Robert Lepage's Scenographic Dramaturgy: The Aesthetic Signature at Work

Melissa Poll

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Heir to the scenic writing tradition established by theatre’s modern movement, director Robert Lepage’s scenography is his entry point when adapting extant texts. Due to interest in the Québécois auteur’s devised offerings, however, Lepage’s highly physical adaptations of canonical works remain largely neglected in current scholarship. My book not only seeks to address this gap, but also to advance Lepage studies and pose new questions of adaptation theory. I have theorised Lepage’s approach as a three-pronged ‘scenographic dramaturgy’, a process and product that de-privileges dramatic text and relies, instead, on evocative, visual performance to adapt and radically re-envision canonical plays and operas. Because scenographic dramaturgy references the total visual world of a performance, the specific bodies used on stage (their acting and movement style, race, gender etc.) are considered here as they contribute to the theatre-making process and the visual performance text, highlighting the potential traps of staging intercultural adaptations in opera and theatre respectively. By examining a range of extant text productions mounted by Lepage, this project will detail how architectonic scenography, bodies in motion and historical-spatial mapping enable the auteur to adapt canonical works.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Gilbert, Helen, Supervisor
Award date1 Jul 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

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