IFTR 2020, Galway, Ireland

13th July – 17th July 2020



Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics


The constantly shifting eco-system that constitutes theatre is the central theme of IFTR 2020 as we come together to consider ecologies of theatre and performance globally, and to ask how we, as an interdependent network of scholars and artists, can reflect and respond to our interconnections with the environment and with each other through performative and critical interventions.


Ecology is the study of the relationship between living organisms and their environments (whether cultural, political, social or biological). Naming theatre’s aesthetic and working practices as ecologies permits scholars to locate theatrical performances within not only social, political and cultural networks, but also interrelated biological systems. Inherently political, embodied and performative, theatre ecologies are constructed by – and responsive to – wider social, political, cultural, and physical environments.


The Scenography Working Group (SWG) of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) invites paper proposals for our forthcoming meeting at the IFTR annual conference in Galway in July 2020. The aim of the Working Group is to address design for performance in all of its theatrical forms (design of space/set, costume, sound, light, projections/multimedia, objects, masks and makeup, etc.) and including events that may be staged well beyond conventional theatre buildings.




For our meeting in Galway we will be adopting and adapting the main theme of the IFTR conference (see above, andhttps://www.iftr.org/conference) which offers the opportunity to explore the discipline of scenography in relation to ecologies.


We would like to approach the topic of Theatre Ecologies from several broad angles, asking: how can the notions of ecology and scenography be brought together to grapple with issues of the environment and sustainability, of changing social relationships and ways of living, and evolving performance practices?


About the IFTR Scenography Working Group

This Working Group’s research focuses upon the history, theory, aesthetics and practice of scenography through a specific program of meetings, presentations and publications. The group also aims to nurture and develop new contributions to practice-led research by providing opportunities for scenographers/performance designers to discuss their work and exchange ideas in an international academic forum. Our research investigates scenographic elements, (including: costume, setting, make-up, sound design, lighting design, projection/multimedia design, masks, puppets and objects) and considers their proxemic relationship to performers and audiences in traditional and non-traditional spaces. Such research considers both contemporary practice and the influences of scenography on theatrical form as well as the audience experience of performance. By offering opportunities to share and discuss members’ research in a variety of formats, we aim to promote aesthetic, theoretical and philosophical investigations that are both distinct from and inclusive of technological developments for performance.


Working Group Co-convenors

Nick Hunt nick.hunt@bruford.ac.uk

Sofia Pantouvaki sofsceno@gmail.com


IFTR website


IFTR bursary information


IFTR membership and registration at Cambridge Journals Online


IFTR abstract submission at Cambridge Journals Online




IFTR supports researchers suffering financial hardship by providing a limited number of bursaries each year. These bursaries are awarded on the basis of merit, relevance to the conference or Working Group theme, and financial need. Please visit www.iftr.org for information and instructions about bursaries, and to download the application form.


The IFTR Bursaries Round for attending the Galway 2020 annual conference is now open. The deadline for completed applications is 15 December 2019.