Expressionist Dramaturgy as a Template for Intermedial Performance

By: David Pellegrini   Kristen Morgan Morgan  

Because of the many opportunities for staging and design innovations, August Strindberg’s “proto-expressionist” dramas have appealed to theatre practitioners for over a century. The earliest experiments in dramaturgical formalism, plays such as "The Keys of Heaven" and "A Dream Play" are packed with dense imagery and intertextual references that need to be realized across aural, pictorial, and imagistic elements that don’t merely serve the narratives, but actualize them. At the same time the structural elements of these plays harken back to medieval station and pageant dramas, when narrative “cycles” were enacted in site-specific locales and embodied by players and spectators in constant motion. New digital technologies combined with an emphasis on immersion and interactivity in contemporary performance expand the interpretive possibilities for such works, and within a university setting, for applied student learning of media technologies. Collaborators David Pellegrini and Kristen Morgan have adapted, condensed, and designed Strindberg’s rarely performed "To Damascus" trilogy as both an intermedial production and a template for training students to operate and design with virtual/augmented reality systems, performance capture technology, media server systems, and other media technologies. They will present their dramaturgical and design process, including storyboards, media mapping, and pedagogical templates for this production.

"Media", " Representation", " Intermediality", " Performance", " Liveness", " Virtual"
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. David Pellegrini

-, -, Eastern Connecticut State University, United States
Connecticut, United States

David Pellegrini is Professor of Theatre History, Theory and Criticism, and has been teaching and directing productions for the Theatre and New Media Studies programs at Eastern Connecticut State University for the past eighteen years. He has published articles and performance reviews in Adaptation: The Journal for Literature On Screen Studies, Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Theatre Survey and Text and Presentation; served as the Book Review Editor for the New England Theatre Journal and has presented numerous papers at the American Society for Theatre Research, Comparative Drama, Modernist Studies, and Film and Literature conferences. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. in Drama from San Francisco State University.

Prof. Kristen Morgan Morgan

Eastern Connecticut State University, United States
Connecticut, United States

Kristen Morgan designs scenery and projected media for live performance. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Performing Arts at Eastern Connecticut State University. Teaching areas include Scenography and Emergent Media. Professional work includes projects for Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, Soho Rep (NYC), The Piano Store (NYC), Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theater (NYC), New York University, Columbia University, ESPN Winter and Summer X Games, Perrier, Stanford University, and Radio City Music Hall. Kristen worked for many years in New York with Hotopp Associates and CPR-Group. Prior to teaching at Eastern, she taught Scenic Technology in the Department of Theatre and Cinema at Virginia Tech. She is also a longtime collaborator with The Gravity Project/Juniata Visiting Artist Collective and Washington, D.C. area-based The Hub Theatre.