lectures and demonstrations

Lectures and demonstrations

During the Wood and Canvas congress we recorded and documented all the lectures and presentations. They are listed in alphabetic order of the presenter.

Reviving routines: tricks, traps and transformations in British pantomime.

Chris Abbott, King’s College London, United Kingdom

In traditional pantomime, the SL trap is essential for the appearance of the malevolent agent, and other traps in the stage floor and flats are essential for scenes such as the Haunted Bedroom in Cinderella or the “going through the mangle” scene in Aladdin.
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Machinery of the palace theatre in Český Krumlov, CZ (1766) and its restoration and present use.

Jiří Bláha, Foundation of Baroque Theatre of Český Krumlov Castle, Czech Republic

The Palace theatre in Český Krumlov (1766) is used for guided visits, but experimental productions using original machinery are occasionally held as well. Show More

A Disappearing Act: Theatre Preservation through Stage Technology

Idan Braslavi, Braslavi Architects Ltd., Israel

Description: “The Tel-Aviv Culture Palace, the residence of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, had become acoustically and technically limiting over the years. Show More

Is Baroque stage machinery insufficient for contemporary scenery?

Reinhold Daberto, Daberto + Kollegen Planungsgesellschaft: Theater Projekte, Germany

What are the typical movements which could be performed with baroque machineries and have these movements changed in contemporary set changes? Show More

The Sounds of Wood and Canvas in the Theatres of Wood and Canvas

Per Simon Edström, Arena Theater Institute Foundation & Perspectiv & Swedish Theatre Technicians Union, Sweden Show More

Lost, but Partially Recovered: The Original Stock Sets of the Bourla

Bruno Forment, Ghent University/Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Compiled in the early 20th century and currently held at the Felixarchief (Antwerp), the “Indicateurs des décors de répertoire” document the use of +3,000 flats, drops, and props in 134 operas and operettas at the Théâtre Royal (Bourla) in Antwerp. Show More

Raked Stages in the UK

Peter Ruthven Hall, United Kingdom

I will draw on 9 case studies to illustrate a talk about how we in the UK are working with rakes. I will include a theatre that has lost character by removal of the rake contrasted with one that has not; Show More

The primitive baroque machinery
historical background and proposals for inducing on preserved stages new forms of creating a theater of performing objects.

Dominique Lauvernier, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (HISTARA), Paris & Caen University, France

The preserved machineries were built in the last thirty years of the 18th century, and most of them in the 19th century, when the european stage machinery became  simplified and normalized; Show More

Boat Technologies Used in Theatre in the Past are Still Alive

Jean-Guy Lecat, theatrEurope vzw, France

Last year I have to do a set for the opera ‘Guillaume Tell’, which is a challenge for any set designer as the story needs: a village, a lake with a boat, a house in montages, a castle in montage that had to burn and a happy end with what is considered in Suisse land a revolution. Show More

Bourla Theatre: renovation versus restoration

Jerome Maeckelbergh, theatrEurope vzw, Belgium

This presentation will give reactions on the feasibility study ordered by the City of Antwerp on the renovation of the Bourla theatre. Pointing out the weaknesses of the study, specifically on the pretended ameliorations of sight lines and pretended upgrade of the auditorium. Show More

Heritage Theatre Machinery: unexpected possibilities

Jerome Maeckelbergh, theatrEurope vzw, Belgium

On the hand of a scale model, in the first part of this presentation, solutions will be shown for companies who have complaints and problems to play or make a production on a raked floor. Show More

Building the Sphinx – A Nineteenth Century Stage Illusion for the Digital Age

John Mayberry, York University, Canada

​I will explore the phenomenon that was observed at our performances of “The Sphinx”, where many people accustomed to seeing all manners of wonders through the “magic” of modern digital technology, were completely confused to learn that our illusion was done without any such thing. Show More

An 18th Century Theatre Still Kicking

Torsten Nobling, Drottninghom Castle Theatre, Sweden

The Endangered Raked Stage

Martien van Goor, Greiner, Van Goor, Huijten Architecten BV, Netherlands

The Koninklijke Schouwburg Theatre in The Hague as an example. In 1802, prominent citizens of The Hague rented a palace and transformed it into a theatre. Show More

Audience operated wooden machinery in contemporary pop-up context

Cornelis (Casey) van Sebille,  Adelaide College of the Arts,  Australia

The revitalisation of flexible wooden stage machinery may be served by locating power and control in the hands of the audience as a narrative engaging experience. Show More

A Misunderstood Mystery?

David Wilmore, Theatresearch, United Kingdom

​Although architects wrote about theatre architecture in the nineteenth century, very little was written by practising stage machinist, much of which has had to be rediscovered by “trial and error” interspersed with inspiration and perspiration. Show More

A one to four model

Rens Planckaert and Chris Van Goethem, Expertise Centre for Technical theatre RITCS - EhB

The one to four scale model was built to research and present hands-on wooden machinery. Participants had the opportunity to try themself and discover the finesses of this amazing equipment.Show More

The final panel

The conference ended on Sunday 15 June with a Final Panel, with a first part gathering comments from the attendants on the content offered in this conference, and a second part having a confrontation with the different involved parties in the renovation/restoration of the Bourla theatre who defended their plans. This was very courageous from them, as they hadn’t attended any of the previous presentations. Video captions of this Final Panel can be seen on this page.