Scenery: A Manual of Scene Design

By Harold Helvenston | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THIS book does not presume to offer aid to the professional. It is designed for the amateur interested in the problems and technique of scene design, more particularly for use in little theatres, high schools, universities, and dramatic clubs where the efforts of the designer are usually governed by a definite and limited budget and where the general tendency is to use stock settings, makeshift scenery, or "just a few drapes," instead of a suitable and well-designed stage setting for each individual play. In a nutshell, the purpose of the book is to offer a process for the development of stage settings suitable to the play and in keeping with the production, with an eye toward good taste and strict economy.

I am deeply indebted to Donald Mitchell Oenslager, Stanley McCandless, and Philip Barber, of the Yale University Department of the Drama for their expert instruction and for their exacting demands, which taught me to be careful, and for the inspiration gained while a student in their classes. I am particularly grateful to Professor Lee Emerson Bassett and Mr. Gordon Davis for their encouragement and invaluable suggestions; to Mr. Charles G. Norris for his unfailing interest in the book; to Dr. Margery Bailey, Mr. Barrett H. Clark, Mr. Robert Cathcart, and Mr. John McClelland for their work and assistance in reading the manuscript; to Edwin H. Smith for financial data; to Miss Alma Steininger, Mr. Frederick Stover, Mr. Frank Poole Bevan, Mr. Arthur Hurt, Mr. William Kline, and others, whose sketches appear within the book; and last, but not least, to the staff of Stanford University Press, whose enthusiasm and care are evidenced in the making of the book.

To assume that the book is all-inclusive or altogether complete would be to put it in a false light. Neither is it to be regarded as an infallible collection of the "only methods" of doing things scenically--it is simply a method for the evolution of the stage setting through its many phases, written from the point of view of a plan that has worked.

HAROLD HELVENSTON

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA March 18, 1931

-xi-

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Scenery: A Manual of Scene Design
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Illustrations xv
  • Scenery and the Designer 3
  • A Process for Scene Design 11
  • A Process for Scene Design Working Drawings 17
  • A Process for Scene Design - The Scene Model 32
  • Light in the Scene 38
  • Scene Painting 51
  • The Exterior Scene - The Natural Exterior 61
  • The Exterior Scene the Architectural Exterior 68
  • Economy in Cost of Construction and Materials 72
  • The Strange Case of Scenery 79
  • The Scene Webster 83
  • Index 91
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