Final Workshop

“Technologies of Spectacle” – Final Workshop, Freie University Berlin, 7th & 8th December 2018

This final Workshop sets out to discuss the planned Online Thesaurus for Early Modern Theater Technologies. Further, we would like to present a first draft to apply for funding from the German Research Foundation.


» Jan Lazardzig (ToS Member,  Freie University Berlin)
» Hole Rößler (ToS Member, Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel)


» Anke Charton (University of Vienna)
» Sabine Frommel (École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne), Paris)
» Consuelo Gómez (National Distance Education University, Madrid)
» Stefan Hulfeld (ToS Member, University of Vienna)
» M. A. Katritzky (Open University Milton Keynes)
» Sara Mamone (ToS Member, University of Florence)
» Bri Newesely (ToS Member, Beuth University, Berlin)
» Caterina Pagnini (University of Florence)
» Rudi Risatti (Theatremuseum, Vienna)
» Kati Röttger (University of Amsterdam)
» Andrea Sommer-Mathis (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna)

Out now!

Jan Lazardzig / Hole Rößler (eds.), Technologies of Theatre. Joseph Furttenbach and the Transfer of Mechanical Knowledge in Early Modern Theatre Cultures, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2016.

cover_technologies_of_theater_newBaroque theatre spectacles are frequently celebrated for their overwhelming effects and marvelous technologies. However, little is known about how the mechanical knowledge for elaborate stage machineries was actually acquired by architects and engineers, and how it disseminated throughout European theatre cultures with regard to specific religious, social, political as well as economical contexts. So far unnoticed by historians of theatre and performance, the early seventeenth-century codex iconographicus 401 (Bavarian State Library) offers new insight to the transfer of mechanical knowledge and theater technology. This manuscript can now be attributed to Joseph Furttenbach (1591-1667), building master of the Swabian city of Ulm, today best known for his numerous publications on architectural theory. The codex incorporates technical drawings and descriptions of the theatrical machineries invented and designed by Giulio Parigi for the epoch-making festivals at the Medici court in Florence. The invention and construction of theatrical machineries was taught at Parigi’s Florentine academy of art and engineering, which Furttenbach attended. Besides an English translation of Furttenbach’s manuscript (originally written in German language), this volume collects studies at the intersection of theater, architecture, and technology, proposing an innovative approach to the historiography of early modern theater.