The Craft In Stagecraft: Implications for Organising and Digital Technology Adoption

Jonathan Sapsed, Christina Vasiliou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The relationship between material technologies and the organisation needed to use them has tantalised practitioners and fascinated theorists. This paper shows the craft-orientation of theatre performance production, analysing how a show is made through organisation, and how this craft sensibility affects the propensity to adopt new digital technologies amidst increasing pressures to do so from arts funding organisations. Using a novel process-mapping method not before applied to the cultural sector, the paper reveals how the many roles of theatre production including Directors, Set Design, Production Management, and specialist functions like sound, light and wardrobe integrate their work using traditional boundary objects and largely craft practices. The paper argues that this craft sensibility together with scepticism for mediated communication partially explains the apparent reticence of Performance Arts organisations to adopt digital technologies. Any initiative to encourage adoption needs to recognise these practices and values.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Academy of Management BAM2019 Conference
Place of PublicationWarwick
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9956413-2-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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