A short diary of activities, presentations and publications, to give you some insight about what is going on in the background of the project.

Canon presented at PQ talks on 17 June 2023

CANON OF TECHNICAL THEATREHISTORY –teaching, archives, networks

Chris Van Goethem, Bri Newesely, Nick Hunt and Franziska Ritter presented the results of the Canon project at the PQ talks (more info)

Canon presents at Showtech on 8. Juni at 14:00 - 14:30

“Every day, there is one more day of history…” Eine europäische Zusammenarbeit zur Geschichte der Theatertechnik

gives an overview of the Canon project and its results, but also is an invitation to collaborate in the future. More information.

Harvesting and visualising open data for historic research

Presentation at RITCS research days 09/05/2023 on the Data aspect of the Canon base and the possible uses in the future.

Recording of the CANON online roundtable, 13 October 2022

We present to you the recording of the CANON online roundtable: collection care, heritage institutions and tools. It is available on the PQ YouTube channel and free for you to watch and share. We were very glad to co-host the event, stirring up an important debate about the aim of the CANON project, which is to preserve and utilize the historical theatre equipment and techniques.
Watch it here.

Hope you enjoy it!

CANON online event on 13 October

We would like to invite you to an online roundtable that will take place next Thursday the 13th of October 2022 via Zoom from 9 am to 1 pm CET.

Topics to be discussed:

  • How to safeguard collections with technical theatre equipment or documentation (be it virtual or real)?
  • How to deal with issues that arise with such collections (funding, continuity, but also documenting, presenting to an audience etc)?
  • How to network and collaborate through online tools (including an online database created during the Canon project)?

To see the program, please follow this link.

The event is hosted by Chris Van Goethem and Nick Hunt from the CANON project.

The event will be held in English, is open to anyone and free of charge. We kindly ask you to register here to receive the Zoom link directly to your mailbox.

digital.DTHG Publication “Im/material Theatre Spaces”

Franziska Ritter as a part of digital.DTHG team have been working on the “Im/material Theatre Spaces” publication, released on 29 August 2022. After two years of thorough work and research in the field of VR and AR. The final publication, which has now been published, presents the results and the prototypical sample solutions; with interview partners, we look at the current digital working reality in theatre and point to future solution paths. This publication is intended to provide suggestions and impulses for one’s own creative work as well as to sharpen the view for a more conscious use of immersive technologies.

The focus was on three specific theatre topics: architecture, stage design and theatre technology, for which sustainable transferable sample solutions were developed in various sub-projects: “Augmented reality as a communication tool“, “Augmented reality in event technology“, “Virtual Training Tools“, “Virtual Bauprobe“, “Bringing theatre heritage to Life“, “CANON theatre technology history” and “Hybrid real stage spaces“.

Learn more in the article on the digital.DTHG website.

Nick Hunt's appearances at international professional events in 2022

Nick Hunt gave a presentation at the event Harnessing a 21st Century approach to Performing Arts: Technology, Practice, Education and Research, 20 - 22 January, 2022, at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, at the EVA London 2022 conference, 4th–8th July 2022 (Electronic Visualisation in the Arts), and at the Shifting Centres (in the middle of nowhere), Scenography Working Group, IFTR 2022, Reykjavík, Iceland 20th – 24th June 2022.


At these events, Nick gave an in-depth overview and evaluation of the project's activities, how it shapes historical continuum and international geographical trajectory of theatres all around the world.

While the events were not documented, you can still read the abstract:


For those researching the history of technical theatre (broadly defined to include design, craft, technology, management, architecture), the subject presents a series of challenges: how can we map the diversity of practices across geographic boundaries and over historical time? How can the incomplete, often hidden or poorly catalogued archives and artefacts be made sense of, and connections found? How can transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives be brought together to enrich our understanding of technical theatre’s past, and help inform future practice?

My presentation describes the EU Erasmus-funded project ‘A CANON of Theatre Technical History’, running 2019-2022. The project seeks to address the above questions, using digital platforms to connect existing archives, generate new or enhanced material, and find new ways to discover and understand existing materials. Students and staff of eight European university and arts institutions are collaborating to develop online and digital education resources, including:

 A theatre history timeline
 A ‘canon’ of 100 stories, describing key innovations, developments, themes, people, objects
and buildings
 Learning tools and resources
 Example teaching, learning and research methods
 A network of practitioners, researchers and educators

The outputs of the project are designed to be useful to students, teachers and researchers, offering opportunities for structured or freeform exploration and investigation of a diverse range of historical material. In my presentation, I provide a brief overview of the project, and then focus on the pedagogical research findings it is generating. Experiential and collaborative learning that draws on student’s existing disciplinary working practices has been found to be key, resulting in innovative teaching, learning and research methods. I demonstrate how the CANON project is not only providing resources to invigorate research into the often-marginalised history of technical theatre, but is offering a bold vision of a transnational, inter-institutional and cross-disciplinary model of research and learning.

Written by Nick Hunt.

The representation of Léon de Sommi's Dialogues on Staging

The CANON team, led by Felisa de Blas Gómez and Almudena Lopez Villalba, share their representation of Léon de Sommi's Dialogues on Staging. This text comes from the 16th century and as a first one of its kind, it sheds light on the technical process of theatre stage directory.

See the staging here.

Digital.DTHG publishes an interview with Franziska Ritter and Chris Van Goethem

On digital.DTHG's webpage, you can find an interview led by Franziska Ritter with Chris Van Goethem. Discussing the merits of the CANON project, future of teaching and digitization, Franziska and Chris went into a deep think and discussion about how different countries vary in approaches to theatre technology and stage operations. This is an exciting and valuable read for anyone who is interested in the development of current performance space, the complexity of the project and the historical knowledge and heritage of European theatre.

Digital tools, Augmented and Virtual Reality and Web-XR Prototype, as approached by digital.DTHG, will be introduced in Ulm at the Bühnentechnische Tagung of DTHG at the end of July with the aim to modernize and facilitate new teaching methods. Stay tuned for more information and we wish you a joyful reading!

An article about the CANON project in La Provincia Quotidiano

By Umberto di Nino (in Italian). Read it here.

This article deals with the work developed within the international Erasmus + project entitled “Canon of the theatre technical history” whose main objective is to create awareness and understanding about the historic background of the theater technical field in an European context.

Read more.


During the Covid era, the different schools took the initiative to co-teach and intervene in eachothers classes.

Digitale erfgoeddag STEPP

Presentation on STEPP digital heritage day 15/06/2021 (Dutch)

Het Canon project, een (beetje) harmonie in de chaos

Article in STEPP magazine 39, 03/2021 (Chris Van Goethem, Dutch)

Online student workshop

Due the corona crisis and the impossibility to travel, we moved the foreseen student workshop online. The workshop focussed on developping a common history with people from different countries. Students worked together during a week on different platforms and created a grafical representation of 4 historical themes. Read more

Brussels Teachers meeting (11-13 / 12 / 2019)

In this first short-term staff training a common vision of the history and heritage of technical theatre is explored with a focus on its implementation in a curriculum.

Read more.

Canon Project, A new look at teaching history & representing information.

Presentation at OISTAT Education week, 6/7/2021 (English)

Download PPT: Canon EN