This visualization project was inspired by Professor Luiz Fernando Ramos (Director – Postgraduate Studies, School of Scenic Arts, University of Sao Paulo) and he became our de facto client for this project. We met Luiz when he was a guest lecturer for our fall module ‘Visualizing the Past’ and introduced us to Edward Gordon Craig, his relationships with Irish theatre and W.B. Yeats and his scenographic screens concept. He presented a research discussion paper in which he proposed to us, “[. . .] a challenge to your skills of designing virtual stages, one which could result in a device that would makes Craig screens operational for everyone interested in playing with staging. The idea it would be to create an experimental “Screens Game” that could be used whether by theatre students and professionals or, even, anyone interested in games” (Ramos, 2013). Our own technical limitations (all of us were brand new to modeling at the beginning of the semester) as well as time constraints made it impossible for us to create a fully realized screens game, but we continued in Luiz’s vision to create this project (read about the stated aims and methods of our project here).
We reestablished contact with Luiz once the project began in February and he graciously agreed to consult with us. From him we learned a few important details which helped us set the parameters for our visualization methodology. He stressed the importance of the Karen Dorn article as well as Craig and Yeats’ sketches, which indeed turned out to be crucial for our project’s development. He also confirmed for us that little information on how Craig lit his screens or the Abbey light rigging at this time exists., confirming our own research findings. These key pieces of information allowed us to progress knowing that our model would have to be a hypothetical interpretation of how Craig’s scenography for Yeats’ productions could have looked at the Abbey rather than one based on known fact.
To conclude our project we notified Luiz and other stakeholders, primarily academics interested theatre history, scenography, Craig and Yeats’, about our research published on our blog. Even though we could not develop a screen’s game as Luiz envisaged, we hope that by making our research freely available online will help Luiz in his ongoing research as well as anyone who may be interested to better understand Craig’s vision of theatre as it was conceptualized at the old Abbey in Dublin.
- Ramos, Luiz Fernando. ‘Gordon Craig ‘Scene’ and a Proposal for a ‘Screens Game.’ School of Scenic Arts, University of Sao Paulo. 2013. Discussion Paper.
- Dorn, Karen. ‘Dialogue Into Movement: W.B. Yeats’s Theatre Collaboration with Gordon Craig’. Yeats and the Theatre. Ed. O’Driscoll, Robert and Reynolds, Lorna. London [etc.]: Macmillan, 1975. 109–137. Print.