Theatrical Design in the Twentieth Century: An Index to Photographic Reproductions of Scenic Designs

Theatrical Design in the Twentieth Century: An Index to Photographic Reproductions of Scenic Designs

Theatrical Design in the Twentieth Century: An Index to Photographic Reproductions of Scenic Designs

Theatrical Design in the Twentieth Century: An Index to Photographic Reproductions of Scenic Designs

Synopsis

Pictorial references are essential to illustrate any discussion of theatrical design. There are resources that locate original scenic designs, but access to original work is often restricted. The easiest way for most people to research stage designs is to consult photographic reproductions, but finding photographs from hundreds--if not thousands--of sources requires much time and effort. This index of 7000 productions by more than 2000 scenic designers focuses on photographs of 20th-century sets, renderings, and models of theatre and opera productions appearing in 114 selected books and journals likely to be held by most research libraries.

Excerpt

No matter how much verbal discussion occurs concerning theatrical scene design over the past one hundred years, a complete description will of necessity involve graphics. Resources locating many collections of original scenic and costume designs are becoming available but may not provide a method to compare works of various designers. Since original designs may not easily be accessible to the casual researcher, photographic reproductions offer the only way most people can view these works. Many sources containing photographs are available, but comparing different productions of the same play may require arduous research. This index of one hundred and fourteen books and journals focuses on photographs of twentieth century sets, renderings, and models of theatre and opera productions. The selected publications consist of books about theatre history, scenic design, and stagecraft, as well as design exhibition catalogs and books about specific designers or types of productions. Most research libraries will hold many of these books, which should serve as a starting point for additional research.

In general, I have indexed only theatre and opera productions. Designs for dance or ballet are listed only if they are included in the output of a significant designer or if they are for commonly recognized and frequently produced works. The photos selected are those showing most if not all of the scenic design. Occasional photos show very little of a setting but have enough detail to establish a sense of the total visual picture.

Titles of productions found in photograph captions are sometimes abbreviated or written in the language of the country where the play was produced. I generally listed play titles as they are shown in the written text or in the photograph's caption, but made occasional changes to provide for easier reference. Commonly used abbreviated versions of a title may be cross-referenced with the complete title. Titles of well-known plays captioned in more than one language may be changed to the most commonly used translation so as to appear in a single location in the listing.

Designer's names may have different spellings, depending upon the origin of the text. When a name has more than one spelling, I chose the most common to reduce confusion in alphabetizing. Since published captions do not always indicate all of the participants, not all designers are identified along with their designs. Designer's names were included if other sources yielded the information.

The location of a production can sometimes be difficult to establish. When possible, the name of the theatre and its location will be listed. For multiple productions of the same play, the location of the production shown in the photograph is the one listed. If the production location is not established, the production company may be listed instead. The researcher may notice an occasional discrepancy between a production date or location . . .

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