In Svoboda: Wagner, Jarka Burian (1927–2005) presents an in-depth exploration of the collaboration between one of Germany’s greatest composers and the Czech Republic’s most innovative multimedia scene designer. More familiar with Svoboda’s (1920–2002)work, Burian translates the artistic collaboration between Svoboda and Wagner through the production of The Ring of the Nibelung, one of opera’s most complicated pieces. Examining stage orchestration, acting methods, and architecture, Burian attempts a view into modern scenography and the inner workings of the theatre for the public reader.
Born in Copenhagen and trained by his father, French ballet master, August Bournonville (1805–1879) was an iconoic dance master and principal choreography of the Royal Danish Ballet with his incorporation of French Romanticism in his ballet choreography. Known for detailed, quick footwork and delicate arm and torso contrast, Bournonville’s style of dance became known as the Bournonville Method, today considered the unfiltered 19th century technique of the French school of classical dance. Over a century since his death, Bournonville’s influence remains seen on the Danish and greater European stage, imported to theatre classes and stages across the world.
Donald Oenslager’s working career spanned fifty years of the New York stage and during those years his influence extended across the country in the work of the many distinguished stage designers who had been his students at the Yale School of Drama. His autobiographical introduction to this book is, therefore, both a history of and a commentary on the theatre in New York from 1920 to the 1970s, and it admits us to the reflections of one of the most versatile artists who worked at the center of that development. This is a designer’s book, and Donald Oenslager chose his subjects with a designer’s eye. Over thirty-five productions are discussed in the light of the problems of interpretation and realization that they posed to the set designer. More than ninety illustrations illuminate Oenslager’s mastery of the principles of design and his ability to exploit the technical possibilities of his theatre. “For twenty-five years, indeed ever since he did the settings for Sooner and Later down at the old and much lamented Neighborhood Playhouse, he has been making contributions to our theatre distinguished not only by their professionalism but by their versatility, their rightness, and their imagination. No playgoers who saw, for example, You Can't Take It With You, Pygmalion, The Doctor's Dilemma, Of Mice and Men, The Fabulous Invalid, Life With Mother, or the Players' Club revival of Uncle Tom's Cabin, can have forgotten the vital part Oenslager played in these productions, or the humor, the elegance, the beauty, the mastery of period details, and the variety of his work.”—John Mason Brown
Theatre Lighting Before Electricity covers the intricacies of dealing with stage lighting before the advent of electricity. Ranging from ancient Greek times to 1882, theater historian Frederick Penzel (shows that theatre lighting has a long and ingenious history. As early as the sixteenth century, Italian theatres had colored lighting displays. Scenes were lighted by large central chandeliers, and early forms of sidelights, reflectors, and floodlights were in use. Lighting was adjusted to create moods or to reinforce dramatic actions. Gaslighting was first generally used in theatres in 1817 and before the end of that year the most important London theatres were completely illuminated by gaslight. Penzel demonstrates that by the time electricity had come into use, most modem stage lighting devices had been in development for many years, and were only being modified for use with a more powerful light source. Originally published in 1978, this was the first written history of early theatre lighting and contains many valuable technical illustrations. This book continues to present an unparalleled resource on early stage lighting.
One of the Czech Republic’s most innovative scene designers, incorporating multimedia aspects into his scene designs, Josef Svoboda’s (1920–2002) work is made available to the Anglophone public with translations from Jarka Burian (1927–2005). A detailed study of sixty key productions designed by Svoboda with over two hundred black-and-white photographs, Svoboda’s scenography is realized as a synthesis of traditional methods with technical innovations, creating a total design experience.
Shirley S. Allen
Samuel Phelps (1804–1878) was an English actor and theater manager. In an era when performances of Shakespeare’s works had been replaced with derived versions of themselves, Phelps became known for his exquisite productions of Shakespeare that were faithful to their original versions. Phelps revolutionized Shakespearean theatre when he took over management of Sadler’s Wells Theatre and began showing productions of faithful reproductions. This is the definitive biography of the producer who brought the Shakespeare’s original plays back to the forefront of theatre after over 100 years of derived versions. His exquisite reproductions revolutionized stage design and management. This is an especially important book for those interested in theatrical history and Shakespeare.
Walther Richard Volbach
In the complex art of theatrical design and production, the first decades of this century saw no more original or lastingly influential innovator than Adolphe Appia (1862–1928). Partly through his startling stage designs, more perhaps through his published writings and personal contacts with men of the theatre throughout Europe, his ideas and theories wrought a revolution whose effects are everywhere today. Yet the details of his work and the extent of his influence have heretofore had no proper recognition or even complete recording.
Concentrating on Appia’s aesthetic ideas, writings, and professional accomplishments, this book traces his career from early days as a music student in his native Geneva, Paris, and Germany through his association with Houston Stewart Chamberlain and the Bayreuth circle, his exchanges with Gordon Craig, his work with Jaques-Dalcroze at Hellerau, and his crowning production (for Toscanini) of Tristan at La Scala, to his declining years and death in 1928.
The arrangement is topical rather than chronological. Throughout, the growth of Appia’s theories and the steps in his career are shown in relation to the cultural milieu, especially the theatre, of his place and time. His personality and character too become evident: and thus one comes to know a man of genius who, though reserved with strangers, commanded the devoted respect of those who worked with him most closely.
Robert Edmond Jones and Robert Pendleton
This is a collection of essays written by a revolutionary in theatrical stagecraft, Robert Edmond Jones (1887–1954 ). Jones was a scenic, lighting, and costume designer who was vastly influential in stagecraft and is credited with bringing “The New Stagecraft” to the American drama. This collection delves into the mind of Jones as he illuminates his idea and design on paper. It also includes contributions from collaborators who described Jones as a colleague and friend. Those interested in stagecraft and the history of modern theatre will find this work a valuable gem of information from one of the most important figures in the history of modern theatre. Known for his simplistic set design, Robert Edmond Jones, was an innovator of American theatre, designing sets and lighting as incorporated aspects of performance, no longer a crutch for actors to depict setting, but a complement to the performance.
Printing is not supported at the primary Gallery Thumbnail page. Please first navigate to a specific Image before printing.