Theatre Ph.D. Dissertations

Exhibiting Scenographic Identities at the 2007 & 2011 Prague Quadrennials

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Michael Ellison (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Ashutosh Sohoni (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Jonathan Chambers (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Steve Boone (Committee Member)


Theatrical design is difficult to exhibit as Art. During the course of the twentieth-century, prominent theatre designers have sought ways to share their revolutionary ideas and remarkable work with an outside audience. In this dissertation, I examine the boundaries, struggles and methodologies found within contemporary design exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial. More specifically, I explore a philosophical shift taking place between the 2007 and 2011 Prague Quadrennials, as the event’s artistic leadership repositions the scenographic underpinnings toward a more inclusive theory of performance design. This resultant shift occurs due to several trends throughout the Prague Quadrennial’s history including: decentralization, the inclusion of performance and the contextualization of scenographic artifacts. I examine the significant impact of this philosophical shift on the event’s curatorial visions, audience interactions and connections with the city of Prague.