Alfred University News

Book launch reception for Scenographer Maureen Weiss of Alfred University Performing Arts

Maureen Weiss, associate professor of performance design and technology in Alfred University’s Performing Arts Division, conceived, curated and edited "Scene Shift," which was published in August by Focal Press. A reception and book signing with co-editor Sibyl Wickersheimer will be held on September 15 in the Sceneography Gallery in the Miller Performing Arts Center.

Maureen Weiss, associate professor of performance design and technology in Alfred University’s School of Art and Design, Performing Arts Division, is the co-editor of "Scene Shift," which was published in August by Focal Press. Weiss conceived, curated, and edited the book with Sibyl Wickersheimer, associate professor of set design at the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts.

A reception and book signing will be held Sept. 15 on the Alfred University campus, in conjunction with the University’s Bergren Forum series and later, at 6 pm, in the Scenography Gallery of the Miller Performing Arts Center. Wickersheimer will be in Alfred for both events.

"Scene Shift," according to advance publicity, “showcases contemporary U.S. set design by engaging designers with one another, pairing dialogue and imagery from varied experiences and practices. Within these pages, we witness an expansion of traditional theatrical set design, evolving fluidly to include such work as performance art, installation, community events, and exhibitions, to name a few.”

Throughout 2021, during the height of the pandemic, the authors hosted a series of  Zoom meetings with thirty professional scenic designers working at the forefront of the industry to discuss what it takes to be a female practitioner of this dynamic and evolving art form. These discussions, along with 120 full-color photographs of the designers' work, form the basis of Scene Shift which offers a beautiful and unique insight for anyone curious about scenography and the visual arts in general.

More information on the book and the project.

Weiss received her MFA in scenic design from California State University at Long Beach, after earning her BFA in acting at USC. Her areas of interest include post-modern theatre practices, performance art, and scenic design/public art/installation art. Since 1997 she has been the artistic director of Trade City Productions, a multi-disciplinary organization that creates performance happenings throughout Los Angeles in their mobile truck, The PopWagon.

Visit Maureen Weiss Scenic Design and Trade City for more information.

Wickersheimer is a set designer and installation artist. She teaches set design as an associate professor in the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Since 2020 she is a grantee of the USC Arts in Action program collaborating with Open Paths Counseling Center, Iovine & Young Academy, and The collaboration titled Peace Pods inspires students across disciplines and schools to create spaces for reflection and self-care building connection, health and happiness for communities.

Visit Sibyl Wickersheimer for more information.