27114 - Scenography: Elements, Theory, History

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Drama, Art and Music Studies (cod. 0956)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will be able to: - know in depth the historical and constructive evolution of the scenography and of the scenic space in the West; - analyze specific themes, models and aesthetic principles of scenography and scenic space, contextualize them in a historical-anthropological perspective and develop them using methods, tools and documentation typical of scientific research; - research autonomously a topic using different document sources; - knows how to critically interpret the relationship between ritual and performance, also in reference to extra-western traditions.


Course contents

The course is divided into a module corresponding to 60 teaching hours and 12 credits (credits).

Beginning: 14/02 2022.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday : 11 am-1pm.

Non-human performers and the history of performing spaces

The course aims to investigate the evolution of the stage space and of the theatrical cultures related to it by reconstructing the link between some theatrical and performative spaces (for example the Roman amphitheaters, the Elizabethan theaters, the circus, the square, the landscape theater)  and the non-human performers who exhibit and perform in those spaces as a counter-cultural and political instance.

Another dimension of the analysis – of a performative and anthropological kind - is that typical to certain spaces in ancient history and to certain possession performances in Africa.

In addition we plan to explore in person some scenic spaces in the city of Bologna and elsewhere.



  1. Titomanlio Carlo, On stage. History of scenography and theatrical architecture, Florence-Lucca, La Casa Usher, 2019. OR  Perrelli Franco, History of scenography. From Antiquity to the 21st Century, 2nd ed., Rome, Carocci publisher, 2013 (You need to get this edition).
  2. Budriesi Laura, Michel Leiris. Il teatro della possessione, Bologna, Pàtron Editore, 2017.
  3. Budriesi Laura (a cura di) Animal performance studies. La scena del non umano in una cornice antropologica e filosofica (published soon) OR Giacobbe Borelli Maia (a cura di),Teatro Natura. Il teatro nel paesaggio di Sista Bramini e il progetto "Mila di Codra", Spoleto (PG), Editoria& Spettacolo, 2015.
  4. Notes of the lessons (only for attending students). 
  5. For non-attending students only: one text chosen from the following list:
    • Azzaroni Giovanni, Budriesi Laura, Natali Cristiana (a cura di) Danzare l’Africa oggi in: "Arti della performance: orizzonti e culture", collana on line a cura di Casari Matteo, Guccini Gerardo. (Free download://www.dar.unibo.it/it/ricerca/prodotti-della-ricerca/arti-della-performance-orizzonti-e-culture).
    • Budriesi Laura Michel Leiris sui palcoscenici della possessione. Etiopia e Haiti. Scritti 1930-1983, Bologna, Pàtron, 2017.
    • Cruciani Fabrizio, Lo spazio del teatro, Bari-Roma, Laterza, 2005.
    • Dal Min Silvia, Decapitare la Gorgone. Ostensione dell'immagine e della parola nel teatro di Anagoor, Corazzano (Pi), 2016.
    • Marino Massimo (a cura di) Teatro delle Ariette. La vita attorno a un tavolo, Corazzano (Pi), Titivillus, 2017.
    • Ponte Di Pino Oliviero, Romeo Castellucci & Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, Ateatro-Doppiozero, 2013 (formato ebook).
    • Porcheddu Andrea, Teatro Stalla. Animali, uomini, dei, Bergamo, Moretti & Vitali Editori, 2014.
    • Scabia, Giuliano, Marco Cavallo. Da un ospedale psichiatrico la vera storia che ha cambiato il modo di essere del teatro e della cura, Merano, Alphabeta, 2011.
    • Scabia Giuliano, Scala e sentiero verso il Paradiso. Trent'anni di apprendistato teatrale attraverso l'università, Firenze-Lucca, La Casa Usher, 2021.


Teaching methods

The course provides for the active participation of attending students who will be guided in the analysis of scenographic-spatial elements through the commented vision of iconographic materials, shows, ethnographic documentaries.

Attending students will also be required to participate with a presentation in front of the classroom.

In addition we plan to explore in person some scenic spaces in the city of Bologna and elsewhere.

Possibly there will be a final educational trip.

Assessment methods

An initial assessment of learning takes place in the classroom, during the course, through dialogue with the students. This dialogue is not aimed at the final attribution of the vote but to test interests and explain any unclear points.

For attending students (optional):writing and presentation of an in-depth work to be carried out during the course.

For everyone: final interview during the exam.

The final interview will focus on the texts indicated in the program in order to ascertain the student's ability to orient himself between the different scenographic typologies and theatrical spaces in the various historical periods, managing to recognize continuity and changes of the scenographic forms themselves; to promptly comment on iconographic materials relating to the most significant moments in the history of theater, from the Greek classics to contemporary theater.

The achievement of an organic vision of the topics addressed in class, the possession of an expressive and lexical mastery, and the ability to orientate within the bibliography will be evaluated with marks of excellence. The mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, a poorly articulated and not always appropriate language will lead to discrete evaluations. Training gaps, inappropriate language, limited knowledge of the exam material will lead to the threshold of fail. Of course training gaps, inappropriate language, together with a lack of orientation within the bibliography will be evaluated negatively.


Teaching tools

Video projections of iconographic materials, shows, ethnographic documentaries, visions of live performances, visits to one or more theaters.

In addition we plan to explore in person some scenic spaces in the city of Bologna and elsewhere.

Possibly there will be a final educational trip.

Office hours

See the website of Laura Budriesi


Gender equality Sustainable cities Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.