Watkins, Meic (2015) Creativity, Scenographers and the Director – Facilitator or Smotherer? - A Case Study from a Regional Rep Theatre. In: Theatre and Performance Conference 2015, 19th and 20th June 2015, University of Central Lancashire, UK.

In theatre we make little attempt to define or study creativity, yet we often demand it of our students. It is hard to define but we owe them a duty to clarify what we mean. My studies examine creativity as a phenomenon embedded in a particular culture - in theatre, the culture of the ‘company’ and the interrelationships within it. This paper looks at what the (somewhat scant) literature perceives the director/scenographer relationship to be and then focuses in on one production at the Oldham Coliseum, using ethnographic techniques: observations of design meetings; interviews with the scenographers and director; and the production itself. Its conclusions reinforce the importance of the director–scenographer relationship as a major factor in the manifestation of scenographic creativity but find that in a ‘traditional’ rep there can be a real relationship of differently-skilled equals, and asks is this better for all? And if so, how can we train our scenography (and directing) students to develop that relationship?

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