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The development of American stage design


The four American stage art style - set design, realism, new technology and building stage arts stage - are still the main style used in the 21st century. Theatre new technologies in a variety of continuous development and application of innovative stage designers of the audience surprised. Since the United States is that "the impact of constantly open to new ideas", we can expect the United States in the next stage of design development and will continue to affect the entire world.

From the 18th century to the 20th century, the American stage of development and the political, economic, scientific and technology development go hand in hand, simultaneous development, it is also during this time, the United States from a British colony into a superpower in the world is now strong. So you should not be surprised, in the 18,19 century American stage, and the introduction of the stage to imitate a lot of British technology. Only in the 20th century and the 21st century, the United States began to develop its own stage technology and the creation of a special stage of the American-style art design.

There are four main stage can be expressed in art style features the American stage: set design, realism, the "new stage of technology", there is one I call it "building design and actor / audience relationship", or simply called " Construction stage design. " The first two - Scenic Design and realism - in the 18th and 19th centuries, by the deep impact of the UK and Europe. However, in the 20th century developed into a special style of American characteristics, and therefore the United States today to keep the stage and the main entertainment industry is America's own style. U.S. luxurious and rich in high-tech stage set like a Broadway musical by means of communication so widespread in the world. Behind the two styles - the "new stage of technology" and "building stage arts" - appeared in the 20th century, writers in order to comply with non-text form and the emergence of the trend of entertainment, also known as "performance art." Although the "new stage of technology" and "building stage arts" are the true embodiment of the American performing arts as a serious art form, which not everyone knows the art form, so it is not known. However, to the stage on the U.S. art from the 18th century to today have a comprehensive understanding of the development, we must understand the four styles.

Began to explore these four styles, we need to be referred to lighting design technology in the new stage in the development of art forms play an important role. Qiti the early 18th century made the development of light art Fuza 19th century stage sets the stage and realistic features to develop. At that time gas lights lighting the stage lighting is used to control light. At the turn of the 20th century, the theater completely electronic lighting system installation stage forever changed the art design, which is often considered the 20th century, the only stage for a real revolution. 20th century lighting not only provides illumination, it has been converted into an effective tool for the Performing Arts. "Light screen" and has become a lively stage lighting the main factor in the scene, and the 20th century, more and more people to become more common choice. Since the color of the stage setting, structure and performances in a single overall effect can be a simple change in light and rapid, continuous change has become a more traditional stage lighting is also a driving force of reform. In my work as Head of performing arts, I am on the lighting design layout of the scene than the more specific interest. Give me a three-dimensional structure of the stage, and then performing space with a multi-level and advanced lighting effects, I will be very pleased to be the stage director, really. However, I as a director of the 21st century, if not rich in the United States performing arts tradition, my personal aesthetic will not have been so good development.

Set design

Perhaps the most famous American stage is the stage of its spectacular art, especially through the many Broadway musicals in the world of communication, such as "Ghost Opera", "Miss Saigon", "Cats," "Les Miserables", " 42nd Street, "" Oklahoma ", there are many many more, I am here to talk about are endless. Although these are mostly from the United Kingdom and France are the works of composer and lyricist, the packaging and promotion of music through the unique work for the United States, usually music or stage art performances themselves than the more famous. However, the set design for the United States is no stranger to the stage, because since the beginning of the 18th century it has become an important part of the stage. When touring the UK to the U.S. to play in the company when they will bring the latest trend, as early as 1784, when there is a scenery painter in France, called Charles Busselotte the beginning of the work in the U.S.. The earliest form of stage scenery is good at making the rich backdrop of the artists color creation. Charles W. Witham is recognized as a famous native of the United States set the stage artist, and he's famous is because people think he and one of the most famous actor of the 19th century Edwin Booth to work together. Booth urban construction in New York in 1869, a theater, it was the most technologically advanced and most luxurious theater layout, home theater and Witham is that the chief design engineer. [SLIDE] This is a side view, including the arch stage, side of the box, the audience and sets, these are the opening by the Witham as Booth Shakespeare's masterpiece "Romeo and Juliet" and designed. But Booth is because he played "Hamlet" the image of the famous. [SLIDE], the show brought him worldwide applause. [SLIDE] This is a watercolor painting, showing the Witham Booth starring for the work, "Hamlet" act 1, 2 field (the interview room in the palace) and stage design. We can see that this is a very beautiful picture, there are box sets of characteristics, which originated in the mid 19th century a very popular British stage for the new art style. Witham and a number of capable assistants in the theater drawing room, specially designed to produce those stunning set of his [SLIDE]. Witham draw the pair of watercolors, not only beautiful on the stage structure, and expression to this as a well-designed and created a large variety of scenery.

Booth's Theatre and Theatre of advanced technology known as the theater can accommodate a wide range of machinery and equipment to enhance the stage effects. OB Bunce in May 1870 in Appleton's Journal published an article in the journal, and praise the stage background and equipment, with these charts. [SLIDE] pair of map you can see the stage trap door under a small room and platform, these things can be achieved through hydraulic machine to lift the set of equipment, "almost no voice and movements are very precise location." For the audience, these props rise "like magic, they are beautiful and feel inspired." [SLIDE] This picture inside the rigging loft shows us the upper portion of the curtain. [SLIDE] This canvas shows the position of lifting a worker in place the appropriate use of time and fall counterweight system to enhance the position of the curtain. Bunce told us that the lifting canvas is the ground 65 feet from the stage [20 meters], and to help enhance the hydraulic props of the people in their 95 feet below [29 meters] of the place. This type of theater theater major cities in the United States a lot of the standard, and still exists today, although it is more sophisticated use of computerized electric drive system to achieve the curtain scene changes.

With the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century invention of more advanced continuous machinery and equipment, the theater was soon combined with the advanced equipment and very proud to promote their theaters are using the most advanced technologies to create unprecedented is amazing spectacular scenery. Steele MacKaye, a late 19th century, a very talented actor, playwright, architect and inventor, in 1879 opened a theater Gengjia high-tech than Booth's Theatre, has a lift as the same stage. [SLIDE] "Madison Square Theatre," is this program in 1880 marked the cover of this desc ription, this theater is focused on a better stage set. Note that the expanded look at the wall of the stage inside the double-arch stage. Two stage can the right place or in the performance management process through the stage to change, this is thanks to the invention MacKaye landing stage. [SLIDE] such as the pair shown below. In this picture there, performing on stage in progress, and stage management staff are busy changing the scenery above the stage. Finished a performance or act of the play when the curtain down on for the moment, only four people in the raised position winch, or to stage a show is being staged in the appropriate position when the curtain let down some can do the next show good preparation. According to a popular magazine Scientific American article described above, this article was published in 1884, the article said "the stage is like the elevator carriages in the same way as the rise and fall. This huge stage by elevator up and down a shaft, away from the top in the end is the height of 114 feet under the [35 meters]. the stage in a compact wooden two-story structure of steel structures rise and fall, and above and below the hanging lamps are intertwined with frame structure. increase or decrease to the appropriate location of the stage only takes about 40 seconds, the whole process does not produce noise, harsh noise or vibration, it is because the balance of the stage and the counterweight role. "[SLIDE] These are MacKaye stage is the design drawings for the elevator, in 1879 he has been patented in the U.S. Patent Office.

Set design is a 19th century American theater two most popular genres - melodrama and musicals, the main part. Melodrama, focusing on the emotional effect of the plot and the perfect stage, melodrama quickly applied the latest technology to attract the audience's attention. The most famous is a very popular in Dion Boucicault's drama, 1857's "New York streets" The Streets of New York, [SLIDE] then there is a large economy in the stage above the fire apartment was destroyed . Stage scene by scene picture, sound and lighting new developments are a very big impact, the development of the gas thermal properties of light levels for the stage provides a unified neat control, above the stage with a Drummond or lime light, providing the first high directional brightness stage lighting - which became the first spotlight. In musical terms, the use of technology allows song-and-over actress on the stage "fly." [SLIDE] pair depicts some of the actress in the musical "wicked liar" which shows scenes of aerial ballet, it is widely believed this is the beginning of American musical comedy. Performance is the performance starts in September 1866, continuous performance of 16 months, through the spectacular scenery and dancers dressed in sexy attracts numerous visitors. At that time, a critic said: "The scenery is spectacular, ballet is beautiful, the play itself is garbage." However, the beautiful actress flight appearance of the landscape was mainly due to the application stage of new technology in 1866 is indeed a very sensational thing. This year is the year after the Civil War, when the Americans just want to relax and enjoy the show in the theater of the time. "Evil liar" after a series followed and the same type of repertoire, including the 1899-1900's Ben-Hur, this musical is considered the pinnacle of the nineteenth century set the stage. [SLIDE] This is the gallery set, [SLIDE] This is the hallway set. This has a musical prologue, 6 screen, 17 games, the first act there is 14 games. At that time, a commentator was surprised and said, "This person performed the most important is the scene set in the painting division," because without them the show would not have such good results.

Of course, Spectacle Theatre stage as the United States art world knew it was in the 20th century and the 21st century this time. Owners and designers of the 20th century, the introduction of new technology will soon make their performances more ambitious, more sophisticated. [SLIDE] and stage designer Joseph Urban supervisors Florenz Ziegfeld musical comedy together to create a series of colorful sets and costumes, the musical comedy also known as Ziegfeld Follies, in mid-1907 to 30 even become an annual edition set of musical comedy. This is the Urban Follies of 1916, the opening musical theater design. His special feature at the scenery is vivid and colorful stage design stage, he used the French pointillism technique, elegant lighting makes the whole set looks a shimmering light. Perhaps his greatest achievement is his Ziegfeld as "performance boat" designed for this musical set. [SLIDE] 1927 Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical is the first real character and theme with the United States of American musical theater. Urban's set design, although the design is very luxurious, and he introduced realism, which is a stage set from Italy over the technical introduction of realism, but this style completely occupied the new concept of American culture, and later became the 20th century a model of mid-American musical theater.

Shubert brothers in the 20th century's most successful theater owner, in their peak, they are more than 100 theaters across the country, and the monopoly of the other 1,000. They created their own imitation of Ziegfeld series of musical, has also created a version once a year, called The Passing Show. [SLIDE] The musical, in their extravagant stage staged Broadway Theatre, Winter Garden Hall, a major Shubert musicals staged the most important place. (For example, Cats "Cats" is performed at the Winter Garden Hall, the 18 years of his repertoire.) This is the result of innovations in 1923 after the theater stage, front curtains, boxes and so on. This is starring in 1918's Passing Show was the Winter Garden hall.

1905 established in New York City, 43rd Street and Sixth Avenue between 44th Street Theatre, the spectacular scenery of the Hippodrome Performing Arts as a model for the United States. [SLIDE] Hippodrome Theatre occupies the entire block of the location of the Theatre of the entertainment shows are very famous. Each device installed in the theater so the audience was dazzled, including two water bearing 42 presses feet [13 meters] of the round ground, as shown. Below them is a 60 x100 foot [18 x 31 m] of the pool, can be a variety of swimming and diving performances. The theater can accommodate 5,000 spectators, in which consumption is high, the theater was finally removed in 1939.

ahong 2006-06-20 02:01
Despite the disappearance of the Hippodrome Theatre, set design is still a major American entertainment industry an attractive place, especially the Broadway musical. [SLIDE] "Ghost Opera" premiered in 1988, and now is still performing, just because of its spectacular stage art continue to attract millions of viewers, but also every show has a variety of decorative lights to decorate the stage floor. [SLIDE] Although a few years ago the theater has been closed, "Miss Saigon" is another beautiful scene because of its well-known musical effects. While starring the famous actor Jonathan Pryce, as shown, many viewers are left to enjoy the time in the helicopter from Saigon landing stage scenes and buy tickets. Although the scenery is very simple - propeller aircraft, is tied with tennis and made one end of a rope - the audience every time I saw here when they are crafted scenes for this issue wow voice.


Realism appeared in the late 18th century European modernist playwright's creation, which is to explore the heart of the community was the industrial revolution and social branches of a method. The world is constantly changing, some playwrights such as Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, and a large group of imitators, felt the need to the new challenges of modern life and complexity is reflected in the stage above. In order to adapt to this new mode of writing, stage artists also made the corresponding return map. The use of previously popular mainly box sets, skilled designers for these new features in three dimensions has a rich repertoire of the stage to create a living space that people recognized. Performing Arts and the perfect combination of machinery and equipment to provide people with more fine detail, and makes the set a "real" environment, the authenticity of the audience by surprise. In fact, the trend of realism tends to have several years ago which started in melodrama, melodrama at the time and concentrate on the work of the working class caused by the influx of urban factory cities of poverty. Charles Witham, we also remember him for the Booth theater design stage effects, and he arranged in terms of realistic scenes of his early attempts to use a lot of skills. [SLIDE] He created the design of this very reality is realistic Edward Harrigan 1886 comedy The Leather Patch and design. Soon, people's enthusiasm for naturalistic scenery gradually expanded last year in the works DAVid Belasco 1912 The Governor's Lady reach the top. [SLIDE] as the owner of the theater, playwrights and designers Belasco, no doubt to become the originator of American Naturalism, in this work on the play of his extraordinary talents, he was on the stage above the walls, roof, counters, chairs stool and kitchen appliances and so mimic the internal structure of a Childs restaurant. He rented a hotel chain to store the time to use for the stage performance of the food. In the Belasco, the stage designers continue to choose the mode of realism, but they use more art forms and strange idea, and thus even less with practice. [SLIDE] Donald Oenslager for the Kaufman and Hart comedy You Can't Take It With You, the stage design, is the American stage classic example of realism, which pay more attention to the environment at the appropriate characteristics to improve the desc ription of characters, rather than unnecessary because the authenticity of the audience wow. [SLIDE] for a more faithful application of real-life naturalism which in many serious plays, for example, designed by the Howard Bay works the Federal Theater Project 1938 One-Third of a Nation. This live drama reflects 30 years of the 19th century the situation of ordinary Americans during the depression, by Howard Bay designs for 70 feet [21 meters] of housing set to reflect the reality of the urban poor living conditions of added features.

On behalf of ordinary Americans in a variety of realistic features of the stage environment model, the emergence of a new mode of realism, or realism, lyric poetry is called realism. The most famous use of this style is Jo Mielziner, he was honored for two mid-20th century America's most important theatrical stage set design. [SLIDE] This two plays: Tennessee Williams's "Streetcar Named Desire," a play that begins in 1947, and Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," premiered in 1949. Although Mielziner as "A Streetcar Named Desire," the stage design was used as the stage for the miracle of the lips and wide, in fact, he is "Death of a Salesman" is more well-known set designed. "A Streetcar Named Desire," describes living in New Orleans, Stanley and Stella Kowalski dilapidated apartment house (Marlon Brando played Stanley Kowalski in this role) [SLIDE] in "Death of a Salesman," the stage design Mielziner the realism and performance Doctrine perfect together. This is his design of the play sets, this pair of photographs more realistic representation of the prevailing themes. [SLIDE] Loman's house because of the background screen frame house on the tall against the backdrop of the background pattern is even more short, so as to stimulate the deep, engaging an atmosphere. [SLIDE] However, the scenery Mielziner real greatness lies in his character could also outline the psychological world. Willy Loman, and a variety of scenarios designed by realism reality with a simple set of space to create the perfect effect, scene, including a suburban backyard, a Manhattan restaurant, a hotel room in Boston and a cemetery. The show will be the effect of an innovative set of 21st century American art of sc ript writing and stage.

"The new stage of technology"

Mielziner works in the early 19th century also a lack of "new stage of technology", mainly due to the design of Robert Edmond Jones was theoretical influence. And DAVid Belasco Theatre works and other surreal stage sets the contrary, Jones invented a simple set style, just a hint in real life, but not real-life reproduction. [SLIDE] he Anatole France in 1915 as a one-act play, The Man Who Married a Dumb Wife, the design indicates that the "new stage of technology" to start. His simple and multi-angle set design, mainly silver and black color profile, which was the embodiment of that era, these design with him in the Belasco and the style of the supernatural set designers are used in excess. Although designed by the impact of European art theater deep, but Jones stressed that he is a "typical American professional art" and that he will apply these ideas to create a new American aesthetic. In 1917 he predicted "a few years after the United States will lead the world stage technology development", in fact, his predictions are really just a few years later to come true.

Jones's stroke of genius is that he should be satisfied that the stage is set repertoire of needs, not just to draw people's attention, Jones's stage into a new stage technology ideas sign characteristics. His style can be understood as "eclectic" because of his design no two designs are the same or even very similar. He advocated: "the scenery is not for watching, and scenery will be forgotten. Drama is flame, set to make the flames burn even more vigorously in the air." Although he has always insisted such a creed, but in general, although he rarely Pianli sc ript sets the content and characters, the simplicity of his set did win the audience's attention. [SLIDE] This is the American playwright Eugene Jones. Premiere in 1924, O'Neill's "Desire Under the Elms," the show's stage design. Such as the critic Joseph Wood Krutch said in his comments, "Jones set the stage holding the view that the terms of a single scene to show the permanent end of the cottage, in need to use one or more rooms set when removed part of the design of the wall. These methods are excellent performing arts to attract the audience's attention on the dramatic case of environmental. "Mielziner later as the" Death of a Salesman "design is obviously affected by the impact of Jones; two forms of scenery are successful the characters as they provide a realistic and psychological environment, which is also good to the American art of the requirements of the new theater.

Jones broke a lot of bold design of traditional design. Lee Simonson Expressionism with the European performance of the U.S. writers created a very effective stage setting, for example, the performance was Elmer writers. Rice, 1923, "Adding Machine" The Adding Machine, this drama tells the is a call Mr. Zero man, he is helping others to calculate the number of living very long, but there was an application of the latest technology additions from the machine, instead of his work, and then murdered him in retaliation for his boss. [SLIDE] This is a drama about the trial of this picture, set in the crooked walls and sharp angles very image of the background of the complaint, Mr. Zero when the fingers. [SLIDE] Here is a drama depicting the last, Zero climbed on top of huge additions machinery scene. Another "new stage of technology," the designer, Norman Bel Geddes in the European designer Adolphe Appia and Gordon Craig find inspiration in the works, he applied to the unique perspective of their American idioms. He is probably best known in 1924 as Max Reinhardt's The Miracle design morality play set, [SLIDE] to this morality play, Bel Geddes will be located in New York, "Century Theatre" into the image for a large Cathedral of the same environment. This is part of the entire set of drawings, theater as the audience sat in a gathering like the medieval cathedral inside the area. [SLIDE] The Miracle is shown here that the inside of the Inquisition scene, the vertical structure of the stage decorated with lights and shadows gives a cross-cutting effect of the huge sense of mystery and fear. Bel Geddes layout of the building above, accounting for some of the audience space, which is to lead us into the fourth and final stage, a harbinger of style, I called the architectural style of the fourth stage design stage design.

Fine Arts Building Stage

The traditional style of 19th century theater stage, and most American cities to become Broadway Theatre stage model, stage by stage, this style of building structures clearly demonstrated the relationship between actor and audience. Actors from the stage decorated inside the framework of power, and then one to perform for an audience of art. This design is modeled on the way to visit art museums, the Art Museum which is the same painting, painting all in the frame inside. All the spectators are sitting in the audience of fixed seats installed in the ground, from the perspective of a single performance on the stage to watch. They were forced to watch the show from the front. Usually arched wall in front of the stage in front of the actors and the audience the band further divided into two separate spaces. Bel Geddes designed the division began to break the traditional boundaries; in the 19th century, 50's and 60's, these traditional style of the new theater was completely destroyed the building design, new design requirements between the audience and the actors form a new spatial relationships. Of course, all these styles in previous Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Moliere, and the drama of their colleagues have seen above the stage, and later be found out these styles and is the 20th century, American audiences are used. Stage construction stage of the above changes led to changes in art, because the old style was designed by the previously determined structure of arch stage. Usually works the theater building itself is part of stage art performances, so that the actors in the performance space was redefined from a new angle to help the audience feel and enjoy the show. [SLIDE] Directed by Tyrone Guthrie and designer Tanya Moiseivitsch together to design a new theater space format, the performance of a variety of innovative ways to stage productions. They built two famous theaters - one in Minnesota, the city's Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, as shown, there is a Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Festival Theatre - The The two theater festivals implementation stage of their so-called art. As a stage designer and costume designer Moiseivitsch, her fashion design stage design and performance with application to the theater, the theater inside the multilateral arena ladder structure of the unexpected position in the auditorium, thus reducing the bulk of the scene design , and this theater building design for her elaborate costumes enjoy the following play in the light provides the perfect space. [SLIDE] Another innovative stage design is the "environmental design" as the 60's a major feature of the theater movement. More general design of the theater would also like the style with the environment, for example, based on Voltaire's novel Candide "Candide" by Leonard Bernstein composer of the musical on Broadway in 1973, it is the use of this style. Directed by Harold Prince the actors and the audience mixed together, divided into many blocks of the theater space. [SLIDE] arena-style stage design, stage design is circular manner, but also to the theater at the time with a retro feel, such as New York's Circle in the Square Theatre, which can meet every drama necessary, in the space of continuous re-design. [SLIDE] All of these mainstream theaters are subject to the fifties and sixties deeply influenced the New York Greenwich Village, is the east side of the theater stage, the stage reduced. The most famous one is the "performance garage", the beginning is by the director Richard Schechner used to experiment with her work performance, but to "performance troupe" and known. [SLIDE] their most famous work is "69 years of Dionysus" Dionysus in '69 is based on the European Euripides's "Bacchus female companion" The Bacchae adaptation, the actors and the audience fully integrated together with each other. "Performance garage" was later taken over by the Worcester Theatre, Worcester theater troupe developed by Schechner formed a company, they are also the full use of space as their performance environment. [SLIDE] This is a performing Chekhov's "Three Sisters" performance when the photo was later renamed the drama troupe to Brace Up!

Structures also affect the work of Broadway designers, although the stage space itself has not changed, stage design must be combined with more architectural design, the standard stage set is relatively small. [SLIDE] Robin Wagner in 1981 musical Dreamgirls "Dream Girl" design on each side of the stage sets were placed two lighthouses, the lighthouse marks the time and scene of rotation changes. Other themes include the stairs, stage equipment and stage walls, the lights facing the audience. Occasionally, the brightest light to hit to reach the audience dazzling lighting effects.

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