Design for the Stage: First Steps

By Darwin Reid Payne | Go to book overview

PART 3 From Text to Designs

When I eventually realized how indispensable an imaginative, experienced stage director is to a production, I began to read a script as though I were going to direct it myself. This did not turn me into a director, but it did make me a better designer. It gave me a kind of inner eye, a necessity for all artists.

Jo Mielziner

In the last analysis the designing of stage scenery is not the problem of an architect or a painter or a sculptor or even a musician, but of a poet.

Robert Edmond Jones

Stage sets, theatre must be ignored. All the great playwrights thought outside the theatre. Look at Aeschylus, Sophocles, Shakespeare.

Antonin Artaud


§17 A Note: An Explanation Concerning Explanations

The following section contains a number of written explanations whose purpose is to expose the reasoning behind scene designs as they were realized on the stage. They were recorded here in order to reveal not only the thinking process which informed those designs, but to demonstrate that there can be a logical approach to the art of scene design as well as an intuitive one.

It might be wise to draw the attention of the student designer to the fact that it will be a rare instance when, at some point during the production of a play, he does not have to defend in some manner,

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