Audio: Craig, 50 Years On Presentations

Presentations and a discussion from an event held in Stevenage, Edward Gordon Craig's birthplace, on the 50th anniversary of his death in July 2016

Christopher Baugh FRSA, FHEA Emeritus Professor of Performance & Technology at University of Leeds 

Gordon Craig: Exploding Tradition and Inventor of the Modern Stage 40mins

Penny Francis MBE 

Craig and Puppetry Featuring excerpts from unpublished The Inner World of Edward Gordon Craig by Henryk Jurkowski (1927-2016) Professor of Theatre, Krakow 45mins

Prof Katharine Cockin FEA, PFHEA, FRSA 

Edward Gordon Craig and his sister, Edith Craig 40mins

Harvey Grossman 

Life Memories of Mr Craig & Craig and Isadora 1hr

Questions and Answers Chaired by Dr Rachel Hann, Lecturer in Scenography at University of Surrey with David Brind, former Scenic Artist at Royal Opera House, Lecturer in Art and Design; Katharine Cockin, Harvey Grossman 45mins

 

Christopher Baugh FHEA FRSA is Emeritus Professor of Performance and Technology at the University of Leeds and has taught scenography in university drama and theatre departments in Manchester, London Goldsmiths’, Kent and Hull. As professional scenographer he has worked in Bristol, California, Oregon, Manchester, London, and with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin winning a New York Drama Critics Tony ‘best staged play’ award for The Borstal Boy. Christopher was resident scenographer with Mecklenburgh Opera (1987-1997) winning the Prudential Award for Opera, and he designed the Terezin operas (Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Brundibar) for them and for BBC Television. His writings include: Garrick and Loutherbourg (1990); ‘Stage Design from Loutherbourg to Poel’ in Joseph Donohue (ed.) The Cambridge History of British Theatre, Vol. 2, (2004). ‘Philippe de Loutherbourg: technology-driven entertainment and spectacle in the late eighteenth century’ in the Huntington Library Quarterly, (2007); and, ‘Scenography and Technology 1737-1843’ in Jane Moody & Daniel O’Quinn (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1737-1843, (2007). His book Theatre, Performance and Technology: the development of scenography in the 20th century (Palgrave, 2005) was nominated and short-listed in 2007 by the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) for a Golden Pen Award. The book went to its enlarged 2nd edition in 2014. He has just written on Wagner, Fuchs, Craig and Appia for The Routledge Companion to Scenography (ed. Arnold Aronson) forthcoming in 2017 and has written numerous articles and book chapters on Edward Gordon Craig. In 1997, Christopher curated the Exploding Tradition exhibition on Craig at the V&A Theatre Museum and delivered the Gordon Craig Lecture for the Society for Theatre Research in 1998. He was a founding director of the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD). He chaired the panel preparing the subject benchmark statement, Dance, Drama and Performance for the Quality Assurance Agency (2000-2007), and he was Chair of the Drama, Dance and Performing Arts sub-panel for the UK Research Assessment Exercise, RAE2008. Christopher served as Deputy Convenor of the research assessment panel in creative and performing arts in Hong Kong in 2014, and is currently the Deputy Convenor of the Creative and Performing Arts research assessment panel for the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission (2018). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2005, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2007.

 

Penny Francis MBE, born 1931 in Calcutta, educated in various private schools in India and England, trained and worked as an actor, from 1950 to 1956. She was married to actor Derek Francis from1954 until his death in 1984, together having two daughters, Tessa and Julia. From 1961 she became involved with professional puppetry, recognising the artistry of several young practitioners in a profession then disregarded by the arts world. Penny co-founded the Puppet Centre Trust in 1974, an organisation designed to promote and develop the art form, and initiated a wide-ranging programme which helped to raise its profile and status and to attract statutory funding. She edited the magazine Animations for 14 years and received M.B.E. for services to puppetry in 1998. A tutor at the (now Royal) Central School of Speech and Drama from 1992 to 2008 she is now ongoing international consultant in puppetry to the School. Awarded Honorary Fellowship by the School in 2009, and Honorary Membership of the international association UNIMA in 2012, Penny published Puppetry, a Reader in Theatre Practice (Palgrave. 2012).

 

Katharine Cockin is Professor of English at the University of Hull. She has written two books on Edith Craig, the biography (1998) and Women and Suffrage in the Age of Theatre (2001) about Edith Craig's Pioneer Players theatre society. She is editor of The Collected Letters of Ellen Terry (8 vols; 6 in print so far, 2010-) and Ellen Terry: Lives of the Shakespearean Actors (series edited by Gail Marshall). In 2008 she launched the AHRC Ellen Terry and Edith Craig Database online guide to the National Trust’s archive of over 20,000 documents. This year she is leading a project to enhance that online resource as AHRC Searching for Theatrical Ancestors, demonstrated at the project conference at the British Library on Friday 29 July. Her new book, Edith Craig and the Theatres of Art is forthcoming in Jan 2017 with Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

 

Harvey Grossmann is a stage director who discovered Gordon Craig at the age of 14 in his native New York. He saw a Craig design in a History of Theatre book and decided, “This is my teacher”. Waving the banner for Craig amidst neo-Stanislavski-ites at New York’s High School of Performing Arts, Grossmann was happy at the age of 17 when a Boston magazine Chrysalis asked him to write an article Gordon Craig and the Actor. It gave him a pretext to write to Craig. Their correspondence spans ten years. (Many of the letters from Craig are now in the archives of the Theatre Museum, London.) The article was recently uncovered by Patrick de Boeuf who has charge of The Craig Collection at the National Library of France. Mr. De Boeuf cite’s Grossmann’s understanding of Craig’s ‘Uber-marionette’ as unique in being the only one with which Craig did not disagree.

Still 18, Grossmann joined Craig (who was 80) in Vence, France, and became ‘unofficial’ pupil-assistant to his teacher. On Craig’s advice he went on to study mime with Etienne Decroux in Paris and work as an assistant to Erwin Piscator in Goteborg, Sweden, the scene also of his own first work as director.

Teacher of mime in Israel, off-Broadway director in New York, Grossmann found ground for his Craigian roots in a New Hampshire touring company he founded: ‘The Players’ Theatre of New England’, which transposed to the stage stories and legends not written for it, with actors playing many-faced roles – not only human roles, but those of storms, ships, trees and beasts – playing even the very scene in which they move, playing even the change from one scene to another. This work led to the construction of the mobile CRUCIFORM THEATRE, built under the auspices of the Instituut voor Scheppende Ontwikkeling, Antwerp, under a subsidy from the Netherlands Institute for Theatre Research, Amsterdam.

Harvey Grossmann considers his CRUCIFORM THEATRE a direct continuation of the work of Gordon Craig. A point of mention is Harvey Grossmann’s production of Hamlet according to Craig, with the actors of TEATR’UBI, Covilha, Portugal, which toured in the Portugal and Spain in the year 2000.

Presently, Grossmann continues to lead production workshops founded on Craig’s work, to lecture about Craig, and about his own Cruciform Theatre, for groups of theatre practitioners and students at theatres, theatre academies and universities in the U.S.A, Belgium, France, England, Sweden and Portugal.

 

Dr Rachel Hann is a Lecturer in Scenography at the University of Surrey, appointed in January 2015 as part of the Guildford School of Acting (GSA). Rachel is currently acting Director of Postgraduate Research for the School of Arts. Her teaching and research focuses on the material cultures of costume, performance design, and architecture. 'Beyond Scenography’ will be Rachel’s first monograph (Routledge, 2017) and provides the first theory of scenography in response to the expanded practices of contemporary theatre and performance. The book argues that the Anglophone appropriation of scenography is critically distinct to the term ‘scenographic’: akin to the difference between performance and performativity, choreography and choreographic. Case studies argue how a scenographic perspective applies to fine art, architecture, propaganda and human geography. Rachel has also published several chapters and peer-reviewed articles on subjects such as costume politics and the performativity of architecture.

In 2013, Rachel co-founded the biennial conference and exhibition Critical Costume (www.criticalcostume.com). This international research network has since expanded with events in Liverpool (Edge Hill University, 2013), Finland (Aalto University, 2015), and Czech Republic (Prague Quadrennial, 2015). The last biennial conference had 300 delegates with an acceptance rate of 47%. Rachel has led a number of Critical Costume's core activities including co-convening the first event at Edge Hill, co-editorship of a special issue of Scene (Intellect) and writing the organization’s first constitution.

At Surrey, Rachel teaches across degrees in BA Theatre & Performance, BA Dance, and BA Performance Technologies & Production. In 2016/17, she will also lead modules on the MA Creative Practices & Direction. Rachel was nominated for a number of teaching awards at her previous institution and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Rachel is currently lead supervisor for Michelle Man's PhD project on ‘Light-scapes: Light and the dancing body’. Previously, Rachel has supervised PhD projects in digital narrative and memes, as well as the gender and blogging. Rachel welcomes applications for conventional and practice-as-research PhD proposals within the fields of scenography, twentieth-century modernism, costume, practice research, the digital humanities (virtual archaeology), and architecture.

Rachel is a co-editor of a new Practice Research section for Studies in Theatre and Performance, as well as Associate Editor (reviews) for the journal Theatre and Performance Design. Since 2014, Rachel has been an Executive Officer for the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA), having previously co-convened the Scenography working group (2010-2013).

Rachel studied for a BA Drama at the University of Hull (2002-2005). At the University of Leeds (2006-2011), Rachel’s PhD thesis employed computer-based 3D visualization as a research method to investigate unrealized utopian theatre architecture (www.utopiantheatres.co.uk). Before being appointed at Surrey, Rachel was a Lecturer in Performance at Edge Hill University (2010-2015). At Edge Hill, Rachel completed a PGCert in Higher Education.

 

Christopher Baugh FHEA FRSA is Emeritus Professor of Performance and Technology at the University of Leeds and has taught scenography in university drama and theatre departments in Manchester, London Goldsmiths’, Kent and Hull. As professional scenographer he has worked in Bristol, California, Oregon, Manchester, London, and with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin winning a New York Drama Critics Tony ‘best staged play’ award for The Borstal Boy. Christopher was resident scenographer with Mecklenburgh Opera (1987-1997) winning the Prudential Award for Opera, and he designed the Terezin operas (Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Brundibar) for them and for BBC Television. His writings include: Garrick and Loutherbourg (1990); ‘Stage Design from Loutherbourg to Poel’ in Joseph Donohue (ed.) The Cambridge History of British Theatre, Vol. 2, (2004). ‘Philippe de Loutherbourg: technology-driven entertainment and spectacle in the late eighteenth century’ in the Huntington Library Quarterly, (2007); and, ‘Scenography and Technology 1737-1843’ in Jane Moody & Daniel O’Quinn (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1737-1843, (2007). His book Theatre, Performance and Technology: the development of scenography in the 20th century (Palgrave, 2005) was nominated and short-listed in 2007 by the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) for a Golden Pen Award. The book went to its enlarged 2nd edition in 2014. He has just written on Wagner, Fuchs, Craig and Appia for The Routledge Companion to Scenography (ed. Arnold Aronson) forthcoming in 2017 and has written numerous articles and book chapters on Edward Gordon Craig. In 1997, Christopher curated the Exploding Tradition exhibition on Craig at the V&A Theatre Museum and delivered the Gordon Craig Lecture for the Society for Theatre Research in 1998. He was a founding director of the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD). He chaired the panel preparing the subject benchmark statement, Dance, Drama and Performance for the Quality Assurance Agency (2000-2007), and he was Chair of the Drama, Dance and Performing Arts sub-panel for the UK Research Assessment Exercise, RAE2008. Christopher served as Deputy Convenor of the research assessment panel in creative and performing arts in Hong Kong in 2014, and is currently the Deputy Convenor of the Creative and Performing Arts research assessment panel for the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission (2018). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2005, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2007.

 

Penny Francis MBE, born 1931 in Calcutta, educated in various private schools in India and England, trained and worked as an actor, from 1950 to 1956. She was married to actor Derek Francis from1954 until his death in 1984, together having two daughters, Tessa and Julia. From 1961 she became involved with professional puppetry, recognising the artistry of several young practitioners in a profession then disregarded by the arts world. Penny co-founded the Puppet Centre Trust in 1974, an organisation designed to promote and develop the art form, and initiated a wide-ranging programme which helped to raise its profile and status and to attract statutory funding. She edited the magazine Animations for 14 years and received M.B.E. for services to puppetry in 1998. A tutor at the (now Royal) Central School of Speech and Drama from 1992 to 2008 she is now ongoing international consultant in puppetry to the School. Awarded Honorary Fellowship by the School in 2009, and Honorary Membership of the international association UNIMA in 2012, Penny published Puppetry, a Reader in Theatre Practice (Palgrave. 2012).

 

Katharine Cockin is Professor of English at the University of Hull. She has written two books on Edith Craig, the biography (1998) and Women and Suffrage in the Age of Theatre (2001) about Edith Craig's Pioneer Players theatre society. She is editor of The Collected Letters of Ellen Terry (8 vols; 6 in print so far, 2010-) and Ellen Terry: Lives of the Shakespearean Actors (series edited by Gail Marshall). In 2008 she launched the AHRC Ellen Terry and Edith Craig Database online guide to the National Trust’s archive of over 20,000 documents. This year she is leading a project to enhance that online resource as AHRC Searching for Theatrical Ancestors, demonstrated at the project conference at the British Library on Friday 29 July. Her new book, Edith Craig and the Theatres of Art is forthcoming in Jan 2017 with Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

 

Harvey Grossmann is a stage director who discovered Gordon Craig at the age of 14 in his native New York. He saw a Craig design in a History of Theatre book and decided, “This is my teacher”. Waving the banner for Craig amidst neo-Stanislavski-ites at New York’s High School of Performing Arts, Grossmann was happy at the age of 17 when a Boston magazine Chrysalis asked him to write an article Gordon Craig and the Actor. It gave him a pretext to write to Craig. Their correspondence spans ten years. (Many of the letters from Craig are now in the archives of the Theatre Museum, London.) The article was recently uncovered by Patrick de Boeuf who has charge of The Craig Collection at the National Library of France. Mr. De Boeuf cite’s Grossmann’s understanding of Craig’s ‘Uber-marionette’ as unique in being the only one with which Craig did not disagree.

Still 18, Grossmann joined Craig (who was 80) in Vence, France, and became ‘unofficial’ pupil-assistant to his teacher. On Craig’s advice he went on to study mime with Etienne Decroux in Paris and work as an assistant to Erwin Piscator in Goteborg, Sweden, the scene also of his own first work as director.

Teacher of mime in Israel, off-Broadway director in New York, Grossmann found ground for his Craigian roots in a New Hampshire touring company he founded: ‘The Players’ Theatre of New England’, which transposed to the stage stories and legends not written for it, with actors playing many-faced roles – not only human roles, but those of storms, ships, trees and beasts – playing even the very scene in which they move, playing even the change from one scene to another. This work led to the construction of the mobile CRUCIFORM THEATRE, built under the auspices of the Instituut voor Scheppende Ontwikkeling, Antwerp, under a subsidy from the Netherlands Institute for Theatre Research, Amsterdam.

Harvey Grossmann considers his CRUCIFORM THEATRE a direct continuation of the work of Gordon Craig. A point of mention is Harvey Grossmann’s production of Hamlet according to Craig, with the actors of TEATR’UBI, Covilha, Portugal, which toured in the Portugal and Spain in the year 2000.

Presently, Grossmann continues to lead production workshops founded on Craig’s work, to lecture about Craig, and about his own Cruciform Theatre, for groups of theatre practitioners and students at theatres, theatre academies and universities in the U.S.A, Belgium, France, England, Sweden and Portugal.

 

Dr Rachel Hann is a Lecturer in Scenography at the University of Surrey, appointed in January 2015 as part of the Guildford School of Acting (GSA). Rachel is currently acting Director of Postgraduate Research for the School of Arts. Her teaching and research focuses on the material cultures of costume, performance design, and architecture. 'Beyond Scenography’ will be Rachel’s first monograph (Routledge, 2017) and provides the first theory of scenography in response to the expanded practices of contemporary theatre and performance. The book argues that the Anglophone appropriation of scenography is critically distinct to the term ‘scenographic’: akin to the difference between performance and performativity, choreography and choreographic. Case studies argue how a scenographic perspective applies to fine art, architecture, propaganda and human geography. Rachel has also published several chapters and peer-reviewed articles on subjects such as costume politics and the performativity of architecture.

In 2013, Rachel co-founded the biennial conference and exhibition Critical Costume (www.criticalcostume.com). This international research network has since expanded with events in Liverpool (Edge Hill University, 2013), Finland (Aalto University, 2015), and Czech Republic (Prague Quadrennial, 2015). The last biennial conference had 300 delegates with an acceptance rate of 47%. Rachel has led a number of Critical Costume's core activities including co-convening the first event at Edge Hill, co-editorship of a special issue of Scene (Intellect) and writing the organization’s first constitution.

At Surrey, Rachel teaches across degrees in BA Theatre & Performance, BA Dance, and BA Performance Technologies & Production. In 2016/17, she will also lead modules on the MA Creative Practices & Direction. Rachel was nominated for a number of teaching awards at her previous institution and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Rachel is currently lead supervisor for Michelle Man's PhD project on ‘Light-scapes: Light and the dancing body’. Previously, Rachel has supervised PhD projects in digital narrative and memes, as well as the gender and blogging. Rachel welcomes applications for conventional and practice-as-research PhD proposals within the fields of scenography, twentieth-century modernism, costume, practice research, the digital humanities (virtual archaeology), and architecture.

Rachel is a co-editor of a new Practice Research section for Studies in Theatre and Performance, as well as Associate Editor (reviews) for the journal Theatre and Performance Design. Since 2014, Rachel has been an Executive Officer for the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA), having previously co-convened the Scenography working group (2010-2013).

Rachel studied for a BA Drama at the University of Hull (2002-2005). At the University of Leeds (2006-2011), Rachel’s PhD thesis employed computer-based 3D visualization as a research method to investigate unrealized utopian theatre architecture (www.utopiantheatres.co.uk). Before being appointed at Surrey, Rachel was a Lecturer in Performance at Edge Hill University (2010-2015). At Edge Hill, Rachel completed a PGCert in Higher Education.