A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Notice

Message: Undefined index: HTTP_REFERER

Filename: controllers/exhibition.php

Line Number: 245

WSD2017|Sonnets for an Old Century
1-9 July.Taipei, Taiwan
An extraordinary festival of performance design, including exhibitions, performances
and diverse events,attracted over 15,000 visitors from 71 countries.


Professional Designers

United States of America

Leigh Henderson

Sonnets for an Old Century

Category: Performance Design

Design Statement

José Rivera’s Sonnets for an Old Century is a series of monologues, spoken by characters newly deceased – final attempts to communicate ideas, stories, and lives that have never been fully heard. They find themselves in a place of waiting that is, at the same time, a place of transition and transportation, as well as of communication. My version of scenery and lighting is informed by liminal spaces like hospital waiting rooms, highway underpasses, warehouses, train stations, tent cities, and, of course, theaters. The key to the production concept, though, is the modes of communication.

In the twenty first century, and particularly in the Silicon Valley where this play was produced, a question of communication is necessarily a question of technology. Recorded or live, audio or video, face-to-face or mediated, life-sized or amplified, literal or abstract, how do technological manipulations amplify or diminish these messages shouted out from death to life? The television and video screens embedded in the scenery, which variously flatten as they enlarge, simplify as they multiply, echo as they contradict the live actors convert the conventional moment of live theatrical communication into a dispersed yet immersive experience.


Leigh Henderson

Leigh Henderson teaches technical theater at San José City College and is a PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Theater Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her dissertation in-progress explores intermediality in stage effects of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century American stage. Leigh holds a BFA from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Business’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration. She has worked as a scenic and lighting designer, production manager, and scenic artist in New York City, Colorado, Wisconsin, and the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 20 years. Currently, she is the Managing Director of San José’s Chicano theater company, Teatro Visión. Leigh is also a competitive cake decorator, having appeared on the Food Network on Sugar Dome and on Seasons 2 and 4 of Halloween Wars. She was recently able to combine her skills in theater and the confectionary arts, performing, at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, a piece entitled Edible Dramaturgy: Exploring Death and Fetish through Candy, which re-interpreted Strindberg’s Miss Julie and Büchner’s Woyzeck into a tasting menu of cake and candy.

Email Address: leighannhenderson@gmail.com

Theatre Company San Jose City College Theater Arts

The Premiere Date of Production 2015-04-17

The Premiere Space of Production San Jose City College Theater

Author José Rivera

Director/ Choreographer Dennis Sloan

Set Designer Leigh Henderson

Lighting Designer Leigh Henderson

Costume Designer Leigh Henderson

Sound Designer Leigh Henderson

Projection and Multi-Media Designer Leigh Henderson