The third part of the international project which has been carried out by the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków since 2011 is to address the change in the understanding of the function and organisation of a space for theatrical performance over the first decade of the 21st century. Similarly to two previous parts of the project we will try to compare the quality and the extent of change in Eastern andWestern Europe, to assess its impact on the European theatrical life and to identify its relations to earlier theatrical traditions. Along with participants from the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, representatives of nine European partner theatres will participate in the conference (Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Milan, Italy; Volksbühne, Berlin, Germany; Vakhtangov Theatre and Sovremennik, Moscow, Russia; Svandovo Divadlo na Smichove, Prague, the Czech Republic; La Rose de Vents, France, Voskresinnia in Lviv and the Kyiv Academic Youth Theatre, Ukraine, and last, but not least the State Youth Theatre (Jaunimo Teatras) in Vilnius, Lithuania), as well as invited guests – theatrologists, theatre critics, animators of theatrical life, students of theatre schools and many other guests.
We will discuss the issue of change in the theatrical space in the recent decade, as well as new ways of managing the stage space. As to the first issue, we will, first of all, ask the question about the consequences of the trend towards using extra-theatrical and virtual spaces in the practice of today’s theatre, which is becoming more and more visible nowadays. We will try to find out whether these spaces and the traditional performance venue – the classical theatre building – are in conflict in the 21st-century. Or maybe the multitude of spaces which are now offered to theatrical performances adds to the diversity and multidirectional character of the creative pursuit. As far as the traditional space is concerned, we will discuss new methods and facilities available for building relations between the stage and the audience.
We will take a look at the current trends in designing the theatrical space (e.g. the vanishing of veristic scenography, the creation of symbolic or minimalist stage design, the use of natural scenery, unconventional methods of creating the stage space etc.), as well at visible changes in understanding of the function of various means supporting stage production (lighting, stage structures, stage technology etc.) Then we will explore costumographic aspects and new ways of using props and costume in the recent decade. Finally, we will also focus on the use of up-to-date media techniques (screening, Internet and TV broadcasting, computer techniques etc.) to create the theatrical and stage space, as well as on the impact of all these elements on the overall artistic form of a contemporary performance. Drawing on the modern performativeness aesthetics, we will also address new methods of bringing about the material effect of theatrical practices and with the role of such methods to achieve a performative influence on the audience’s perception.
We do hope that this November meeting will offer its participants the opportunity to familiarise themselves with a multitude and diversity of the modern theatre’s scenic worlds.