Shedding light on theatre in the dark
Dr Shyldkrot has recently published a book chapter and journal article focussing on light and darkness in performance and their potential for settling or unsettling the audience.
Dr Shyldkrot is a Lecturer in Scenography and Design-led Performance, whose research and artistic work focus on and utilise contemporary performance practices to explore different relationships between uncertainty, perception and performance.
‘The unbearable brightness of beams: Light, darkness and obscure images’
The first publication is a chapter that appears in the book ‘Contemporary Performance Lighting: Experience, Creativity and Meaning, which has just been published by Bloomsbury Methuen.
Dr Shyldkrot’s chapter, ‘The unbearable brightness of beams: Light, darkness and obscure images’, addresses the experiential, processual, and uncertain modes of experiencing extreme levels of light or dark, with the aim of contributing to understandings of the meaning-making potential of encounters with light and darkness.
Yaron explained his theme: “The chapter explores light and lighting design by means of visual obfuscation. I examine the transformative role of light by looking at installations and performances which utilise light to confound or obstruct vision and generate experiences of not seeing clearly.”
‘(House) lights out: encounters with darkness and compositions of going dark’
The second publication is an article in Theatre and Performance Design Journal which was published recently and is titled: ‘(House) lights out: encounters with darkness and compositions of going dark’.
The audience is asked to pay more attention to houselights in the auditorium and their potential for settling or unsettling the audience by creating particular atmospheres and effects, attuning the audience to their reception of the performance.
Dr Shyldkrot explained, “I propose that houselights play an integral part in the performance event and carry a richer dramaturgical and scenographic role than is normally assigned to them. In a related move, within the growing study of theatrical darkness, the verb ‘to plunge' has been embraced to refer to the immersion of audiences in darkness. However, the recurring use of the term obscures the many ways through which audiences are invited into darkness.”
The chapter can be read in Theatre and Performance Design Journal.