Stage Design throughout the World since 1935

Stage Design throughout the World since 1935

Stage Design throughout the World since 1935

Stage Design throughout the World since 1935

Excerpt

During the first third of the present century stage design in Argentina was confined to realistic conceptions. Occasionally it was enriched by the contributions of distinguished painters, but they were not always sufficiently conversant with the problems of the stage. Nevertheless there emerged from this period designers of the calibre of Rodolfo Franco, Lopez Naguil and Hector Basaldua.

In 1934 the foundation of a Higher School of Stage Design under the direction of Rodolfo Franco marked a turning point. Thenceforward we were able to count on professional designers who, after four years of specialized training, possessed all the secrets of their art. Three of Franco's original pupils still dominate our stage: Saulo Benavente, German Gelpi and Mario Vanarelli. We must also mention Gori Muñoz and the activities of the Seminary of the "Instituto Nacional de Estudios de Teatro."

The old routine has been superseded by a fresh conception in which creative fantasy and invention predominate, without, however, excluding a certain architectural realism or a thoroughgoing expressionism whenever either of these is called for. In this connection we must pay tribute to the stimulating part played by the so-called "independent" theatre (young, often experimental companies composed of mixed amateurs and professionals). Its extraordinary growth has hastened the maturity of our designers while at the same time forcing them, on account of limited funds, to develop manual dexterity and extreme ingenuity in craftsmanship.

Mario Vanarelli is preoccupied by the problem of distributing solid architectural masses on the playing area. All impression of heaviness disappears the moment he has regulated the lighting, for he is a past master of its laws.

Gori Muñoz, a Spaniard by origin, has an acute sense of volume and a painter's sense of colour, coupled with a specifically dramatic vision.

Saulo Benavente seems to pursue allegorical details rather than stage architecture. He never yields to personal idiosyncracy in his stage décor; it succeeds in being an essential part of the drama being performed upon the stage. He is bold, but with economy, density and a sure sense of synthesis.

HECTOR BASALDUA and JORGE DE OBIETA

AUSTRALIA

STAGE design in Australia may be divided roughly into four periods: the palmy, the naturalistic, the decorative and the Australian. Except for the first, however, no single period . . .

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