Revivals and the Archive: The role of the archive in re-creating lighting for revivals of theatre productions

Research output: Contributions to conferencesPaper



This paper seeks to explore how the artefacts relating to the lighting design of a
production kept in the archives relate to the performance on stage, and how these
are used in future revivals of performances. How important are the artefacts
documenting precisely the technical aspects of a performance, and what role does
the memory and artistic interpretation of the creative team tasked with reviving the
performance play? Should we regard the revival as a "reproduction" in Benjamin's
sense, or are we creating a new instance of the artwork that should be seen as its
own original?
The archives contain technical information such as cue sheets, lighting plans and
focus notes as well as visual references in the form of photographs and video
recordings. Is there an ideal way to archive a production that allows future access to
an ephemeral element of scenography such as lighting? What would such an ideal
archive look like? Is perhaps the most useful aspect in reviving a design the
presence of personal memory, whether this is the presence of the original lighting
designer or team members who helped create the original design?
Drawing on archival research at Glyndebourne Opera House, interviews with
designers and technical staff as well as my own experience as lighting designer and
"re-lighter" I will briefly describe the process of reproducing the lighting design before
discussing the usefulness of varied archival artefacts in this process.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 9 Nov 2018
EventTheater und Technik: 14. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft - Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany
Duration: 8 Nov 201811 Nov 2018


ConferenceTheater und Technik
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