About News Portfolio Dance Theatre & Opera Site-based Performances Book Educator Collaborations Contact

About The Book

The book can be ordered here.
The Art of Light on Stage is the first English-language book focusing on the study of lighting design in contemporary theatre and elaborating upon the phenomenological and semiotic aspects of the medium of light – the roles of light as a performer, as the medium of visual perception and as the stimulus for imaginative representation. Taking numerous test-cases of visual (non-verbal) theatre, performative installations, opera productions, dramatic and postdramatic theatre, the author employs innovative methodologies in documentation, analysis, and (re)presentation of new directions the medium of light has taken in contemporary theatre.

Abulafia proposes a pioneering multi-layered approach to a detailed analysis of light and its interaction with other media in the performance. The analysis of the aesthetics, the experience and meaning of light in a performance is followed by an examination of the visual dramaturgy of light, as embodied in five state-of-the-art contemporary postdramatic productions. This new, scholarly – yet practical – approach intends to expand the awareness and enrich the discussion of the various dimensions of light in contemporary theatre by theatre-makers, scholars, students, critics and theatre spectators.

The book is based on Abulafia's PhD study for which Prof. Dr. Barend van Heusden was the promoter and Heiner Goebbles was an academic advisor. For more information about the book, click here.

“This unusual and quite extraordinary book addresses multiple aspects of lighting design. The Art of Light on Stage: Lighting in Contemporary Theatre is most valuable examining and critiquing the lighting for modern postdramatic productions, but its value goes beyond that. It gives us a thorough exploration of the growing academic consideration of the phenomenological and semiotic aspects of the medium of light. Perhaps its most engaging quality is the author’s utter commitment to the possibilities of the aesthetics of light in performance and as performance.

Abulafia decided to take his international practical experience and apply it toward research in the aesthetic and theoretical aspects of lighting. In the process, he received a PhD from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He has now turned his dissertation into a wonderful reference volume on the history of lighting in modern theatre.”
(Book review by Prof. Michael Ramsaur, published in: Theatre Design & Technology, USITT, 2016 Spring edition)

The book has been printed in full-colour thanks to the generous support by Robe.

Since its publication in 2016, the book has been launched internationally in 20 major opera and theatre houses, festivals, stage expos and conferences in different countries all over Europe and Asia, and America:
  1. Czech Republic: Prague Quadrennial 2015, Prague
  2. United Kingdom: The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
  3. China: The 3rd Chinese Stage Expo, Beijing
  4. United States: USITT annual conference 2016 - Salt Lake City
  5. Israel: The Israeli Opera, Tel Aviv
  6. Russia: Theatre Union of the Russian Federation
  7. Poland: National Opera Warsaw - Teater Wielki
  8. Mexico: IES MEXICO SECTION, XXI Annual Lighting Seminar - Mexico City
  9. Georgia: Tbilisi Biennial for Stage Design
  10. Germany: Set | Stage | Scenery - Biannual Conference, Berlin
  11. Romania: Bulandra Theatre, Bucharest
  12. Romania: Sibiu International Theatre Festival
  13. Estonia: Tallinn City Theatre
  14. Spain: AFIAL - Annual Conference and Stage Expo, Madrid
  15. Portugal: ESMAE and APCEN, Porto
  16. Lithuania: Kadja - The International Festival for Contemporary Dance, Vilnius
  17. The Netherlands: Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg
  18. Finland: Arts University Helsinki
  19. Sweden: Arts University of Stockholm
  20. Slovakia: The Slovakian OISTAT Center and Bratislava University of the Arts

Book launch at ESMAE, Porto, Portugal, 2018.
Collaboration with APCEN - The Portuguese Association of Scenographers, ERASMUS+ program, ESAD Galicia and ESMAE.

Book launch at Bratislava University of the Arts, Slovakia 2018.
Collaboration with PRO SCENA - The Slovakian OISTAT Center and supported by funding of The Slovakian Ministry of Culture.

Book launch at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, UK, 2015.
Event moderated by Nick Moran, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, with Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sharon Watson and kind support of ROBE, ALD – Association of Lighting Designers UK, SBTD – Society of British Theatre Designers and Routledge.

Book launch at The Israeli Opera, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2015.
Conversations with Choreographer Itzik Galili, Prof. Miriam Gueretzki and Dr. Ira Avneri, with the kind support of DANOR Israel, ROBE and Tel-Aviv University

Book launch at The Third Chinese Stage Expo, Beijing, 2015.

Book launch at the Tallinn City Theatre, Estonia, 2017.
Collaboration with The Association of Estonian Scenographers and E&T, with the kind support of ROBE and E&T.

Book launch at USITT 2016 Annual Conference & Stage Expo, Salt Lake City, Utah, US.
Event moderated by Prof. Michael Ramsaur, Stanford University.

Book launch at Bulandra Theatre, Bucharest, Romania, 2017.
In conversation with Artistic Director of Bulandra Theatre, Alexandru Darie, with kind support of Ileana Foundation, Henry Malineanu Foundation, PHILIPS, NCT and The Israeli Embassy in Romania.

Book launch at ESMAE, Porto, Portugal, 2018.
Collaboration with APCEN - The Portuguese Association of Scenographers, ERASMUS+ program, ESAD Galicia and ESMAE.