The language of the stage is more than just the script and plot. The structure of a theatrical space, the props and set design, the costumes and lighting, all add to the theatrical imagery, transcending the text and creating a rich aesthetic experience for the audience. 

In recent years, theatre productions in Hong Kong have begun to explore the possibilities of scenography, a concept that has had a major impact on contemporary European theatre. In response to these developments, West Kowloon has teamed up with Edward Lam Dance Theatre to present “What Is Stage: Dynamics of Seeing”.

Dating back from 20th century Eastern Europe, the term Scenography embraces all elements of the theatrical space, approaching a production as an holistic experience. The role of the scenographer differs from a set designer or costumer designer.  They are artists with specific skills and a unique aesthetic sense.

Through seminars, screenings and workshops, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the concept of scenography and the role of the scenographer. Examining the work of renowned European scenographers and stage designers, including Jan Versweyveld from Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Jan Pappelbaum from the Schaubühne Berlin and German director, they will explore the interplay of text and imagery, and the possibilities of space and time. 

Curated by acclaimed Hong Kong theatre director Edward Lam, the highlight of the series is a four-day workshop with renowned scenographer Jan Versweyveld from Toneelgroep Amsterdam in September. In preparation for the workshop, Edward Lam will lead two introductory programmes: in June, an introductory seminar The Scenography of Contemporary Theatre in Europe  that offers insights into to the work of major European scenographers; and between July and mid August, a film screening and discussion programme on 11 theatre productions featuring the work of Jan Versweyveld and Tony award winning director Ivo van Hove. The series concludes with a workshop led by Jan Versweyveld in conversation with  Edward Lam where participants are challenged to rethink perspectives of theatrical space and seeing. 

The series is aimed at theatre professionals, artists, architects and designers in the field of set, lighting, costumes, sound and imagery.  There will also be a lecture by Versweyveld in September for members of the public interested to know more about scenography. 


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