Two Wimbledon College of Arts staff members have this year been invited to select, curate and organize an exhibition of European Theatre Design entitled Evolving Design for Performance, which will open at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing, China on 26 September 2015.

Curated by distinguished theatre designer and author Michael Pavelka, former Course Director of Wimbledon’s MA Theatre Design and designer and international curator Peter Farley, Senior Lecturer in Theatre Design at Wimbledon, the exhibition will be the first exhibition of its kind, showcasing world class designers for performance and the internationally renowned European institutions from which they come.

The National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing, China.

The National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing, China.

Taking over the East exhibition hall in China’s top national performing arts centre, the exhibition will put a spotlight on the design process from initial idea to final production and will cover the full range of Design for Theatre and Performance. In essence, the exhibition design and curation sees the show as a “garden of ideas” that also illuminates for a Chinese audience the differences and nuances of design approach across Europe. The show will include drawings, process work, scale models and costumes, as well as moving images.

Twelve Angry Men designed by Michael Pavelka, co-produced between Birmingham Rep and Bill Kenwright playing in the West End at the Garrick Theatre.

Twelve Angry Men designed by Michael Pavelka, co-produced between Birmingham Rep and Bill Kenwright playing in the West End at the Garrick Theatre.

Curator Peter Farley said: “It is exciting to take an exposition of European Performance design to China and that the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing recognizes the importance of this largely undocumented subject as an essential and vital component of performance-making.”

Simon Betts, Dean of Wimbledon said: “Wimbledon has a long and distinguished history as one of the UK’s leading specialist Theatre Institution and is internationally recognised for preparing students for the professional world.  Our  graduates have been pushing the boundaries of performance design for many years, so it’s extremely exciting for the college to be invited to put together such an important showcase of best practice in this area.”

The institutions that that have been selected to take part so far come from Finland, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands and Italy. The UK will be represented by Wimbledon College of Arts and London College of Fashion. Each country/Institution will exhibit work from their high profile alumni and staff and will include work by Richard Hudson (Lion King), Nick Ormerod and Declan Donnelan (Cheek by Jowl), Thomas Rupert and Dimitry Krymov (Krymov Lab).

During the opening week a number of events will take place including an in-conversation with the curators, lectures on approaches to European Theatre Design and workshops for a wider Beijing audience. The exhibition will run for three weeks and link with Beijing Design Week at the end of September.

Find out more about Evolving Design for Performance on the exhibition website.

Find out more about Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts on our course pages.