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Staging Atmospheres


Senate House (8th December), Arts 1 QMUL (9th December)
Londres, Royaum-Uni


A propos

Staging Atmospheres – Theatre and the Atmospheric Turn

Staging Atmospheres – Theatre and the Atmospheric Turn is a two-day conference and workshop organized at Queen Mary University of London, with support of the International Ambiances Network. It presents an interdisciplinary interrogation of the place of theatre in the understanding of ”atmosphere”.
Within the current interdisciplinary atmospheric turn, theatre has presented itself as an heuristic paradigm in which the social, material and political elements of atmosphere are thought to resonate – albeit in an idealised manner. How stable is this paradigm as it departs from the specificities and exigencies of theatrical practice? What might the extended mode and model of ”performance” with which theatre studies has conducted a sustained enquiry over more than half a century, add to other disciplinary studies of ”atmosphere”?
The questions of how and where atmosphere inheres, and what generates, informs and influences it within performance situations, have not yet been consistently addressed. This conference presents the opportunity to tackle both the abstract and paradigmatic as well as the concrete and specific in order to produce more profound understandings of the operation and significance of ”atmosphere” both within and without the theatre.
Conference organisers, Martin Welton and Penelope Woods, are keen to encourage dialogue amongst artists and academics across a range of disciplines beyond theatre and performance studies and internationally.


  • Tonino Griffero, Universita di Roma Tor Vergata
  • Carl Lavery, University of Glasgow


Day 1, Dec. 8th, 2017 – Senate House, Bloomsbury, Central London

9am-9.15 Registration – Senate Room, Senate House
9.15-9.45 Opening Address and Welcome
  • Dr Martin Welton, Queen Mary University of London
  • Dr Penelope Woods, Queen Mary University of London
  • Dr Damien Masson, Université de Cergy-Pontoise and the International Ambiances Network
9.45-10.45 Keynote 1
  • Professor Tonino Griffero, Università di Roma Tor Vergata  – Theatrical Atmospheres: Much Ado About Nothing?

10.45-11.15 Break

11.15-1 Panel 1: Contexts and Frameworks – spaces, bodies and climate
  • Dr. Tom Cornford, Central School of Speech and Drama – Michael Chekhov’s Atmospheric Dramaturgy
  • Lydia Jorgensøn, Copenhagen Business School – The Theatrical in Organizational Atmosphere
  • Dr. Evelyn O’Malley, University of Exeter – Weathering Atmospheric Theatre
  • Dr. Rosie Klich, University of Kent – Mediated Absence and Sensory Bleed

1-2 Lunch (Jessell Room)

2-3.40 Panel 2: Containment and Circulation – mood, breath and air

  • Dr. George Home-Cook, Independent Scholar – Attending Atmospheres
  • Dr. Anna Harpin, University of Warwick – Something and Nothing: Realism and Melancholy in Marsha Norman’s ‘Night, Mother’
  • Dr. Chloe Preedy, University of Exeter – ‘Contagious’, ‘Poisoned’, and ‘Stinking’: Early Modern Theatrical Atmospheres
  • Dr. Allison Deutermann, CUNY – Early Modern Breath and Breathing: 2 Henry 6

3.40-4 Break

4-5.30 Panel 3: Practical and ambient technologies of atmosphere in the theatre

  • Dr. Scott Palmer, University of Leeds – Light, darkness and scenographic atmosphere
  • Dr. Casper Ebbensgaard, Queen Mary University of London – On the margins of the artificially illuminated city
  • Dr. Joslin McKinney, University of Leeds – Scenographic atmosphere and spectatorship: materialities and affordances

5.30-6- Roundup and Information  for Saturday’s Workshop

6-7 Break: Travel to Barbican Centre / Canteen and Diner on site for dinner
7.15 Titus Andronicus dir. Blanche McIntyre for The Royal Shakespeare Company at The Barbican Centre
  • 3 hours including interval
  • Suggested places for post-show drinks: The Jugged Hare / Two Brewers

Day 2, Dec. 9th, 2017 – Arts One and Two Buildings, Queen Mary University of London

9-9.30 Coffee (Arts One Foyer)
9.30-12.30 Workshop – Arts One Building
  • Yaron Shyldkrot, University of Surrey – Working Group 1
  • Karen Christopher, Queen Mary University of London – Working Group 2
  • Chloe Déchery, Université Paris 8 – Working Group 3
12.30-1.15 Lunch (Arts One Foyer)
1.15-2 Kimosphere 5 
  • Scenography by Johannes Birringer / design in motion by Michèle Danjoux
  • Sound by Sara S. Belle
  • Mugu interfaces by Haein Song
  • Dancers: Helenna Ren, Haein Song, Zhi Xu, Vanessa Michielon
  • Virtual Reality design: Doros Polydorou
2-3 Keynote 2
  • Professor Carl Lavery, University of Glasgow

3-3.15 Break

3.15-5.15 Plenary Discussion
  • Feedback from Working Groups

5.15-5.45 Summary and Next Steps

5.45 Close
  • Post-conference drinks at The Morgan Arms, Tredegar Square


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