Workshop Curators

Michael Spencer and Aldona Cunnigham - Scenography

Michael Spencer has been a performance designer for over 20 years. In 1991 he became the first person in the UK to receive a post-graduate qualification in the discipline. He has been Course Director of what is now the BA Performance Design & Practice course (formally BA Theatre Design) at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design for the past decade, over which time the course has broadened it’s remit to reflect expanding practices and the student agenda. He was a UK representative at the recent OISTAT symposium in Moscow and gave a presentation of his current practice-based research, Variation, Verification & Vindication at the PQ’11 Expanding Scenography Symposium in Riga, Latvia in Feb 2010.

Aldona Cunningham trained in theatre design at Central St Martin’s. She joined Central School of Speech and Drama in 2007, having taught previously at Central Saint Martin’s, the Architectural Association and Wimbledon School of Art. Her design work ranges from designing Operas, Plays, Adaptations and Devised productions in a range of settings. Her long term collaboration wIth Julia Bardsley also led to working within the realms of installation, film, photogaraphy and performance Art. In 1996 she was awarded an Arts Foundation Fellowship. She is currently researching and expanding on teaching and learning models for scenography students through intersections with a range of performance and design disciplines and practices. Recent publication Chapter 10 in  Space and Truth/ Raum und Warheit 2nd in a series:  Monitoring Scenography 02 Edited by: Thea Brejzek, Wolfgang Greiseneggar and Lawrence Wallen.
Published by Zurich University of the Arts.

Aby Cohen  and Kathleen Irwin - Digital Dramaturgies

Aby Cohen is Set and Costume Designer. She was born in São Paulo, Brazil, where she also graduate in Design from FAAP Foundation. She has a M.A. Master's in Scenic Arts from USP University- São Paulo. Aby has experience in the area of Arts, with an emphasis on drama, working mainly on the following areas: scenography, costume design, exhibition design, art direction, theatre and cinema.  She participated in four editions of PQ: 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007. She also designed the Brazilian Thematic exhibition on there in 1999.

Kathleen Irwin (Doctor of Arts, University of Art and Design Helsinki) is a scenographer, writer and educator (University of Regina, Canada) whose practical and theoretical research focuses on alternative, performative spaces – found space and the internet. She presents regularly at international conferences and gives workshops in Europe, Australia and Canada. Her research is published widely in Canadian and international journals, anthologies and is disseminated through documentaries and web-based archives. As Canadian Education Commissioner / OISTAT, she is active in organizing Scenofest for the Prague Quadrennial 2011. Recent publications include Sighting / Citing / Sighting, (Canadian Plains Research 2009).

Ian Garrett - Lighting Design

Ian Garrett is a producer and designer based in Los Angeles and is the Executive Director of The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), a non-non-profit arts infrastructure organization where he collaborates with others like the LA Stage Alliance, University of Oregon, York University, The Arcola Theater, EcoArtSpace, the Royal Society of the Arts, Diverseworks ArtSpace and others to work towards sustainability in the arts, ecological and otherwise. As a producer he has worked on the premier of Richard Forman and Michael Gordon’s What to Wear at REDCAT, toured Torry Bend’s adaptation of Aimee Bender’s Loser to Prague and Marsian Delillis’ Growing up Linda, Katie Shook and Erik Ehn’s One Eye Gone and the upcoming At Sundown, a physical theater piece on aging and memory to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He also produced week 42 of Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 days/365 Plays for the Project’s Texas Network. He has formerly worked at The Public Theater, the Williamstown Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston and The Will Geer Theatricum Botancium. He currently teaches on technology in production and sustainable practice at the California Institute of the Arts. More info is available on his website: and the CSPA’s wesbite

Sean Myatt - Puppetry

Sean Myatt is a senior lecturer in theatre design at Nottingham Trent University, where he graduated in 1987 (B.A. Hons, Theatre Design). He was awarded the Arts Council and John Wright Bursary in 1989 and used it to further his development as a puppeteer, studying and working with great masters such as Barry Smith, Peter Schumann and Philippe Genty, learning his trade as a puppeteer via the traditional method of master and pupil. He has been a practising puppeteer for over 20 years. His work encompasses traditional and contemporary puppetry, with a special interest in object theatre. He has performed his  show, Instinctive Objective Ramblings at the Theatre Materials Material Theatres Conference, The Suspense Festival and The Oslo Puppet Festival. An article describing his recent work has been published in the book Theatre Materials: What is theatre made of?

David Budries and Veronika Vorel - Sound Design

David Budries’ New York sound designs include Happy Now?, Glass 
Menagerie, Souvenir, Ah, Wilderness!, Long Day’s Journey into Night, 
Our Country’s Good, Other People’s Money, Measure for Measure, And a 
Nightingale Sang, From the Mississippi Delta, Search and Destroy, The 
End of the Day, Playland, and Marisol. His regional designs include 
productions at Hartford Stage, Centerstage, McCarter Theatre Center, 
Dallas Theater Center, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, 
Trinity Repertory Company, Alliance Theatre, Portland Stage Company, 
Westport Country Playhouse, and Yale Repertory Theatre, among others. 
David Budries is the international liaison for the United States Institute 
for Theatre Technology (USITT), chairs the sound design program for the Yale 
School of Drama, and is a freelance radio and music producer.

Veronika Vorel is a sound designer and composer based in New York 
City. She worked as support to Richard Thomas and Steven Brown at the 
PQ Scenofest in 2003 and 2007, respectively. Primarily involved in new 
plays, she created sound designs for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company 
(Washington, DC), Shakespeare Theatre (Washington, DC), Ford's Theatre 
(Washington, DC), Amas Musical Theatre (NYC), Yale Repertory Theatre 
(New Haven, CT), amongst others. She was also on the sound design 
staff for West Side Story, currently on Broadway. She received 
training in music composition at the Prague Conservatory of Music, and 
trained in sound design at the CalArts School of Theatre and Yale 
School of Drama. Three of her sound designs were nominated for 2010 
Helen Hayes awards.

Donatella Barbieri - Costume

Donatella Barbieri is a scenographer, performance maker and researcher. Her new position as joint London College of Fashion and Victoria and Albert Museum Research Fellow in Design for Performance, with particular focus on costume, is enabling her to create a film about the archive and the interaction with the practitioner/artist.  In her work in education she has pioneered methodogies of research and performance creation around dress, movement and space.  As well as a continuing design practice, her research work has included the production of costume-led performance, development of international projects, networks and academic papers around with a particular focus on costume and its embedded performative powers.

Jessica Bowles - Beyond Theatre / Artistic Leader of Scenofest

Jessica Bowles has worked as a set and costume designer for theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Young Vic in London amongst many others in the UK, and more recently as a creative producer on projects in the UK and Europe. As an educator, Jessica has written and designed the innovative programs that are now a recognized feature of UK portfolio, including the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice course and has introduced a number of areas to higher education never before available at degree level, including puppetry and circus performance. She is now the Head of the UK government funded Centre for Excellence in Training for Theatre.  In this role she develops partnerships with theatre training and its industries, produces international conferences and symposia including Theatre Materials with Anne Bogart (2008), Theatre Noise with Heiner Goebbels (2009), and Theatre Applications with Rustom Bharucha (2010). All of her work is based on creating and promoting innovative live and virtual teaching and learning models for performance training, much of which celebrates the interdisciplinary nature of performance making. Jessica is a passionate advocate for the art form of puppetry and with colleagues staged the first International Student Puppetry Festival at Central in 2007, which is now a fixture on the aspiring puppetry professional’s calendar.


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