Meg is a designer, researcher and teacher.
Meg’s design work includes a wide range of environmental experiences seen in collaborative theatre, spatial installation and themed entertainment.
Originally from California, she holds a Bachelors of Architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (in California) and an MFA in Scenic Design from Carnegie Mellon. Before moving to London, Meg was the Senior Art Director for Wyatt Design Group, a themed entertainment design company in Los Angeles, where she worked on multiple projects and attractions, including AMC’s The Walking Dead Attraction at Universal Studios, Hollywood and Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, a 4D interactive ride for Six Flags parks.
As part of her practice-based PhD at University of Surrey, Meg designed environments for several immersive theatre productions/festivals in England, including The Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival and Boomtown Fair. One of her other design projects, the immersive-interactive show The Church of the Sturdy Virgin with Dank Parish collective, took over the entire Waterloo Unit 9 tunnels at London’s VAULT Festival in 2018 and included design of many interconnected environments. Both Meg’s practice and research explores how architectural and scenographic design helps tell the story of an immersive world.
* PhD in Scenography, Scenographic Storyworlds: World-Building Immersive Environments, University of Surrey, UK
* Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Scenic Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
* Bachelors of Architecture (BArch), California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, USA
Meg is a Lecturer of Scenography and teaches performance design on the BA (Hon) Theatre and MA Theatre Arts degrees.
Prior to joining Middlesex University (mid-pandemic) in 2020, she taught performance design at Guildford School of Acting (GSA) at University of Surrey and two higher education institutions in California: Glendale Community College and Azusa Pacific University.
* Introduction to Theatre and Performance Design
* Theatre Architectures
* Scenography: Set, Costume, Lighting, Make-up design
* Sets and Props
* Design principles and theory
* Professional Development and Planning
* Collaborative Theatre-Making and Collaborative Practices
* Practices and Practitioners
Since her Bachelors degree in Architecture, Meg has been interested in the theatricality of space, the intersection of performance and architecture, environmental storytelling, scenographic design processes and the inhabitation of space and story. Meg’s practice-focused PhD explored her own collaborative design process of world-building theatrical experiences that envelop both the performance and audience space. Her current research investigates connections of dramaturgy and scenography, place-making, world-building, narrative sequences and thresholds.
* Cunningham, M. (2022) Scenography as Method. International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) Scenography Working Group. Reykjavik, Iceland: University of Iceland.
* Cunningham, M. (2019) Immersion-as-Inhabitation in Scenographic Storyworlds: An Architectural Consideration of Immersive Environments. Themed Experience & Attractions Academic Society (TEAAS) symposium. Orlando, Florida, USA.
* Cunningham, M. (2019) Scenographic Storyworlds: World-Building and Place-Making. American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR). Arlington, Virginia, USA.
* Cunningham, M. (2019) Place-Making and Scenographic World-Building. Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Scenography Working Group. UK: Exeter University.
* Cunningham, M. (2019) Scenographic World-Building. International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) Scenography Working Group. DAMU, Prague, CZ.
* Cunningham, M. (2019) World-Building: Designing Scenographic Storyworlds. Surrey Arts and Humanities Research Group. UK: University of Surrey.
* Cunningham, M. (2018) Notating Scenographic World-Building. TaPRA Gallery at Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Conference. UK: Aberystwyth University
* Cunningham, M. (2018) Building ‘museums’ as scenographic world-building. Scenography in Exhibition and the Museum, TaPRA Scenography Working Group. London: Victoria and Albert Museum.
* Cunningham, M. (2022) World-Building Design: the Whole and the Bits within. The Next Stage Summit (immersive experience institute). Pasadena, CA: Pasadena Playhouse. [cancelled]
* Cunningham, M. (2019) “Thresholds” and designer panel discussion. SANDBOX: Immersive Worlds & Playable Spaces. Symposium hosted by SPECIFIQ & Potemkin Theatre. London.
* Cunningham, M. (2018) Storyworlds as Scenographic. Speculative Scenographics Research event. Copenhagen, Denmark: Roskilde University.
* Cunningham, M. (2018) Immersion in Scenographic Storyworlds. Performing Audiences Research event. London: University of Surrey.
* Cunningham, M. (2018) Impact of institutions on the researcher. Performing Institutions, Culture, Politics and Pedagogy of the Performance. Design Paradigm International Seminar. Fara-in-Sabina, Italy: Teatro Potlach.
* Cunningham, M. (2015) So you want to create the next Pirates of the Caribbean? Theatre & Theme Parks. Alumni Days event. California: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.