Maria-Louiza studied architecture at the University of Florence (1972-1977). She obtained a Master’s degree on Environmental Design of Cities and Buildings from the School of Natural Sciences and Technology of the Greek Open University (2013). She is a PhD candidate at the Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly (2013-today). Maria-Louiza has also been involved in the study and overseeing of new architectural projects, renovation of buildings, and restoration of traditional buildings. She has also taken part in research programmes and conferences in Greece and internationally, and has published scientific literature. She is the author of the book ‘Η Δραματική Σχολή του Εθνικού Θεάτρου’ (The Drama School of the National Theatre), MIET, Athens, 2011 (in collaboration with L. Sapounaki-Drakaki).
The doctoral dissertation is carried out aiming to study of theatrical scenography in Greece from 1950 up to 1967, not only by following the artistic influences and the works of leading artists of the period, but also all the components – social, professional, technical, economical, etc. – that contributed to the evolution of Greek scenography during the stormy era in question.
Exploring initially the broader conditions that would prevail in the post-war social and cultural life in Greece, the theatrical scene of the Greek stage is established.
The dominant perception on stage and the new theatrical formsare examined mainly through the points of view of architects, directors, and scenographers, while the ways in which these were materialized are studied.
Additionally, the determination of the origin and education of the artists that worked in scenography is pursued, as well as the process of assigning the sets, and the collaborations between the various contributors of a performance.
By studying the available and the novel scenography techniques towards the constructions and the changing of sets, the craftsmen, workshops, materials, and technical means of the era are sought.
Given that during the studied period the charismatic figures of painters-scenographers of the 30s prevail, emphasis is given on the study of the relation between scenography and painting. Additionally, the relation between scenography and sculpting is also examined, focussing on the representation of built environment onstage.
The tendencies formed in the Greek scenography along with the corresponding development in international scenography are also compared.
The study does not include scenography for opera and dance performances, as it is assumed that music and dancing are the dominant stage elements and require a completely different scenographic approach.
METHODOLOGY Considering that the job of a scenographer is complete only upon its materialization on stage, this study is based mainly on the final shape of the scenery for each performance and its impact on both the versed and the broader audience. Additionally the available visual material of performances is compiled with the tracing of sketches, maquettes, and photos, while the understanding of the intention of the artist and its comparison to the onstage result is also attempted. Furthermore, the related theatrical reviews and press reports are sought in order to understand – occasionally filtering out expedience from truth– the degree of success of the scene. Through descriptions in the press, details on the colours, textures, and execution of the scenery are derived, as often it is not possible to grasp from the few black and white pictures.
Furthermore, an extensive analysis of many stage designs is carried out not only judged on their originality or the ingenuity of technical solutions, but also aiming to provide an evolutionary, and based on theatrical genre, the full picture of Greek scenography on the Greek stage from 1950 to 1967.