The aim of the CANON of TECHNICAL THEATRE HISTORY is to increase awareness and understanding of the history of technical theatre in Europe: its practices and technologies.

The project contributes to the current discourse on the preservation of the cultural heritage of transnational and international theatre technology and techniques. We not only want to value history as an essential element in the education of theatre practitioners and the building of the identity of theatre professionals, but also to stress the importance and usefulness of sharing our heritage as an impetus for innovative developments.

Students and staff of nine European university institutions, research centres and dual education programs – from Belgium, Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom – are collaborating to develop a timeline and a Canon of technical theatre during six workshop meetings. The methodology used and the developed tools are being documented as the project develops.

Adopting multiple perspectives from the disciplines of art history, engineering design, scenography, architecture and theatre studies, the project engages with archival research. It includes the tangible as well as the intangible cultural heritage of the performing arts field.

The outputs of the project will be a set of digital learning materials that can be used as a whole, can be integrated into the teaching of various specific disciplines, or used as reference material. This flexible approach will empower teachers to structure their courses in a flexible way, adapted to the requirements of different learners. The methodology guidelines and the teaching tools will inspire new teaching practices and support a diversity of needs.

The project structure and methodology guarantees that research from both teachers and students feeds back into education and to the wider professional field. The results will be able to be used by local stakeholders, reinforcing the link between the local community and the partner institutions. The network arising from this cooperation will ensure continuing development and the sustainability of the project outcomes.