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TH331 - Design for Shakespeare - 2014-15

The aim of this module is to study the importance of stage, set, costume, lighting and sound design to the staging of Shakespeare's plays by professional companies since 1956. Trends in design will be illustrated through the detailed study of specific productions with a view to understanding how the space(s) created for performance formed an integral part of an audience’s understanding of individual plays. The module will consider the working relationships between specific directors and designers, the interest in reconstruction of original performance conditions, the variety of performance venues and budgets, curated seasons and festivals, the use of found space and the increasing tendency for some theatre designers to compete with the spectacle of film, opera, circus, particularly in the development of digitally-created performance spaces. The focus will be on British design but it will consider the importance of international influences to shifting expectations of scenographic skills.

Students will be encouraged to research the work of individual designers and to build a portfolio of materials that will demonstrate the approaches of their chosen designers to specific productions. This research will form the basis of seminar discussions and the completed portfolios will be submitted for assessment in week 8 of each of the Autumn and Spring Terms (each Portfolio is worth 25% of the module mark). In the Summer Term the students will have the opportunity, individually or in small groups, to prepare a detailed plan for an exhibition, including the reasons for specific contents, plans for the creation of an exhibition space, a proposed budget, advertising for the exhibition and an explanation of how the exhibition will extend spactators’ understanding of the process of elucidating Shakespeare’s plays through design. This process will begin with tutorials during the last two weeks of the Spring Term and students will be encouraged to arrange supervisions in the summer term. The plans for exhibitions will be assessed (50% of the module): they can be submitted as assessed essays of 5000 words or the equivalent in a project format. If students are working in groups, it should be clear which student had responsibility for which aspect(s) of the work.

Margaret Shewring: m dot e dot shewring at warwick dot ac dot uk

Seminars/workshops: 3hrs per week. Thursdays 9.30am –12.30pm. G52.

Individual tutorials in each term and project supervisions in the summer term.
100% assessed.