Jim Thurston

Adjunct Associate Professor and Chair, Theater and Dance

booksScenography, or design for the stage, is all about eclecticism. Equally important to note is that for most who pursue it, scenography is a lifestyle—not a job. So my mind seems to operate 24/7 searching for new information, images, music, and learning opportunities. I hope that when it comes time to participate in a new collaborative venture, I will be open to all ideas around the table and will be able to offer insights about the human condition that connects to the process in engaging ways.

As a snapshot, this summer I am researching Ibsen’s The Master Builder (a Department of Theater and Dance production that opens Nov. 17), reading Gay Robins’s The Art of Ancient Egypt (a book my daughter Olivia gave me when she graduated from Colby in May), listening to a lot of new music on Spotify (my daughter Anna gave me a subscription for my birthday), rereading Paul Yoon’s Snow Hunters (I discovered his writing last year and admire his lean, rich style), watching a range of independent films and documentaries with my wife, Deborah (Miller Library has a wonderful DVD collection!), and continuing my research on creativity and creative process.

The current discussion on campus about the value of creativity and culture led me to Lewis Hyde’s The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. A copy of David McCullough’s Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge sits on the table waiting to be read. Maybe it’s next after Snow Hunters? Yes, the sources of inspiration zigzag through a number of different topics, time periods, and themes, but this meandering is central to scenography since every new project is often completely new territory. I look forward to my next production meeting!