann’s illuminating article “Spectatorial Lust’ in Africans on Stage and my own experience of co-directing and touring ‘Mamma Nalukalala N’dezze Lye’ Mother Courage and her Children by Bertolt Brecht, to America and South Africa in the 1990’s.
It makes links between the reception of work from Africa in the 19th century and current readings of African work in Europe and America.
• Whether the demands of ‘exportability’ will mean that what comes out of the African continent must increase the appeal to western preconceptions and fantasies?
I visited South Africa to conduct research during July 2005 and in the summer 2006.
Programme notes that accompanied the workshop presentation in Johannesburg
Between 1891-1893 a group of young black South Africans toured England, Scotland and Ireland. They were a Christian choir apparently on a mission to raise funds for a technical school in Kimberley however, once in England, a more complex set of motives for the trip emerged. On the tour they struggled to come to terms with the realities of late Victorian Industrial Society which challenged their notions of progress and made them question their own identity as the black educated elite.
The tour failed to make money and as a result they were forced to take radical measures to attract larger audiences. It all ended in disaster with the choir abandoned by their managers and left penniless in a London hotel.
One of their members was the young Charlotte Manye, who eventually went on to found the Bantu Women’s League and became a prominent activist for women’s rights in South Africa. Later in her life she also campaigned vehemently for women to be represented in the newly formed African National Congress.
An article on the project - Umuntu, Ngumuntu, Ngabantu; The Story of the African Choir, Performing Identities in Victorian Britain appeared in Studies in Theatre and Performance in 2007 - Vol 27.2 ISSN 1468-2761 Intellect Books.
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Last updated March 2007