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Everything the Light Touches: Lighting Time, Space, and Action in the work of Theatre Re

Wednesday 23 June 2021, 4.00PM to 5pm

Light is a powerful material, not only revealing the bodies, spaces, and objects in its path, but also transforming how things look and feel. The form, colour, and quality of light can affect our moods in both subtle and powerful ways in a range of contexts. In the theatre, these properties of revelation, transformation, and affect become powerful storytelling tools through the manipulation of light and dark in performance. As a material of the theatre, light is both ephemeral and concrete; both mysterious and practical.  Once thought of as a primarily technical aspect, there is now an ever-increasing awareness of the creative importance of light and the ways in which it can be used in performance practice. Drawing on examples from Theatre Re’s practice, and insights from current light research, this talk explores the role of light in performance, examining, in particular, the ways that light behaves in relation to space, time, and action. Along the way, the talk will  discuss how light operates as one of many languages in Theatre Re’s visual dramaturgy.   

Katherine Graham is a designer and researcher. She is an associate artist with Theatre Re, and has designed the lighting for BIRTH, The Nature of Forgetting, Blind Man’s Song, The Little Soldiers, and The Gambler. Selected other credits include: MADHOUSE re:exit with Access All Areas; Saxon Court and Responsible Other with Made by Brick; and Nineveh with Theatre Témoin. She is also a lecturer in theatre in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television, and Interactive Media at the University of York, where she teaches a range of approaches to theatre-making, and researches the agency of materials in contemporary performance. She has published articles on light, scenography, and dramaturgy in Theatre and Performance Design, Contemporary Theatre Review, and Studies in Theatre and Performance. She is a co-editor of a forthcoming volume on performance lighting with Bloomsbury Methuen. 


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