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Unit 2: Design Narratives

Live theatre can be a magical experience. It moves us both to laughter and tears, shapes our thoughts and feelings and lets us escape our own lives for a moment. The theatre designer plays an important role creating this experience. In his book The Handbook of Techniques for Theatre Designers Colin Winslow describes the designer’s contribution to theatrical performances quite well: "They may sometimes assist by creating a sense of geographical location, a sense of period, or a specific mood or atmosphere. Their work may be realistic, stylized, or totally abstract. They can make you gasp at the wonder of their remarkable creations, or they can be so discreet that you hardly notice their work at all, but if they are successful, they will have employed their artistic abilities to assist the performer in his task of communicating with the audience.”


During Unit 2 I have been focusing on gathering tools and building my skills as a theatre designer, as well as and doing research towards my final project. I have been trying to answer questions such as “How do I present my ideas in the most effective way?”, “Where do I find inspiration?” and “Who am I as a theatre designer?”


I find almost every aspect of designing for performance interesting and could see myself working on either small or big projects, in theatres or unusual venues. I know that designing for theatre performances is something I really enjoy doing and am passionate about, and hopefully will be able to make a career out of, after my graduation.


During Unit 2 I have been focusing mainly on three topics: Puppetry, design for immersive theatre productions and research on opera and design. I worked with a director towards a design proposal on an immersive production based on Hamlet and have also been working on two design projects in collaboration with Icelandic theatre companies. For a final project to present in my final exhibition in Semptember, I have chosen to do a design proposal for the opera cycle The Ring of the Nieblung by Ricard Wagner.



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