The Poetics of Stage Space

The Theory and Process of Theatre Scene Design


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About the Book

This book analyzes theatre scene design through the powers and characteristics of physical space. Physical space is central to creative composition in the theatre, but the author extends the reach of the book to individuals concerned with spatial design—architects, interior designers, industrial designers, artists and other performers. A theory is presented on how design, and its creative process, echo the process of human awareness and action.
The book covers an array of considerations for the theatre designer—the observable features of given physical spaces, their layout, detailing and atmosphere—and presents these features from the points of view of various disciplines. There are chapters on the “physics” of space, the “geography” of space and the “music” of space. The author also speaks to the less tangible qualities sensed more personally, such as the “spirituality” or the “psyche” of space. A discussion of the collaborative process of creating space is included.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Bruce A. Bergner is a professional theatre scene designer and teaches theatre design at the University of Colorado–Boulder. He lives in Longmont, Colorado.

Bibliographic Details

Bruce A. Bergner
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 180
Bibliographic Info: 43 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7541-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0334-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction: Composition 4

Part One. Seeing 7

 1. Fundamentals 9

 2. The Theatre Artist 16

 3. Physics 19

 4. Geography 31

 5. Geometry 45

 6. Aesthetics 57

 7. Music 74

 8. History 81

 9. The Connective Thread 88

Part Two. Knowing 93

10. The Soul of Space 95

11. The Anthropology of Space 114

12. Metaspatial Design 127

13. The Appraisal of Space 131

Part Three. Making 135

14. The Ritual of Making 137

15. Designing 147

Part Four. Being 163

Bibliography 167