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Pepper's Ghost

Pepper's Ghost
4 Glen Morris St., Studio Theatre
Time: Jan 27th, 2:00 pm End: Jan 27th, 4:00 pm
Interest Categories: Visual Studies (UTM), History & Philosophy of Science & Technology (FAS), English and Drama (UTM), English (UTSC), English (FAS), Drama, Theatre, Performance Studies (FAS), Communications, Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (UTM), Architecture, Landscape, Design, 1800-1900
Research demo of a project to reproduce a Victorian stage special effect

Pepper's Ghost

Studio Theatre
4 Glen Morris St.
Friday January 27, 2012 at 2pm

Project led by Sarah Kriger PhD candidate
Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

The optical illusion known as Pepper's Ghost, first demonstrated by the popular scientific lecturer J. H. Pepper to a private audience in 1862, was one of the most popular stage illusions of the Victorian era. This illusion, which is seldom seen today, allows live actors to appear to move through one another and through solid props and furniture.

The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology will jointly  sponsor a reproduction of Pepper's Ghost as a dramatic experiment this January. Not only will this experiment provide a rare opportunity for a  21st-century audience to experience Pepper's Ghost in performance, it will provide insight on outstanding questions from historical accounts of the illusion, such as: how did performers cope with the acoustics of the apparatus? What practical limitations did the theatre management face?

Construction is projected to begin January 18 and to culminate in a demonstration Ghost Scene and discussion on Friday, January 27 and in a workshop period with the apparatus the weekend of January 28-29. We invite those who are interested in being part of the production team, in performing in the demonstration Ghost Scene, or in developing their own workshop Ghost Scene to contact Sarah Kriger as soon as possible.

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