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Creativity, Scenographers and the Director – Facilitator or Smotherer? - A Case Study from a Regional Rep Theatre

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.

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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?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
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References: Cropley, D.H. & Cropley, A.J., 2010. Functional Creativity: Products and the generation of effective novelty. Cambridge Handbook of Creativity, pp.301–320. Csikszentmihalyi, M., 1996. Creativity 1st Harper Perennial Ed., HarperCollins. Csikszentmihalyi, M., 1999. Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity. Handbook of Creativity pp313-335 Gardner, H., 1994. Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham and Gandhi Reprint., Basic Books. Glaveanu, V.P., 2010. Paradigms in the study of creativity: Introducing the perspective of cultural psychology. New ideas in psychology, 28(1), pp.79–93. Hartnoll, P. ed., 1972. Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre Concise ed edition., London, New York: Oxford Paperbacks. Kaufman, J.C. & Beghetto, R.A., 2009. Beyond big and little: The four c model of creativity. Review of General Psychology; Review of General Psychology, 13(1), p.1. Available at: [Accessed February 10, 2013]. National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education, 1999. All Our Futures. Richards, R., 2010. Everyday Creativity: Process and Way of Life—Four Key Issues, Cambridge Handbook of Creativity. New York: Cambridge University Press. White, C., 2009. Directors and Designers, Bristol, GBR: Intellect Ltd.
Depositing User: Meic Watkins
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2015 12:29
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 18:04


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