CMU School of Drama

Monday, July 28, 2014

Can You Smell That Smell? It’s Theatrical Scent Design

The Clyde Fitch Report: Theatre has begun to embrace a new type of designer. Their work is invisible, but if done correctly it can have a palpable impact on the performance. I interviewed David Bernstein about his work in the burgeoning field of scent design.

1 comment:

Julian said...

Part of me is surprised this is happening and part of my is surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. With all the crazy things people have done in theatres, you’d think someone somewhere would’ve put tea in a humidifier along time ago, not to say that Bernstein’s work is unimpressive. Part of me feels like this has probably been done for many shows and I just haven’t heard about it. Adding smell to shows could definitely help make the work more real and immersive. I think what gets complicated is knowing when to add the smell, how much to add, how to prevent smells for lingering past when you need them, and how to make sure the smell isn’t distracting or annoying for the audience. I think that is what makes scent designer’s work impressive. It is hard to say how common scent design will be, but my guess is that once a new idea comes into the theatre world, it will continue to be used in some way, shape, or form.