Performing Light: Experience, Meaning and Autonomy of Contemporary Theatre Lighting

Yaron Abulafia

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    154 Downloads (Pure)


    This research illuminates the function of light as a cogent force in contemporary theatre performance, the rising autonomy of light and its relation to other performative media, and the new themes and concepts from which contemporary lighting design derives its meaning. The study explores and discusses the evolution of lighting design against the background of developments within contemporary theatre. It argues that in contemporary theatre both the representational possibilities and the artistic potential of the medium of light have grown significantly.

    The study examines the evolution of lighting design in contemporary theatre through an exploration of two fundamental issues, which are addressed by means of both a theoretical reflection and an interpretative analysis:
    1. What gave rise to the new directions in lighting design in contemporary theatre?
    2. How can these new directions in lighting design be characterized in comparison to the
    use of light in earlier periods?

    The research then focuses on the phenomenological and semiotic aspects of the medium of light – the role of light as a performer, as the medium of visual perception and as a stimulus for imaginative representations – in selected contemporary theatre productions by Robert Wilson, Romeo Castellucci, Heiner Goebbels, Jossi Wieler and David Zinder.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • van Heusden, Barend, Supervisor
    Award date25-Feb-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-8639-3
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8640-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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