Book Description

Performance design professionals, historians and arts audiences alike have reason to celebrate the publication of World Scenography 1975-1990. This lavishly illustrated, thoughtfully curated anthology documenting the most influential theatrical designs of the period is a work of rigorous scholarship as well as an aesthetic delight.

The book is co-edited by Peter McKinnon, professor of stage design and production in the Department of Theatre, Faculty of Fine Arts at York University (Toronto), and Eric Fielding, professor emeritus of scenic design at Brigham Young University (Utah).

World Scenography 1975-1990 includes set, lighting and costume design for all forms of performance, from theatre and dance to opera and spectacle. It encompasses material from hundreds of contributors and highlights circa 430 works from more than five dozen countries. Neither encyclopedic nor a collection of "greatest hits," it showcases designs that made a difference: designs that mattered, seminal designs that had a major impact on the development of the art form, its practice, and reception.

Featured designers include Tony and Drama Desk Award-winner Maria Bjornson of France/UK (Phantom of the Opera, 1988); German designer Achim Freyer, winner of the Prague Quadrennial's lifetime achievement award (Woyzek, 1989; The Magic Flute, 1982); Sun-Hi Shin of Korea (A Bicycle, 1983; An Encounter, 1990); Canadian designer André Caron (Cirque Réinventé, 1987 for Cirque du Soleil); and veteran Broadway designer Robin Wagner (A Chorus Line, 1976; On The Twentieth Century, 1978; Dreamgirls, 1981).

Ground-breaking productions highlighted include English director Peter Brook's Mahabarata (1985), which was staged in quarries in France and Australia as well as theatres in the US and Spain; the opening ceremony for the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland; and the political puppetry of the American Anti-Bicentennial Pageant at the University of California (1975).

Among the many other notable designers documented are Boris Aronson, David Borovsky, John Bury, Richard Foreman, David Hockney, Tadeusz Kantor, Yannis Kokkos, Ralph Koltai, Valery Levental, William Ivey Long, Alejandro Luna, John Napier, Cameron Porteous, Josef Svoboda, Ichiro Takada, Joe Vanek, Ladislav Vychodil, and Robert Wilson.

McKinnon and Fielding led an international team of researchers and associate editors to produce World Scenography 1975-1990. The World Scenography book series was inspired by and seeks to build on the foundation established by the four volumes of Stage Design Throughout the World that were edited by Belgian professor René Hainaux. Sadly, that wonderful series ended its documentation and publication in 1975. This new book series started with a remark from Eric Fielding at the Honourable Scenographers' Forum at the Prague Quadrennial in 2007 and a proposal by Peter McKinnon during their dinner that followed. McKinnon and Fielding plan to do two more volumes documenting 1990-2005 and 2005-2015. They then hope that others will pick up the torch and prepare subsequent volumes each decade thereafter.


The book series is being published by the International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) and is a project of the OISTAT Publications and Communication Commission. OISTAT is a UNESCO-recognised organisation. Through its member centres and its individual and associate members, OISTAT draws together theatre production professionals from around the world for mutual learning and benefit. Its working commissions are in the areas of scenography, theatre technology, publications and communication, history and theory, education, and architecture. Both of the editors have worked for many years to benefit theatre professionals internationally through their involvement in OISTAT.


Eric Fielding is professor emeritus of scenic design at Brigham Young University; 30-year member of United Scenic Artists 829; USITT Fellow, former Vice-President, Founders' Award and Lifetime Member Award recipient; and former editor of TD&T. He served as designer for the gold medal-winning American exhibit at PQ'91; and was creator of the World Stage Design exhibition and director of its first mounting in Toronto, March 2005.

Peter McKinnon is professor of design and management at York University in Toronto; lighting designer on some 450 shows, principally dance and opera; an organizer of the Canadian exhibit at PQ'07; past president of Associated Designers of Canada; and 16-year member of the OISTAT executive committee. He has produced shows off- and on-Broadway and in Edinburgh. He edited One show, One Audience, One Single Space by Jean-Guy Lecat.


World Scenography 1975-1990
by Peter McKinnon & Eric Fielding, co-editors
ISBN: 978-92-990063-1-3 (softcover edition); 978-92-990063-0-6 (hardcover edition)
Number of pages: 432 pages
Images: 1300, color and B&W
Language of text: English
Format: 228mm x 310mm/9" x 12" (softcover edition); 236mm x 312mm/9.5" x 12.5" (hardcover edition)
Publication date: March 2012
Country of publication: Taiwan
Publisher: OISTAT (International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians)

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