Scenographing Affect - new book chapter by Astrid von Rosen


Here we go again - more scenography research! Finally, my testing of expanded scenography as a scholarly tool for accessing long gone audience experiences in multimodal situations has been published. The chapter contributes to the interdisciplinary field of scenography studies. I hope that interested readers can persuade libraries to make the e-book accessible. Please contact me if you wish to talk about the chapter! 

Performing Arts in Changing Societies (Routledge 2020) is a detailed exploration of genre development within the fields of dance, theatre, and opera in selected European countries during the decades before and after 1800. My chapter tells a story of theatre in the European periphery, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Here the theatre at Sillgatan offered the local community theatrical entertainments partly as a permanent, public theatre, partly as an intermediate home for itinerant troupes between the 1750s and the 1830s. I focuses not only on the theatre enterprise as such, but also on how historiography until now has treated a theatre from this period, with its shifting repertory and standing. As my point of departure and empiric entry gate I use the diary of one baron Patrick Alströmer. 

Using a concept of 'expanded scenography', I develop a methodology aiming at giving insight into real audiences' long gone expectations and experiences, and how a local theatre affected the lives of individuals. How, then, can audience experiences of distinctly embodied, multisensorial and spatial features, such as dance and equilibrist performances from the years around 1800, be accessed and situated? To answer the question, I explore the reciprocal encounter between bodies, spaces and experiential contexts in and beyond the theatre. I also introduce the reader to the field of expanded scenography, its key thinkers, central concepts and concerns, to argue for the relevance of this approach to performance history. 

von Rosen, A. (2020). "On the Wire: Scenographing Affect at Sillgateteatern in Gothenburg around 1800", in Randi M. Selvik, Svein Gladsø, Anne M. Fiskvik (eds.), Performing Arts in Changing Societies: Opera, Dance and Theatre in European and Nordic Countries around 1800, London and New York: Routledge. 204-217.