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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Theatre and Performance Design

For a Special Issue on
On Light

Abstract deadline
09 January 2023

Manuscript deadline
03 June 2023

Cover image - Theatre and Performance Design

Special Issue Editor(s)

Katherine Graham, University of York
[email protected]

Scott Palmer, University of Leeds
[email protected]

Kelli Zezulka, University of Salford, Manchester
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

On Light

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue of the international journal, Theatre and Performance Design, Autumn 2023, entitled On Light, guest edited by Katherine Graham, Scott Palmer and Kelli Zezulka.

Light is a fundamental material of performance where it is employed as a transformational aesthetic medium. Conditions of light and dark permeate every

experience, in and beyond the theatre, but light itself remains ephemeral, transient, and mysterious. Performance, however, reveals that light can be both

material and immaterial, thing and non-thing, as light in contemporary performance exerts a significant phenomenal presence as an object in space while remaining intangible. As the recent flourishing of scholarship on performance light has shown, close attention to the material of light opens up wider questions about experience, dramaturgy, aesthetics, and meaning-making.

Launching this call for papers as we approach the December solstice – the darkest point in the year for the Northern Hemisphere, and the time of the longest days in the Southern Hemisphere – we invite considerations of differential experiences of light and dark and of the ways in which light shapes our understanding of performance and the world around us. This special issue of Theatre and Performance Design will celebrate the multiplicity of light in the expanded field of scenography, acknowledging that this field offers a realm in which encounters, experiences and meanings are composed and thus affords a privileged site through which to explore the intersection of materials and understanding. In this context, light is an especially potent subject of analysis; light is imbricated with space and site, and is actively in relation with all other theatrical elements. In addition, light is bound up with both the temporal and the sensorial experience of performance in ways that provoke questions about the links between the aesthetic and the ethical in contemporary scenographic practice. This special edition will be the first scholarly journal to concentrate solely on the material of light as an agential force in contemporary performance.

Submissions are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Aesthetics of light
  • Experiential encounters with light
  • The ethics of light
  • (im)Materiality of light
  • Decolonising light
  • The role of light in expanded scenography
  • Light in cultural events
  • Light in virtual and mixed reality environments
  • The work of specific designers and directors
  • The contribution of the lighting designer in contemporary practice
  • Light and the historical stage
  • Light and dramaturgy
  • Light and attention
  • Light and space
  • Light and the body
  • Light and costume
  • Light and temporality
  • Light and atmosphere

All articles are subject to peer review.

Submission Instructions

In the first instance, proposals for contributions should take the form of a 300-word abstract to be submitted to editorial associate Nick Tatchell a [email protected] by 9th January 2023. For accepted proposals, full articles are usually 6000–8000 words in length, or alternative forms of submission including visual essays, media files, interviews with designers, directors or architects are accepted.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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