Adolphe Appia

Adolphe Appia (ädôlf´ äp´pyä), 1862–1928, Swiss theorist of modern stage lighting and décor. In interpreting Wagner's ideas in scenic designs for his operas, Appia rejected painted scenery for the three-dimensional set; he felt that shade was as necessary as light to link the actor to this setting in time and space. His use of light, through intensity, color, and mobility, to set the atmosphere and mood of a play created a new perspective in scene design and stage lighting.

See his Work of Living Art and Man Is the Measure of All Things, in a single volume, ed. by B. Hewitt (tr. 1960); R. C. Beacham, Adolphe Appia: Theatre Artist (1987).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre
Adolphe Appia; H. D. Albright; Barnard Hewitt.
University of Miami Press, 1960
Directors on Directing: A Source Book of the Modern Theater
Toby Cole; Helen Krich Chinoy.
Bobbs-Merrill, 1963 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Adolphe Appia" begins on p. 138
Stage Decoration
Sheldon Cheney.
The John Day Company, 1928
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VII "Visions of a Different Theatre: Craig and Appia"
The Theatre of the Weimar Republic
John Willett.
Holmes & Meier, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Adolphe Appia begins on p. 25
Drama: Its Costume & Decor
James Laver.
Studio Publications, 1951
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Adolphe Appia begins on p. 226
Central and Flexible Staging: A New Theater in the Making
Walden P. Boyle.
University of California Press, 1956
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Adolphe Appia begins on p. 8
On Stage: A History of Theatre
Vera Mowry Roberts.
Harper & Row, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Adolphe Appia begins on p. 428
Richard Wagner and Festival Theatre
Simon Williams.
Greenwood Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Adolphe Appia begins on p. 151
Avant Garde Theatre, 1892-1992
Christopher Innes.
Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Eurythmics and Psychodrama" begins on p. 47
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