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The use of the design elements in the stage designs of Robert Edmond Jones and Lee Simonson

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Title:
The use of the design elements in the stage designs of Robert Edmond Jones and Lee Simonson
Added title page title:
Design elements in the stage designs of Robert Edmond Jones and Lee Simonson
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Middleton, Herman David, 1925-
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Copyright Date:
1964
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English
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vi, 210 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Colors ( jstor )
Design analysis ( jstor )
Design elements ( jstor )
Geometric lines ( jstor )
Graphic design ( jstor )
Lines in space ( jstor )
Mass settings ( jstor )
Scene generation ( jstor )
Theater ( jstor )
Theater design ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Speech -- UF ( lcsh )
Speech thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Theaters -- Stage-setting and scenery ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis - University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 203-209.
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Manuscript copy.
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Vita.

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THE USE OF THE DESIGN ELEMENTS IN THE

STAGE DESIGNS OF ROBERT EDMOND JONES

AND LEE SIMONSON












By
HERMAN DAVID MIDDLETON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY












UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


August, 1964






























Copyright by
Herman David Middleton
1964













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


For the use of illustrations the writer gratefully

acknowledges the cooperation of the following individuals

and organizations: Victor Jackson, for the photograph of

the setting from The Rhine Gold; Orville Larson, for

photographs of the settings of Robert Edmond Jones;

Marshall Metze of Sandak, Inc., for photographs of the

paintings of Franz Kline and settings by Lee Simonson;

Crown Publishers, Inc., for the Gauguin print; and The

IMuseum of Modern Art for the print of Jackson Pollock.

Special assistance was given by Edward Kook, Peter

Larkin, Ralph Pendleton, Mary Hall Furber, Orville Larson,

and the staffs of The Library of Congress, The New York

Public Library, and The University of Florida Library.

The study was conceived and executed under the

direction of Dr. L. L. Zimmerman. Other suggestions and

encouragement were given by the late Dr. Dallas C. Dickey,

Professor H. P. Constans, and committee members Dr. Melvin

Baker, Dr. August Staub, and Dr. Roy E. Tew. The problems

of the study have been lived with and shared by the writer's

family his wife, Amelia, son, David, and daughter,

Kathleen.


iii








For the interest and aid of all of these the writer

is most grateful.














1' DL j *- U iH 1 I,.


..na ter

C. ..L .


L .. .


Limiitations of the -ediui of
Scene ,lsi;n


,.eatre on


.. iuc.ss of Artistic ,oncu,,tion
.i Process of artisticc executionn

S-'"") Jul:'' ... OF 7 i IF L i

ii fouch of tne oet
aacbeth
":nry VIII
Summary

i ; '*S "

,d inA- .-icine
Jynamo
.., itr on 3C
-..o Ijine iold
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., prisonn of Jones' and i ronson's .
ol the '.esin Ie. ~.c
values of the ",sin Process and Scene
Analysis


S;e

iii


I ..


134











LIST OF PLATES


Plate Page
1 Jackson Pollock, "Number One," 1950 21
2 Paul Gauguin, "Still-Life," 1890 26

3 Franz Kline, "Painting No. 7," 1952 29
4 Franz Kline, "Mahoning," 1956 33
5 Robert Edmond Jones, A Touch of the Poet,
"Melody's Tavern," 1946 62

6 Robert Edmond Jones, Macbeth, Act III,
Scene 4, "The Banquet," 1921 77

7 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII, Act II,
Scene 1, "Buckingham's Farewell," 1944 92

8 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII, Act II,
Scene 4, "Katharine's Trial," 1944 102

9 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII, Act III,
Scene 2, "The King's Apartment," 1944 112

10 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII, Act IV,
Scene 1, "The Coronation of Anne," 1944 117

11 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII, Act V,
Scene 5, "The Christening of Eliza-
beth," 1944 124

12 Lee Simonson, The Adding Machine, Scene 4,
"A Place of Justice," 1923 142

13 Lee Simonson, Dynamo, Act III, "The
Dynamo," 1929 151

14 Lee Simonson, Amphitryon 38, Act I,
"Amphitryon's Palace," 1936 158

15 Lee Simonson, The Rhine Gold, Scene 1,
"The Bottom of the Hhine," 1948 174
vi














INTRODUCTION


The purpose of this study is to analyze the way in

which the elements of design have been used in the exe-

cution of selected stage settings of Robert Edmond Jones

and Lee Simonson. These elements are: line, mass, color,

and, light and shade. Designers Jones and Simonson were

selected since they are generally acknowledged to be the

finest of the first generationi of scene designers of the

United States.

The need for such a study was shown when the writer

taught advanced courses in scene design and theatre history

at the University of Delaware. It was discovered that

only a few books contained reproductions of the work of

modern scene designers, and that color reproductions of

their work was almost non-existent. Moreover, none of

these published designs is analyzed in detail. They exist

in a vacuum with no suggestions as to how the student

ought to approach viewing them, and with essentially no

descriptions of how they represent a particular designer's


1Prior to the twentieth century scenery for the
proscenium arch stage was designed by easel painters.
The modern theatre, which uses scenery as an organic
part of the production, has necessitated the development
of a particular kind of artist, the scene designer.

1






2

method of creating an organic setting for a given play

script.

This study's purpose demands that a framework or

basis for scene design analysis be established, one which

makes it possible to discover how the design elements -

line, mass, color, light and shade were used by Robert

Edmond Jones and Lee Simonson. It is to be inferred that

this, in turn, might become the basis for a study of the

work of any theatrical designer. Furthermore, this writer

believes it is only through understanding the artist's

problems, the process by which the work of art was pro-

duced, that one may deeply appreciate a work of art and

be able to analyze it.

The process of scene design has two parts: concep-

tion and execution. It derives from two sources: modern

aesthetics and design theory as it is found in the space

arts, painting, sculpture, and architecture. An artist

is always restricted in his conception and execution by

the limitations of the particular medium in which he

works. In examining the artistic process involved in

scene design, it should be remembered that probably no

medium restricts the artist as much as the theatre does

the scene designer. Therefore, before the design process

operative in scenic art can be isolated and considered,

the major limitations of the medium must be explored.







3
Limitations of the Medium of Theatre
on Scene Design

The scene designer must remember that theatre is a

motion art since a performance of a play consists of

actors moving in space. Usually these actors are sur-

rounded by scenery and are illuminated with varying

degrees of light. Sometimes the scenery moves and fre-

quently there are changes in the patterns of light and

shade. While the easel painter captures the movement of

his subject in his mind's eye and executes it on a two-

dimensional canvas in a stationary picture, the scene

designer must provide the actors with a decor which allows

them to move around according to the dictates of the ideas,

emotions, and physical necessities of the script being

interpreted. This limitation is peculiar to theatre. The

only other space art in which movement may exist is in some

modern sculpture. Mobile sculpture moves and presents a

constantly changing stimulus to the viewer. The complexity

and demands of that movement, however, do not reach the

proportions of that found in a stage production. Movement

in the latter becomes highly complex with the actor,.

segments of scenery, and/or light and shade moving in

various combinations.

The artistic processes of the modern scene designer

also are affected significantly by the fact that he is

working in an era in which the theatre is dominated by






4

the playwright. The twentieth century theatre bases its

production of plays upon the playwright's script, in

contrast to the last two centuries in which the theatre

was dominated by the actor, and in which virtuoso painters

were needed to create an artistically satisfying picture

before which the great stars could perform. Today, the

script becomes the blueprint from which the many artists -i

director, actors, scene designer, costume designer -

build the play, with the director's interpretation of the

script as the means of unifying the final composite

product. Consequently, in his design process the contem-

porary designer must employ the design elements in a manner

capable of satisfying the needs of the playwright's script

as interpreted by the director.

The scene designer also is controlled by the types

and styles of scenery peculiar to his age. 7hile spe-

cialized types of settings such as arena and platform

staging do exist, the twentieth century proscenium theatre

inherited and retained two basic types of stage scenery -

the wing and drop setting and the box setting. These

types function within a space whose maximum and minimum

limits are determined by the size of the human figure, and

they are revealed to audiences primarily through the use

of the picture frame stage of the proscenium theatre. The

stylistic development or treatment of these types,

however, is no longer limited to the representational






5

styles of the nineteenth century realism and naturalism.

Today, one also discovers such presentational styles of

scenic art as constructivism, theatricalism, and expres-

sionism. John Colby Lewis has summarized the emergence of

these presentational art styles in these words,

First the realistic elements were reduced in number
and simplified. Thus the complete nature of the object
was conveyed by sug estions, and imagination once more
returned to art. It was then but a step to the symbol,
a sign which would stand, not for the material nature
of the object but for its essential inner meaning.
The impressionists symbolized the whole with a part
of the whole. The expressionists employ a symbol which
is pure form. The form is carefully organized so that
every part of it is a necessary statement of the idea.
Since it expresses an idea rather than describing an
object, the form is abstract. For the same reason it
may ignore everyday logic of space and time in the
interest of expressing an idea that transcends indi-
vidual manifestations in space and time.2

The modern American scene designer may be influenced by

all of these styles as he fulfills his creative function

in the theatre. Because the twentieth century audience

accepts many styles of scenery, the scene designer has

considerable freedom with which to work within the medium

of theatre.

The final limitation imposed upon the scene designer

is due to the fact that the medium of theatre requires that

its scenery fulfill three purposes. The first is that it

reveal the emotions of the playwright's 'script by

john Colby Lewis "A Correlation of the Theatre
with the Graphic Arts" IPh. D. dissertation, Cornell
University, 1940), p. 458.








reinforcing the physical and psychological relationships

of the characters in the story. writing g in On the Art of

the Theatre, published in 1905 and now a standard reference

work for theatre artists,3 Gordon Craig presented this

fundamental belief of the twentieth century theatre.

According to him, all artists who participate in the pro-

duction of a play must make their contributions "match the

verse or the prose, the beauty of it, the sense of it."4

Lith respect to the scene designer he suggested specifi-

cally that

.. he does not merely sit down and draw a pretty
or historically accurate design, with enough doors and
windows in picturesque places, but he first of all
chooses certain colours which seem to him to be in
harmony with the spirit of the play, rejecting other
colours as out of tune. He then weaves into a pattern
certain objects -- an arch, a fountain, a balcony, a
bed -- using the chosen object as the centre of his
design. Then he adds to this all the objects which
are mentioned in the play, and which are necessary to
be seen. To these he adds, one by one, each character,
and each costume. He is likely as not to make several
mistakes in his pattern. If so, he must, as it were,
unpick the design, and rectify the blunder even if he
has to go right back to the beginning and start the
pattern all over again -- or he may even have to begin
a new pattern. At any rate, slowly, harmoniously,
must the whole design develop, so that the eye of the
beholder shall be satisfied. I:hile this pattern for
the eye is being devised, the designer is being
guided as much by the sound of the verse or prose as
by the sense or spirit. . .5

3Gordon Craig, On the Art of the Theatre (London,
1912), p. 149.

4Ibid., p. 139.

5Ibid., pp. 157, 158.







7

rere is revolution indeed! - idea of a scene de. .',r

..1., ied "verse," "prose, "sense,' or isrit as

totally force i to the ni eteenth century i er of .i,

and drop scenery.

his ne., oderi conce t, of scenic pu .. ie, vith its

obli,, Lion co reve; the e ot. co C n he scri .,

was ade ore licit the iork of e ia and

the ei an c. ioser, ichard I, or t.em, the ie

art C iusic, .ir tin, act as e oni one hih

coula .ive co direct Ion ..he soul, ia

conceived of a in of "word-tone draa ivth twe seen

i. Music i satial form hicih, tt ,,.. it li. ts,


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8

the nineteenth century concept of an enlarged easel

painting whose purpose was to provide a background for

the actors. Today, it is recognized that the physical

and psychological relationships of the characters of a

play constantly change, and that these periods of tension

and release create differing moods. In order to reveal

these moods, it is necessary for the scenery to change.

Craig has said, for example, that the "Scene must be

living . seemingly alive, breathing as in Nature the

Earth seems to breathe . ."7

The playwright selects the characters, situations,

and locations. Modern theatre practice requires the scene

designer to produce the locations which the playwright

feels are appropriate for the action of his characters.

A common location for this dramatic action is the living

room setting. Simple though this scenic demand might

appear to be, the designer is faced with the task of

creating a setting which not only provides the physical

necessities or elements peculiar to that locale, but which

also reinforces the eternally fluctuating moods of the

characters and situations. For instance, in Ibsen's Hedda

Gabler, the designer must provide a room which appears

appropriate to the social and economic position of its

owners, the Tesmans. It must have suitable walking and

7Gordon Craig, "The Living Scene," English Review,
XXXII (June 31, 1921), 527.







9

seating space for the number of characters who frequent

it, and it must provide physical or inanimate items needed

in each of the particular scenes: a stove into which

Hedda can thrust the manuscript of Eilert Lovberg; a

desk for the use of George Tesman's research and for the

storage of the pistols with which Hedda kills herself.

moreover, the designer must provide a room which can

reflect the varying and constantly changing moods of the

activities which take place there. For instance, the room

needs to be happy and bright, gay with abandonment as

Hedda stands in the French doors, flooded with morning

sunlight, shooting at a pistol target in the garden.

Later, when a morning caller, Judge Brack, interrupts her

practice and makes his threat of blackmail, the room must

take on a totally different visual character. Moreover,

these totally contrasting moods occur within the short

span of fifteen minutes. The designer has no choice but

to provide a setting which will reflect and reinforce

these moods and the many others which are inherent in the

script.

The medium of theatre is unique in this demand that

the designer's process provide scenery which allows for

the fluctuating emotional values of the play. The easel

painter need only capture the feeling of a single moment

on his canvas. The sculptor chisels on a mass with

actual depth capturing the feeling of one mood, a mood







10

which will never change. T'e painter or sculptor may

take as much time as he nue s to adequately express the

mood of the moment thro:,:i his stationary figures. ore-

over, he has complete control over his choice of mood.

There is no one to dictate the mood which must be ex-

pressed. The scene designer, on the other hand, has infi-

nitely more complex problems. He deals with actual mass

in actual space, moreoverr he must work on a large scale

in a medium which has constantly moving figures, a

shifting center of interest, and the constantly changing

moods chosen by the playwright. He must limit his personal

desires, not only until he has accommodated all the demands

imposed by the playwright's characters, situations, and

locations, but until he has satisfied the director's

interpretation or concept of them. Furthermore, the time

at his disposal is limited. The scene designer can observe

and work with his piece of art only while the complete play

is actually being rehearsed or performed. .hen the actors

leave the stage the play no longer exists, and the

designer's scenery, which is an integral part of the play,

has no reason for being.

The third purpose of scenery is that it be artistic -

it must be an expression of the artistry of the designer.

Through the efforts of Appia and Craig the force of the

imagination was regenerated as a means of artistic ex-

pression in the theatre and specifically in scene design.






11

The lesson modern theatre practitioners learned from

Craig, and, in turn, passed on as a charge to scene

designers, was that "There is only one power which com-

mands today, as it has always commanded in the past. It

is the Imaginative Power."8 To discover the extent to

which modern stage designers use "Imaginative Power," it

is only necessary to refer to the six scenic interpre-

tations of Hamlet which Lee Simonson has pictured in The

Art of Scenic Design.9 Each of the designers, Robert

Edmond Jones, Norman Bel Geddes, Stewart Chaney, Vlatislav

Hofman, Donald Oenslager, and Simonson himself, reveals

through his drawings a different interpretation of the

play. Simonson explains his own very original interpre-

tation by saying,

Hamlet is usually thought of as a black figure in a
gloomy world, or his gloom is projected onto his
surroundings. The basic idea of my project is that
he is a black and brooding figure in a bright world
and the scheme of production is designed to emphasize
his isolation in a sensuous, guzzling, luxurious
court. Therefore, the center of the castle structure
is dull red. Every time the court assembles it
brightens this glow of red with its brilliant robes
studded with jewels and ornamented with bronze and
gold. Hamlet moves against this brightness in
solitary protest, uniquely black.10

8Gordon Craig, Towards a New Theatre (New York,
1913), p. 6.
9Lee Simonson, The Art of Scenic Design (New York
1950), pp. 162-174.
10Ibid., p. 162.






12

In a conversation11 with Simonson, the writer

attempted to pursue this interpretation further. Simonson

was asked why he used dull red as the color for the castle

structure. Vhy didn't he use a rich yellow? Why did he

curve the stairs to the left rather than to the right?

The purpose of these questions was to see if particular

portions of the dialogue had prompted his use of a partic-

ular color, or his choice of a particular line in the set

structure. He said, "No," that he felt that this was his

imaginative expression of the playwright's idea.

The designer's "Imaginative Power," as manifested

by the Simonson comment, can be limited, obviously, by the

two previously mentioned purposes of scene design. Then

too, it is further limited by physical factors which

prevail in the realm of theatrical art. "Imaginative

Power" can be curtailed by the materials with which the

designer works and the stage space which the theatre pro-

vides. These last two limitations, however, are not

unique with theatre. The painter, for instance, is lim-

ited by the materials at his disposal, and the size of his

canvas may be limited by studio space or the size and/or

decor of the particular room in which it is to be hung.

In characterizing the process of scene design, -the

following might be said. It must take place within the


11Greensboro, N. C. to Simonson in New York, N. Y.,
January 21, 1963.






13

four limitations imposed by, and peculiar to, the medium

of theatre. It must recognize that the medium is a space

art in which there is constant movement of the subject

matter. Not only is it dominated by the influence of the

playwright, but it is limited by two basic types of

staging (albeit these embrace many styles) which demand

the fulfillment of three distinct purposes. Most designers

recognize these limitations and work within them. For

example, Jo Mielziner, who was once Robert Edmond Jones'

apprentice, says Jones "could be described as a dreamer,

but he was also a doer. Idealist he was, but certainly he

cannot be dismissed as a mere visionary. A prophet, yes,

but at the same time a most practical craftsman."12 whilee

craftsmanship, used here to mean the ability of the artist

to accommodate his "Imaginative Power" to a particular

medium, is a necessary part of all art media, the severe

limitations imposed by theatre make it a critical factor

in scene design.

The following chapter will identify the steps in the

design process which are the basis of scene design. 'bith

the uniqueness of the theatre in mind, it will show how

the scene designer, through the application of design

theory, may meet the responsibility which he has to the

12jo Mielziner, "Practical Dreams," The Theatre of
Robert Edmond Jones, ed. Ralph Pendleton (Middletonm,
Conn., 1958), p. 20.







14

medium and the script while, at the same time, preserving

his own artistic integrity.

Succeeding chapters will provide an analysis of the

design elements as used in a number of the significant

works of Jones and Simonson. Since this study is concerned

primarily with the design elements, the other parts of the

design process are referred to only if they have direct

bearing upon a particular point being made concerning a

design element. It should be noted also that it is not

the function of this study to discover what design process

Jones and Simonson used. Rather, it seeks to study their

use of the design elements and principles in order to

demonstrate the manner in which they function, and to

establish a means or pedagogical device by which the scenic

art under consideration can be understood.

Since complete biographical studies stressing

personal backgrounds, artistic development, and individual

impact upon modern American theatre have been made of Jones

and Simonson,13 none of this information will be included

in the following chapters unless it has a direct bearing

upon a point under discussion.

13Eugene Robert Black, "Robert Edmond Jones: Poetic
Artist of the New Stagecraft" (Ph. D. dissertation,
University of Wisconsin, 1955).
Zack Lee York, "Lee Simonson, Artist-Craftsman of
the Theatre" (Ph. D. dissertation, University of
Wisconsin, 1950).












CHAPTER I


THE DESIGN PROCESS: THE BASIS OF SCENIC CREATION


The Process of Artistic Conception

As I. A. Richards says,

The greatest difference between the artist or poet
and the ordinary person is found as has often been
pointed out, in the range, delicacy, and freedom of
the connections he is able to make between different
elements of his experience.1

How does the artist give birth to the subjective

conception, this unusual penetration of some facet of

human life? What is his method of procedure? A modern

explanation, offered by Benedetto Croce in his Asthetic,2

identifies three steps in the process.

Impression

The first step in this process of artistic concep-

tion is "impression."3 The artist is impressed by some-

thing in his environment.


1I. A. Richards, Principles of Literary Criticism
(London, 1948), p. 181.

2Benedetto Croce, Asthetic as Science of Expression
and General Linguistic, trans. Douglas Ainslie (London,
1909), p. 22.

3Ibid., p. 156.









Synthesis

The result of this impression is that the artist

sees nature in a specialized manner one peculiar to his

unusual and particular ability to penetrate its mysteries.

Croce calls this phenomenon "Spiritual Aesthetic

Synthesis."4 It is the period in which the artist thinks

about the impression which he has received, mulls it over

in his mind, and sensitively investigates its essence.

The images or concepts which the artist synthesizes

in this, his own, specialized manner are a product of his

particular knowledge. As Croce notes, this knowledge is

S either intuitive knowledge or logical knowledge;
knowledge obtained through the imagination or knowl-
edge obtained through the intellect; knowledge of the
individual or knowledge of the universal; of indi-
vidual things or of the relations between them. . .5

Therefore, the conception of the artist may "well all be

intuitive facts without a shadow of intellective

relation."6

The artist's completed concept may come after a

minimum of time, or it may take a great deal of delib-

eration. For example, two famous painters, Leonardo and

Degas, are known to have spent long hours in deliberation.

Croce points out that Leonardo stood for days before his

4Ibid.

5Ibid., p. 1.

6Ibid., p. 3.





















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18

particular medium, however, it gets modified. It is at

this point that the differences among the arts emerge, as

the following discussion will demonstrate.

The designer finds his inspiration within the play-

wright's script and the director's interpretation of it.

For example, if the playwright specifies that the situa-

tions of his play occur in a living room, and the director

believes that the play's style demands a naturalistic

style of scenery, the designer must provide it. While

the script and director's interpretation may call for a

very specific kind of room, the designer does have

considerable freedom in the aesthetic development of

such details of the room as its size, style, color, domi-

nate line pattern, and even the materials from which it

will be constructed.

During the period of synthesis, the scene designer

applies his intuitive and logical knowledge to the kind

of life which the script reflects, keeping in mind, all

the while, the peculiar limitations of the medium. In

his mind's eye he sees the characters moving in space

among constantly changing scenic forms which invoke

emotional responses parallel to those being revealed by

the actors. In the case of a traditional realistic pro-

duction, he also bears in mind that he is designing for a

proscenium arch stage which has two basic types of scenery.

IIoreover, he knows the stage's space, adjacent storage







19

areas, and the amount and efficiency of its scene

changing equipment will determine the size and amount

of scenery which may be used. In short, his synthesis

must be a vision of a sequence of stage settings which

can be adequately handled by the particular stage for

which the production is being designed. Furthermore,

these elements or conditions are different for each stage.

If the play must be performed on more than one stage, as

almost all professional productions in this country are,

the designer must adjust his concept to the smallest and

least elaborately equipped stage which the play will

encounter. It should be noted also that in the process

of synthesis, whether he uses the box set, the wing and

drop type of set, or a combination of the two, the

designer must scale it to fit the proportions of the

actors, whose sizes have maximum limits.

The third step of the scene designer's process of

conception is also different from that of the easel painter

or sculptor. While the designer may well bask in his

feeling of hedonistic accompaniment, he must always

realize that his artistic conception is only a part,

albeit an important part, of a conception which is gener-

ated by the combined effort of the playwright, director,

actors, costumer, and lighting designer.

The Process of Artistic Execution

ihen the artist has arrived at his artistic






20

conception he is ready to execute it by translating

it, via the techniques of his particular medium, from a

mental image into a work of art which may be appreciated

by the public.

Existing theories in the graphic arts indicate the

artist's execution involves three steps.11 (1) He must

express the for. of the mental conception in terms of the

design factors content, decoration, and expression.

(2) This necessitates his mastery of the technique of

composition which involves the use of the design elements -

line, mass, color, and, light -id shade. (3) In employing

the design elements he must respect and utilize the

principles of harmony, rhythm, and balance.

Factors of Design

The factors of design content, decoration, and

expression maintain an interdependence which may be

visualized by imagining three overlapping rings, each

labeled appropriately. For example, decoration may reveal

the expression of the artist; content may be decorative,

and it frequently is. The three factors are also mutually

important. In revealing form, an emphasis on decoration

lDenman W. Ross, A Theory of Pure Design (New York,
1933); j;verard M. Upjohn, Paul S. Wingert, Jane G. Mahler,
History of Viorld Art (New York, 1949); Wallace S. Baldinger,
The Visual Arts (New York, 1960).








21








IIINK 7i.
.~,~~~ ' I v
c ~ ~ L4 C0,
lip;.


~L %








:JL~, Ftj 4, r h)
t M 4wh ~ 43~~~3
30~





;L lt



'..... .....




'T.'







22

more than content or expression is no better or worse

than emphasizing expression more than either of the other

two. It is the judgement of the artist which determines

which factor or factors are emphasized. He may arrive at

this decision as a result of intuitive knowledge, logical

knowledge, or even because of circumstances outside his

control.

Content. -- This factor is defined as the subject

matter of the work of art. It may be representational.

That is, it may resemble very closely an object in real

life. To illustrate, in the case of sculpture the body

would be revealed in exact detail with careful attention to

the minutae of the hand, the head, and the muscles. In

contrast, it may be presentational and tend not to resemble

an object in real life. Modern artists frequently are

totally abstract or symbolic, as is Jackson Pollock in his

painting, "Number One," shown in Plate 1. This painting

contains no evidence of recognizable forms, and the

representational oriented art patron may say that this

painting has no subject matter. For the symbolist oriented

patron, however, its content may suggest

endless cosmic motion. But unlike a photograph
of the heavens, which might show the specific appear-
ance . .of heavenly bodies and movements, such
paintings give what photography or even scientific
description never could: a sense of immeasurable







23

scale, a response to infinite motion, and an intuition
of the vital creative force of the cosmos.,12

Decoration. -- The second factor of design, decora-

tion, may be defined as those attributes which are pleasing

to the eye and used by the artist in addition to those

inherent in his content or expression. Decoration abounds

in modern life. Stained glass windows which are frequently

found in churches offer a good example of this design

factor. In these there frequently is no effort to accu-

rately portray objects or figures. The effect of such a

window upon the spectator is achieved primarily through

the color of the fragments of glass and their combination.

Expression. -- The third factor of design, expres-

sion, may be defined as the comment of the artist. Ac-

cording to Upjohn, Wingert, and Mahler, all painting has

some degree of expression.13 There is even a degree of it

in a representational portrait since it is the result of

the analysis of the subject's personality by the artist.

In a symbolic or presentational work, this comment is

achieved by abstraction and/or distortion. Abstraction is

the stripping of the artistic concept of all material

aspects not essential to the concept. Distortion results

when the remaining material is altered in order to present

12John P. Sedgwick, Jr., Art Appreciation Made
Simple (New York, 1959), p. 151.
13Upjohn, Wingert, and Mahler, p. 5.







24

more effectively the concept, an alteration that shows

no respect for the representative attributes (natural

appearances) of the material. The degrees of abstraction

and distortion vary infinitely, The painting by Jackson

Pollock mentioned earlier is a complete abstraction with

the lines and masses bearing no resemblance to actual

objects. As an example of America's abstract-expressionist

movement, this work attempts to express mind and being

through the artist's "spontaneous, uncalculated"14 use of

paint. Like most products of this movement, Pollock's

"Iumber One" is an immense canvas measuring sixty-eight

inches by one hundred four inches. Abstract-expressionist

works frequently assume these dimensions so that they may

be "gone into"15 by the viewer rather than taken in.

The spectator fights his way around in such canvases,
he is not likely to sit back and be entertained: his
time and energy are involved: the spaces are vast,
the substances incredibly activated yet compelling
and authoritative.16

As the Pollock canvas reveals, artists use abstraction and

distortion to intensify reality. The use of these two

techniques has led to the development of the many "isms"

which characterize the diverse styles of twentieth century

14John I. H. Baur, "Painting of the Twentieth
Century," Arts of the United States, ed. Uilliam H.
Pierson, Jr., and Martha Davidson (New York, 1960), p. 80.

1Sedgwick, p. 150.
16Ibid.






25

art. ll t th -les arc co onl j the

lPr,e herc)' "'.*:. ne "eolic :rt t.-.

cs of artist, it in iti to





he 1 events

second ste in t e r-, .s ecuion is

concerned with c.. .tion 7hich is the aer i inwhich

the -raphic artist uses r .. a.r- es the d .. elements.

All art objects can be ti-;o 't to consist of individual

elements similar to the chemical elements which 'e up

chemical c Lnds. Janet K. .ith in A ..a of Design

defines the design elements as the "irreducible item

serving as of the c .i t ..ts of or lex thins in

the real. of art."f17 ^.' :-ities '"fer over the number and

names ,' the ele ets. Ac to Sith the elements of

the visual arts re: line, sha -, tone, s. ce, color,

texture, mass.1 Ac ordi to r the events of the

visual arts are: int, line, i .e, texture, color, -rs,

space.19 since s4,. indica .' ese "' fereness in +1 --si-

fication are ac-- .Lc n no serious, the oe "oyed in

this rt 'y is a c sit ich constructed "- the


1jn1 ... ___ ( or
1 5 ), p. 8.

1 I,
19 +li]-,-_er, p. vii.

















































Plate 2
Paul Gauguin, "Still-Life," 1890






27

writer from the possibilities found in standard reference

sources. Point will be considered a part of line since a

line is a series of connected points. In addition

texture, shape, plane, and space are to be considered as

aspects of mass. Thus, in this study, the design elements

of the visual arts are conceived to be line, mass, color,

and, light and shade.

Line. -- A line may be as simple as a trace of a

point or as complex as the pattern formed by different

colors coming together. Traces may be found in the Pollock,

Plate 1. A line pattern formed by the meeting of various

shades of green may be seen in the Gauguin, Plate 2.

There are five types of line: vertical, horizontal,

slow curves, sharp curves, and jagged. Every trace or

pattern, however complex, may be analyzed ultimately into

these five types.20 Usually in a work of art one type of

line predominates over the others.

As a result of experience, psychological conno-

tations normally have been attached to the various types

of line. Long vertical lines are noble.

Stand before some Gothic cathedral -- close to it.
Look against the wall and upward, and let those lines
engrave themselves upon your eyeballs -- lines one
after another pressing tirelessly up into space.
Forget that life is made of acts, forget that there
is a cheap cafe just behind you. Let the world blot
itself out and let only those lines remain. You seem

20Milton Smith, Play Production (New York, 1948),
p. 46.








to ascend with them -- whither? That you cannot
tell; upward! That is the whole of it. The noises
of the city are a blur; your thoughts become misty.
Only those lines remain, striving upward. And they
will remain and strive, most likely, after half a
dozen governments, liberal, revolutionary, and
reactionary, have frittered themselves away.21

In contrast to vertical lines, long horizontal ones are

tied down to earth and usually involve base or ignoble

feelings. In a similar manner one may say that slow

curves are sensuous and sophisticated, sharp curves are

comic, and jagged lines and diagonals with their sharp

angles are exciting. Pollock's "Number One," for example,

reveals great excitement through the predominate use of

diagonal and jagged lines, yet these are almost always

softened by slow curves mostly in the vertical plane.

Moreover, all types of line are used in the painting and

the total pattern which they create gives the painting its

feeling of unlimited, violent energy.

In addition to creating or producing a psychological

effect, line has two other purposes. These are to reveal

form, and to lead the eye to the focal point of the work

of art. Paul Gauguin's "Still-Life," shows line giving

form to the fruit, bowl, cup, and cloth which form the

major details of the picture. The bold verticals and hori-

zontals of the window frame, and the slow curves of the

edge of the table lead the eye to the focal point of the

21Hiram Kelley Moderwell, The Theatre of To-Day
(New York, 1927), p. 85.














































Plate 3

Franz Kline, "Painting, No. 7," 1952







30

picture, the bowl of fruit. In a more complex but similar

manner, the lines formed by the right and left edges of

the cloth lead the eye to the bowl of fruit. Although

both of these lines run out of the edges of the picture,

the eye of the viewer is kept in the picture and carried

to the focal point by the curving line pattern in the

folds in the cloth which interrupts the basic line. In

the case of the left edge of the cloth, this reverse move-

ment tends to throw the eye of the viewer upwards towards

the bowl of fruit, while the line pattern of the right

edge of the cloth tends to lead the eye upwards in two

possible directions one towards the right edge of the

window frame; the other towards the cup handle and the

cup rim. Both the window frame and the parts of the cup,

however, lead the eye to the focal point of the painting.

Mass. -- The second element in composition which the

graphic artist employs is mass. It may be defined as a

"quantity of matter."22 Painting possesses mass only

through illusion. Sculpture, architecture, and stage

design possess actual mass. If a straight vertical line

dravm on a white canvas is broadened, the effect of a mass

is created. Plate 3 shows Franz Kline's "Painting, No. 7"

which may be said to consist of six vertical lines and

three horizontal ones which have been broadened into

22Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (8th ed.;
Springfield, Mass., 1953), p. 516.






31

masses. Since this black and white oil measures fifty-

seven and one-half inches by twenty-nine and three-quarter

inches, the nine lines have been broadened considerably.

Since the nine masses have no apparent depth, they are

called planes.

In so far as psychological attributes of mass are

concerned, they are the same as those of line, except for

the fact that the energy of mass is greater. For example,

the focal point in Kline's "Painting, No. 7" shows a

violent clash of vertical and horizontal forces, and as a

consequence, it conveys a strong sense of energy.

Another of the major characteristics of mass is that

it always exists in space. Space may be thought of as an

"environment for energies."23 These energies are the

result of the artist's use of mass, sometimes called

positive space, in space, sometimes called negative

space.24 In Kline's "Painting, No. 7" the nine planes
convert about two-thirds of the total space available to

the artist into positive space. One of the major interests

of modern artists has been the use of mass in space.

According to Simonson, whose designs are to be examined in

the course of this study, Bernard Berenson called renewed

attention to the third-dimension in 1896:

23Janet K. Smith, p. 29.

24Henry N. Rasmusen, Art Structure (New York, 1950),
PP. 75, 76.








"Space-composition . is not an arrangement to be
judged as extending only laterally, or up and down on
a flat surface, but extending inwards in depth as
well . space-composition differs even more widely
from ordinary composition in its effect. The latter,
reduced to its elements, plays only on our feeling for
pattern. . Space-composition is much more potent.
Producing as it does immediate effects . on the
vaso-motor system, with every change of space we
suffer on the instant a change in our circulation and
our breathing a change which we become aware of as a
feeling of heightened or lowered vitality."25

The use of complex illusory third-dimension is illustrated

in Plate 2. By dividing his canvas into an infinite

number of receding planes, Gauguin achieves a feeling of

great depth. By giving these planes mass, the objects have

an illusion of a third-dimension. The relationships among

these receding planes are very important. It is the

feeling of total depth which they give to the picture which

causes the focal point, the bowl of fruit, to be placed in

proper perspective in so far as its location within the

total depth of the picture is concerned. The greater

portion of depth is placed behind the bowl of fruit, and

this serves to thrust it forward towards the viewer. The

lesser portion of depth in front of it tends to keep the

bowl of fruit pulled back within the picture frame. The

relationships among the masses cause thrusts and counter-

thrusts which affect the feelings of the viewer by virtue

of the fact that they establish a "heightened or lowered


p. 60.25Lee Simonson, The Stage Is Set (New York, 1932),
p. 60.





























































* I -L le I


33


















































late 4

. ,, t I -,3
-w







34

vitality." Sheldon Cheney admonishes the viewer of a

work of art to

S. make sure that he is not merely following tracks
from edge to edge, but rather feeling the tensions
from axis to axis. Every plane has axes, meeting at
a center of weight; and "planetary movement" may be
said to be engendered by the tensions between axial
points.26

The living axial relationships of volumes across
space cannot be reduced to law. For one reason, there
are those other elements to enter in and modify or
correct: color, texture, etc. The task of creation
is bound up in almost intuitive counterpoise of the
several movement-means. But this much can be recorded
confidently; the Moderns as a group recognize main
movement and counterplay of movement as resulting
chiefly from tensions between related'volumes; and
what is sometimes termed the focal point of the
picture is whee the coiled power of the tension
system enters.

Cheney credits Cezanne with revolutionizing painting by

his search for a dynamic use of mass. For centuries

before 1900 painters had been content to record nature

realistically through "static surface composition."28

A more complex example of the dynamic use of mass

and space in graphic art can be found in Franz Kline's

"Mahoning," Plate 4. This eighty by one hundred inch

painting uses black oil on canvas. The over-all effect is

one of great violence. In comparing this canvas with his

"Painting, No. 7," one notes Kline has achieved this effect

26Sheldon Cheney Expressionism in Art (rev. ed.;
New York, 1948), p. 177.
27Ibid. p. 214.

2Ibid., p. 225.






35

through a system of highly complicated masses. This

complication, when coupled with the diagonal character of

masses, gives the "Mahoning" canvas a far greater sense of

excitement than is found in "Painting, No. 7." The three

long horizontal masses running across the top half of the

picture keep the structure tied down and counteract the

upward force or thrust of the short verticals and main

diagonal. The center of these forces lies near the left

edge of the picture. Wherever the eye enters the picture

it gravitates to one of the black masses and gets carried

swiftly to this focal center.

The final characteristic of mass to be discussed

here is texture. It may be natural or imposed, and it may

change with wear. It may appear as a regular pattern or at

random. It may be soft, hard, dull, shiny, coarse, fine,

or have an infinite number of other attributes. "Texture,"

says Wallace Baldinger,

appeals to the tactile sense, which we begin culti-
vating the moment we are born. About the first thing
that we do as infants is reach out and touch things,
learning gradually that an object with a particular
"feel" carries with it a particular "look."29

Textures, like the other aspects of mass, may have psycho-

logical connotations. The black masses used in the two

Kline paintings reveal rough textures, similar to rough

textured logs in nature which are usually uncomfortable to

29Baldinger, p. 12.







36

touch. In contrast, the cup and the bowl in the Gauguin

painting reveal a smoother texture. Texture, however, is

relative. The smoothness of Gauguin's cup and bowl is

not nearly as smooth as that of an actual silver cup and

bowl. From his painting it is impossible to tell whether

the cup and the bowl are silver, and the quest of an

answer is artistically pointless. The importance of the

picture lies in Gauguin's interpretation of this bit of

still-life, not in its resemblance to nature. The whole

of this painting has a roughness of texture which reveals

the masculinity of the artist.

Color. -- The third element used by the graphic

artist in developing composition is color. It is "a sen-

sation evoked as a response to the stimulation of the eye

and its attached nervous mechanisms by radiant energy of

certain wave lengths and intensities."30 Physical color

has three dimensions. Hue is the dimension "in respect to

which colors may be described as red, yellow, green, or

blue, or as intermediate between two of these."31 In other

words, it is the dimension which persons commonly and

erroneously refer to as color. Value, sometimes called

brilliance, is the dimension "which measures" variations

3NWebster's New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 162.

31Ibid.







37
"among the grays.',32 A hue is usually called a shade if it

has some black added to it and a tint if it has white

added to it the amount of black or white determining its

value. Saturation is the dimension "in which colors may

be differentiated as being higher or lower in degree of

vividness of hue."33 A hue may have its vividness dimin-

ished by being saturated with its complementary color.

For instance, the vividness of a red may be lessened by

the addition of some green. These physical attributes of

color have been classified and discussed in the Prang,

IIunsell, and Ostwald color systems.34 The Prang system,

which includes the familiar color wheel of three primaries,

red, yellow, blue, and of three secondaries, orange, green,

violet placed at the mid-line of a sphere with black at

one pole and white at the other pole, is the standard

pigment theory in art. Being interested in the physical

sources of color, Frang examined surfaces colored with

pigment in order to determine and systematize the manners

in which they selectively absorbed certain light rays.

The Munsell theory which includes five primaries, red,

yellow, blue, green, purple, and five intermediate hues,

which are made by mixing equal strengths of the primaries,

32Ibid.

33Ibid.

34Brief but clear discussions of Prang, Munsell, and
Ostwald theories may be found in Janet K. Smith, pp. 23-25.







38

is the standard light theory in art. Kunsell was

interested in "the selective emission of light rays from

a primary light source.'35 Through his study of the

effect of colored filters on a light source he developed

a color circle on uhich one hundred hues are distin-

guishable. Both worked with color in isolation. "They

paid little, if any, attention to the eye which registered

the color effects or to the response of the brain to the

eye's message."36 Ostwald like Prang studied the selective

absorption of light rays by pigment, but he went a step

further. He was concerned with the effect of these

phenomena upon the eye. The eyes are most sensitive to

blue and yellow, and red and green. These four are the

Ostwald primaries. Lying between them are orange, purple,

turquoise, and yellow-green, the secondaries. His color

wheel, therefore, contains eight hues. The system is

worked out mathematically with exact intervals "fixed as

to wave length and quantity. This is the most accurate

system so far devised, in respect to pigments and to the

sensations they produce through the eye on the receptor,

the human brain. ,37

Uhile it is necessary for the artist to understand

35Ibid., p. 26.

36Ibid.

37Ibid., p. 24.








physical color in order for him to have control over its

dimensions in so far as pigment and light are concerned,

his primary interest lies in its psychological effects.

The psychological aspects of color which are derived from

nature were explored in considerable detail as early as

1910 by Kassily Kandinsky. A few of his comments con-

cerning the pignent primaries will serve to suggest the

extent and method of his analysis.

Yellow is the typical earthly colour and never
contains a profound meaning. With an intermixture of
blue, it takes on a sickly colour. When compared with
the frame of mind of some individual, it would be
capable of the colour representation of madness -- not
melancholy or hypochondriacal mania but rather an
attack of violent, raving lunacy. .. Blue is the
typical heavenly colour. When very dark, blue
develops an element of repose. When it sinks into
black, it echoes a grief that is hardly human. It
attains an endless, profound meaning sinking into the
deep seriousness of all things where there is no end.
Rising toward light, a movement little suited to it,
it takes on a different character, growing more
distant to men like the high, light blue of the sky.
The lighter it is the weaker it becomes until it
achieves a silent repose by becoming white. ,
Absolute green, which is the most restful colour in
existence, moves in no direction, has no corresponding
appeal, such as joy, sorrow, or passion, demands
nothing. This persistent lack of movement is a
quality which has a quieting effect on the tired souls
of men, though it becomes tiresome after a time.
Pictures painted in shades of green confirm this
statement. A picture painted in yellow will always
exhale a spiritual warmth, or a blue painting appears
cooling, (that is an active effect, because man, as an
element of the universe, has been so created as to
exercise constant eternal movement). Green has a
wearisome effect (passive effect). Passivity is the
most characteristic quality of absolute green,






40

carrying with it a certain emanation of this quality
of richness and self satisfaction.38

The ideas of Kandinsky are found in many popular

concepts of the psychological use of color. Among these

are those which label hues warm and cool, analogous, and

complementary. A brief discussion of these will serve to

establish the dynamic use of color made by modern artists.

Taking cues from nature, man considers orange, red,

and yellow the sun hues as warm hues, and blue, green,

and violet the earth hues as cool hues. The warm hues'

tendency to advance and the cool hues' tendency to recede

are shown in Gauguin's "Still-Life." The hue of the fruit

in the bowl helps to thrust it towards the viewer. The

receding nature of the dark valued greens and the dark

valued purples cause them to retire quietly in the back-

ground. This tendency for the hue to recede, however, is

accompanied by just enough use of warm hue within these

dark valued greens to keep them significant. This is

illustrated in the view framed by Gauguin's window. Here,

he uses a dash of light valued yellow and a touch of light

valued red to make the receding masses of the exterior

bcene significant. In considering the role or function of

hue it should be noted also that warm hues have a tendency

to spread, while the cool hues have a tendency to become

31Wlassily Kandinsky, On the Spiritual in Art, trans.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (New York, 1946), pp. 63-
65.








smaller. Kandinsky said,

If two circles of the same size are drawn and painted
respectively yellow and blue, a brief concentration
on these circles will reveal in the yellow a spreading
movement outwards from the center. The blue, on
the other hand, develops a concentric movement (like
a snail hiding in its shell).39

Likewise, it has been found that hue has the capacity to

generate excitement. Consequently, warm hues are fre-

quently used by artists to point up the center of interest

in a composition.

The final theory concerning the use of the three

dimensions of color which must be discussed is that

involving analogous and complementary hueS. Today's

artist refers to the various color wheels and thinks of

analogous hues, those lying adjacent to each other on the

wheel, as being ones which produce a pleasing sensation

when used together. Pollock's "Number One" shows the use

of analogous cool hues. Blues and grayed greens are the

main colors. A very light value of brown (brown being a

dark value of an orange-yellow hue) serves as a contrast

and points up the blues and grays. Complementary hues,

those lying opposite each other on the wheels, clash

boldly when used with equal degrees of saturation and

value. ,hen used in unequal quantities or with unequal

degrees of saturation and value they clash in a subtle

manner.

391bid., pp. 60-62.






42

Light and shade. -- The fourth clement used by the

graphic artist in structuring his composition is light and

shade. Light has three dimensions: direction, intensity,

and color. The direction from which the light rays come

determines where the brightest illuminated area on a

particular mass will be.

The strongest light upon any surface other than a
polished or reflected one will be where the surface
more directly fronts the rays. If this surface be at
right angles to the light, it will intercept its rays
with the fullest effect. The nearer it approaches
the right angle, the lighter it will be and the nearer
the surface approaches;-he parallel to the rays, the
darker it will appear.4u

The intensity of the light sources determines three stages

of visual perception of mass in space, "The recognition of

presence, bare perception of form, and acute and definite

perception of form."41 Within each of the three stages

there are infinite variations. Essentially, the eye

perceives mass with acute detail, when it is illuminated

with a high degree of intensity, and when it stands at

right angles to the light source. As the angle diminishes

and the intensity decreases, one reaches the intermediate

stage in which there is only the bare perception of form.

With extremely low levels of intensity there may be only

the recognition of the presence of the mass. In nature

40Edmund J. Sullivan, Line (London, 1922), p. 107.

41Henry Adams Klopot, "The Distribution and Form of
Light in Space" (MFA thesis, Yale University, 1941), p. 7.






43
two kinds of light are found. One, general illumination,

is diffused and relatively even in intensity. The other,

specific illumination, is undiffused with shafts of light

rays highlighting certain areas. The process which an

artist uses to control the direction and intensity of

general light and/or specific light in order to achieve

infinite variation of highlight, shade, and shadow, and

thus reveal mass, is called chiaroscuro.

The color of any object may best be seen in high-

light, and it disappears or fades as the object passes

through the infinite degrees of shade into shadow. Since

light controls the intensity of the color of an object as

seen by the eye, it essentially determines the amount of

movement of the object within the picture plane the

degree with which the object will appear to thrust forward

towards the viewer or recede within the picture plane.

Colored light also has great control over the appear-

ance of an object. It may change the form of the object

markedly, or it may bring a unity to a combination of

objects, thus creating a new form. For example, when a

painter reveals a landscape under the rays of an orange

setting sun, all items in the scene are unified by virtue

of the fact that they reflect varying degrees of that

common or single color frequency.


Control Principles of Design

The third step in the process of execution concerns






44

itself with the control principles of design harmony,

balance, and rhythm. The name derives from their purpose,

which is to control the manner in which the artist uses

the design elements, line, mass, color, and, light and

shade, in his expression of the form of his artistic con-

ception. The degree of order in his execution of that

conception will depend upon the lack or presence of

harmony, balance, and rhythm in the use of the design

elements.

Harmony. -- whenever r two or more impressions or

ideas have something in common that is appreciable, they

are in harmony, in the measure of what they have in

commonn."2 A great deal or excess of harmony in a work may

bring monotony; too little harmony may bring such variety

that the necessary unity of form may not be achieved.

Monotony is not used here as a negative term, as an artist

may purposely use it for a special effect. The proper

degree of monotony or variety within the harmonious

relationship of the design elements is determined by the

content, expression, and/or decoration of the artistic

concept. The relationships within the colors, lines,

masses, spaces, highlights, shades, and shadows, and, the

relationships of all of these with each other ought to be

such as to faithfully reveal the concept of the artist.

42Ross, A Theory of Pure Design, p. 1.







L5

Pn expminatior of the "Ptill-Tife,' Plte ?), ill Fprve to

illustrate the principle of hcri 'n it, C in uses

a tri 'ic selection -'" color invov' t:e e

s r- on the : I color 1. 7" t violet

ani -ee is r- r 'monl ith s caller

iount J or. *. r' rtion is one diension J har-mony.

It is concer.. rit' relti' he 't, idl,

d ,h, nd sracc. "- one "ion is itself either

r,- ".t norr en i' 'et eer,


however, relrtf inshi r estbl

harmonize. In -al, o vious ro

interest: : oes hih -fer t!

u e or the ascinae of

sce e .ers work rrith such. r
l. -* -_ ~ "^ r *


)ortions ar tz s

ie :" Ise t1

s1. ,: e. 4 -..inc<

passes a s c<


r 1 U. :i ion is I ficult 0o aciov

Ilalnce. -- e s c t r. i:.c.

b 1 *.* is conere th

S. some o "tion a conseque
as it occurs at soe moment of i e or a
of a' -e; an ... iuwm iich induces,
moment anc in its 'ace, a sus ion o
move et, ca s a e or a rest.i

It is baed ..ion ran's affinity for a sense

its necessity for his ic'1 well .


43 1" er, p. 37.



4..1 S s, A .'hvO_ :- f 're .-si,, p. 1.


e.

Ie of


nt eqil:"11 i ium
t o int
for the
all I -,e or
5

of 1.... e and

"Unless for


*







46

the thrill of it we entrust ourselves to some contraption

that tosses us about and stands us on our heads, we tend

to resent any force that throws us off our balance."46

The feeling of pleasure at balance and displeasure at lack

of balance is projected to our environment. "'e engage

thus in a process called empathy. Through it we project

ourselves psychologically into the object or situation.

Ve identify ourselves with it. IUe feel it operating in

ourselves in a positive muscular way."47 Unless there is

balance in a work of art there will be this empathic

discomfort within the viewer.

There are two kinds of balance: symmetrical, some-

times called formal; and asymmetrical, sometimes called

informal. Symmetrical balance is usually illustrated with

a fulcrum under a seesaw with identical objects placed

equidistant from the fulcrum. !e speak of this mass as

being in balance, and this particular arrangement as being

symmetrical. The effect of such balance is great dignity.

It is static and easily comprehended.

Asymmetrical balance results when "one balancing

form assumes some special quality of attraction to make

up for its not being a mere reversal of image so placed as

46Baldinger, p. 29.

47Ibid.









to balf-ncc mroth r

much I c s r it!


47

forn." ine r o rrti&ts Pre

thl t ird- .;esi a ith ..

Sth ,a of 1 to c rol


os, or rt

;nasse, color

e:: a d. e \f 1


ii.., by toe fAct -'' C.t

thrusts and counter-

iei s cc, it is

I *ei,-it"hu relyl


on o.. fe, c i ers L .. e or

sy tmetrical ..int o, ojects. the ictvorians,

bal ce was tic

S. tl. .. Fce of the canvas, vari oi by
de Li PS understood t'C the laws of ers active.
It is to the later .ters 'c and recessive.
S'..- .- rface move ..0 is __ed back-and-forth thrust
return,. fquilibrium is construed les as balanced
objects, as related ts of tension between
volumes.L

- eff et of such lance is .. T. It is c and

i se t' vie-er. but extreme lv ( ic't to


a, trial blI i illustrated


anal- ue

in t .he. ,

tensions rias

results in a fei-

techni which rev

re r t onl a fo


30 C


- re ( s


elements in

Without the u


ss ee c .oef

of the ..inite number of 2


achieve a. -trical balance.


id., p.

49Cheney, p. 127.


color P

S-t 'fr


.


t lines,

sible to as 'ev


ai. o

e tl









Rhythra. -- The final control principle which the

graphic artist uses is rhythm. It may be defined as

"movement marked by regular recurrence of, or regular

alternation in, features, elements, phenomena, etc."50

As may be seen from the definition, rhythm depends upon

repetition with stress, It gets its effect in the graphic

arts when the viewer is led through repetition of a motif

to expect that motif to continue. An example might be

found in architecture where a building might have a series

of six evenly spaced windows, followed by a large door,

and then repeat the pattern with six more windows and a

second large door. As the eye moves across the side plane

of the structure the doors function as stressed accents in

the pattern, the windows as the unstressed ones. A combi-

nation of the two give rhythmic movement to the pattern.

Rhythmic patterns in painting are not as regular as

those in architecture. In Kline's "Painting, No. 7," for

example, a rhythmic pattern results when the eye moves

across the vertical masses. A different rhythmic pattern

results when the eye moves across the horizontal masses.

The power resulting from the clash of forces inherent in

these two rhythmic patterns gives a feeling of violent

energy at the center of interest. In the Gauguin painting

there are obvious rhythmic patterns in the curving orange

50iebster's New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 728.







49

surfaces which represent the fruit in the bowl. Another

pattern is set up by the use of orange color in four

different locations in the picture. Similarly, the use of

yellow in four locations results in a rhythmic pattern.

Each of these patterns has an accent. In the case of the

pattern of red, it is the bowl of fruit. In the case of

the yellow pattern, it is achieved by the lemons in the

foreground. IMany other rhythmic patterns are discernible

in this picture, but these serve to illustrate some of the

ways in which the Fainter creates rhythms through the use

or handling of color.

In the process of artistic execution, the role or

use of the design factors, the design elements, and the

design principles is fundamentally the same for all graphic

arts. Vhen the process of artistic execution is being

performed within the limitations of a particular medium,

however, modifications are necessary. Insofar as the

medium of scene design is concerned, these will become

apparent during the following discussion.

In the modern theatre the three design factors apply

directly to the work of the scene designer. In the case

of the box set, with a content usually quite representa-

tional since it frequently depicts someone's living room

or place of business, the decorative aspects are probably

the ones admired in furniture magazines: a particular

lamp, fireplace mantel arrangement, or new style of







50

window treatment. In this case, the expression of the

scene designer can be found in the special way he selects

items from the hundreds of combinations available to him,

and in the special way he uses or treats those selected.

Since the stage setting must serve the script of the play-

wright, the designer must work within the framework of

the playwrights "blueprint." A wide area remains,

however, in which the designer's artistic conception is

the deciding factor. For example, the designer frequently

simplifies a box set by cutting away portions of walls and

using only those pieces of furniture which function in the

action of the play.

In the case of the presentational style of scenery

frequently found in the modern theatre, settings often

have so little content that they resemble no place at all

until the director brings on the actors with their partic-

ular costumes and properties. In these settings masses

may be used in the stage space simply as decorative forms,

and this degree of decoration may vary from the simple to

the elaborate. This decorative function, and even the

elaborateness of the decoration itself, is usually depen-

dent upon the amount of expression which the designer is

permitted by the director's interpretation of the script.

This type of presentational setting is frequently employed

for multi-set classical plays, as well as for modern plays

and dances. One example is the Robert Edmond Jones






51

settinr for "'r-'-eere's IrT let. Is producer! in 1923

in 'e ^o -, '. s tAi T rere-onted notbin-, in -rticular,

t' r for it be rsid to hve h no ccitent.

c r eniclo -' '- hi-- rrs wich in some of

th int"i scenes .- v su' ested the rowh he n

l".l1 of a castle. "' re ere eraev l small c in

t t,, t' e central desi n motif i'p P lar e arch

in cth ener. fors were not decorate i 'i

of trns of coor. t decorative ele

con in dr'ved frc t heir shapes, th r in ch

th aere arra )-- and the -, in which th ere ae

vis; t1 rou1- tV,- use of li ht. Since these ites 9ere

deterin t'e the er, the S i ay be sai to

ve c a :' t of the eression of its

Ses '. c'O r'i to ee Sir .j 's descri 'ion of the

auction, the c': ir content demnd by t scri t's

le mi. :' 1 i4 ions was rvidd by the "' "ttern of

the and th -ttern of *"e ac' r's movements."51

e for -t le of entational scenery described

.'l e fr equent contains abstraction and distortion. he

etre in its styles of scenery, '1,- ver, is unable to

follow b.tracticn 7. distortion as far as the other arts.

vertheless, the .r-.:. of abstraction has fascinated

modern cne des' rs. John Colby Lewis describes


51 Sionson, e Art of Lcenic .-i, n, p. 162.






52

Adolphe Appia's use of it in designing Wagner's Die

I'alkuere:

The first sketches offer an impressionistic treatment
in light and shade of three suggested objects a crag,
the mouth of a cave, and a tree indicated by one limb
and a branch projecting in from the margin. The
second designs are purely formal: the cave a rectan-
gular opening, the craig a slightly curving spheric
section at the head of a flight of steps; the tree
seems to have disappeared. This reduction to a
geometry, intended to express itself only through the
movements of the actor exemplifies an abstraction
which, in later years attracted Appia so much that he
wished to eliminate the swan from Lohengrin, not being
able to conceive the bird successfully as an ab-
straction.52

Although it is possible that abstraction and distortion

could be complete in stage settings, the human being, the

essence of the theatre and the moving center of attention

in every designer's work, resists.

Once the scene designer has decided which of the

factors of design will dominate the execution of his

artistic conception, he is ready to compose his design by

employing the elements line, mass, color, and, light and

shade. It is by the use of these elements that he is able

to execute settings which not only contain psychological

values parallel to those inherent in the characters and

situations of the script, but also possess artistic values

which reflect his own "Imaginative Power."

The scene designer's use of line and mass is similar

to that of the easel painter and sculptor. Frequently he

52Lewis, p. 392.







53
uses line to create the impression of mass in space

through the use of perspective painting on a two-

dimensional surface. In modern theatre practice this

technique is frequently used on the i:ing and drop type of

settings employed in multi-scene musical comedies. Just

as frequently, however, the scene designer will ignore

this method of introducing the element of mass and, in

accord with the theories of Appia and Craig, actually

create mass by filling the stage space with actual three-

dimensional forms, the lines of which are inherent in the

shapes of the units. When he does this, the designer is

using line and mass as the sculptor does, although it is

doubtful if many sculptors work on as large a scale.

Although stage spaces are large, the designer fre-

quently needs to create the impression of even larger

space. In these instances he may use the same techniques

as were found in the easel painting of Gauguin. He may

place many receding planes in the stage setting in order

to create a feeling of great depth even though the actual

depth may be quite limited. A striking example of this

will be observed in Chapter III in the course of an

analysis of Simonson's setting for the "Prologue" of The

Rhine Gold.

In his use of mass, the scene designer's efforts

parallel those of the painter and sculptor in two other

respects. In the first place, he uses it as a






54

consideration in determining or establishing balance

within the stage picture. Then, since these masses can

be textured and given distinctive, reflective, and

psychological potentials, he uses it as a means of

achieving variety.

Insofar as the third element of design is concerned,

stage designers use the Prang color theory in creating

effects and statements in the scenery itself, and the

Munsell color theory in determining or producing lighting

effects. The psychological values of color are also

commonly used by scene designers since they enable them to

structure visual statements parallel to the feelings or

situations inherent in the script. In a bright comedy in

which there is no deep conflict, the scenery and costumes

may be conceived in terms of light tints of analogous

hues. Very moody plays are usually conceived in terms of

dark shades of complementary hues, the clashing hues

serving to point up the deep conflict in the script.

These hues may be used in the scenery itself, or one hue

may be found in the costumes and another in the scenery.

While the stage designer's use of line, mass, and

color is similar to that of other graphic artists, he

faces serious restrictions in the use of light. He is

the victim of many variables. Since light sources in the

theatre are usually hidden from view, it is frequently

impossible for the designer to haVe ideal control over the






55
direction of the rays which emanate from his instruments.

This necessity for masking also limits the number and

location of the positions at -hich instruments can be

mounted. A further restriction c.n be engendered by the

fact that the level of illumination which the designer

may use on stage must conform to the limitations or

capacities of the spectator's vision. For example, normal

eyes have the tendency to fatigue considerably when one

views a full-length play "lighted with less than twelve

footcandles of illumination.'53 Likewise, the glare which

results when the mean level of illumination exceeds the

thirty-one footcandle range can produce visual discom-

fort.54 Nevertheless, the scene designer makes every effort

to control the intensity and direction of the light he uses

on stage. It is only through such control that he is able

to focus the attention of the audience upon the actors who

are the moving centers of attention in his stage picture.

It is usually possible, moreover, for the designer to

highlight, shade, or shadow the separate sections of a

setting in a wide variety of ways. By doing this he

creates a variety of focal points within the setting which

can serve to point up the successive focal points in the

53John G. Felton, Jr., "Optimum Level of Illumination
for Maximum Visual Efficience in the Theatre" (M. A.
thesis, State University of Iowa, 1938), p. 38.

54Ibid.







56

scenes and their constantly changing moods. In spite of

the variables, it is by the use of light that the scene

designer can most effectively achieve the "living scene"

so important to modern stagecraft.

Color in light gives the designer another dimension

in which he may work to produce a "living scene." By

changing the color of the light striking the scenic

elements he can change the color of the elements them-

selves. This change in color may be a decisive one, as

when a "sky" drop changes from day to night, or it may be

extremely subtle, as in the case of a spot of amber light

unobtrusively accenting the' gilt on the capital of a

setting's Corinthian column.

While the scene designer develops his composition

through the use of the design elements, and in accord with

the relative importance he assigns to the design factors,

he must constantly bear in mind the importance of the

design principles in guiding his proper use of the ele-

ments. It is by the control of the elements through

proper employment of the principles of harmony, balance,

and rhythm that his artistic conception will be capable

of being aesthetically sound and pleasurable. The

designer works with these principles in the same manner

as other graphic artists. The proper degree of repetition

or variety in the use of line, mass, color, or light

determines the lack or presence of harmony. Symmetrical







57

and asymmetrical balance result fror his proper use of

the elements, just as it does in easel painting or

sculpture. Rhythm coiaes from the accented repetition of

line, mass, color, and/or light patterns in space. These

rhythms affect an audience's "vaso-motor system," to use

Simonson's words, just as surely as they affect the

viewers of the Gauguin and Kline paintings discussed

earlier in this chapter. Rhythmic patterns in scenery are

usually very complicated and involve not only horizontal,

vertical, and diagonal movements, but movement in actual

depth as well. In addition, they can be employed to

reflect the psychological values of the script. For

instance, a languid rhythmic pattern may bring a feeling

of repose to the audience, while a violent pattern may

induce great tension. Sometimes the designer may use

rhythmic patterns to build excitement around the major

acting areas in a manner similar to that which Gauguin

used in calling attention to the focal point of his

"Still-Life" composition.

It is evident from the foregoing that the scene

designer's use of the design process, the basis of scenic

creation, is similar to that of other creative artists.

All arts are alike in the process of artistic conception.

The artist gives birth and form to his subjective concep-

tion through a process which begins when he is impressed

by something in his environment. This gives rise to a







56'

synthesis or formation of a concept, which, in turn,

affords the artist considerable aesthetic pleasure. It

is in the adaptation of this artistic concept to a

particular medium prior to and during its execution that

the differences among the arts become ap aren't. In the

graphic arts, including scene design, the artist executes

his concept in a particular style which embraces the three

factors of design decoration, content, and expression.

This execution is made possible by the development of

composition through the use of the design elements line,

mass, color, and, light and shade. The use of these

elements must be governed, however, by the control prin-

ciples harmony, balance, and rhythm.

Now that the design process has been explored, and

its parts identified, analyzed, and applied to the medium

of scene design, it is possible to examine the scene

designs of Robert Edmond Jones and Lee Simonson and to

establish the manner in which they have used the design

elements.



















-. -T" "-" TT


I U;


m'L+th I ....




sa it r.n a p-lt r

Ssu it r:e th(

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des for icjC




of ,

t ntsns c




itho


V1s 'r~oL )3


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I' E.- ^ iv ;,or-


fitted fS



first J."L


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lev Is earlier, in


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d' i9*:


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- ions







60

1946. Before analyzing Jones' design for A Touch of the

Poet, it is necessary to review the story and characters

upon which its conception and execution are based. The

play is concerned with the lives of the Melody family.

The principal figure is Cornelius, the father. Being

unsuccessful as an innkeeper in New England in 1828,

Cornelius finds pleasure in life through strong drink,

strong drinking companions, and the illusion that he is

still the irresistible lover and dashing officer which he

was in his youth. Rather than face his problems, he runs

away from life. With the help of drink, and a mirror into

which he speaks the poetry of Byron, he surrounds himself

with a life of illusion. His wife, Nora, devotes herself

to taking care of him. His daughter, Sara, refuses to

condone her mother's subservient attitude and her father's

failure to maintain contact with reality. As the play

opens Sara has fallen in love with the son of a Yankee

family whose parents consider her beneath them. Cornelius

whips himself into a frenzy of temper over this rebuff

and, in spite of warnings from Sara and Nora, drunkenly

sallies forth to challenge the father of the young man to

a duel. He never sees the Yankee aristocrat, however,

since the man sets both his servants and the police upon

Cornelius. Soundly beaten, Cornelius is brought home

sober. It is then, for the first time, that he renounces

his illusions and faces life. Next, Sara's young man






61

determines to marry her in spite of the opposition of his

family. This insures her happiness, although she does

sense a twinge of unexplicable sadness at the passing of

her father's old self.

Such a brief summary of the plot of A Touch of the

Poet tends to make it appear simply a melodramatic and

sentimental theatre piece. The play, however, does have

signal dramatic assets which are of prime consideration

to a scene designer. For example, the play's action, in

Francis Fergusson's use of that term,1 is "to face the

facts of life." All of the incidents in the story, and

all of the motivations of character stem from the efforts

of the Irish family to face these facts and, hence, become

accepted in this Yankee country. With regard to this

dimension of the play, Joseph Wood Krutch states,

Suppose that one does face fact. Does one then emerge
in triumph? Is fact, or things-as-they-really-are,
something that at least the strong can face, or is to
face it merely to face a bottomless pit? At the
conclusion of the present play Cornelius faces fact
and "reforms." He has renounced delusion, and the
thing of which he is dispossessed is the illusion
about himself. But the curtain descends and the
situation reminds one inevitably of that at the end
of The Iceman Cometh. Moreover, the killing of the
mare suggests the murder of the wild duck in Ibsen's
play, and the moral is the same. At least for some,
says Ibsen, life without a "life illusion" is
impossible. For some or for all?2

1Francis Fergusson, The Idea of a Theatre (Princeton,
N. J., 1949), passim.
2Joseph Wood Krutch, "The O'Neill's On Stage Once
More," Theatre Arts, XLII (October, 1958), 71.















































Plato 5

Robert Edmond Jones, A Touch of the Poet,
"Melody's Tavern," 1946






63

A study of Jones' design for the production

ultimately must establish the means which he employed

to make the visual elements of the production parallel

the inherent values of the script. The aptness of this

objective becomes apparent, of course, when one recalls

Jones' statement that as the designer works "in his mind's

eye he must see the high original intention of the

dramatist, and follow it. . "3

In terms of Jones' ability to follow the "original

intention of the dramatist," it is apparent immediately

that in his design, Plate 5, he faithfully adhered to the

explanations and instructions provided by the playwright.

For example, O'Neill notes at one point that

At left front, two steps lead up to a closed door
opening on a flight of stairs to the floor above.
Farther back is the door to the bar. Between these
doors hangs a large mirror. Beyond the bar door a
small cabinet is fastened to the wall. At rear are
four windows. Between the middle two is the street
door. At right front is another door, open, giving
on a hallway and the main stairway to the second
floor, and leading to the kitchen. Farther front at
right, there is a high school master's desk with a
stool.4

A look at Jones' design reveals that with one negligible

exception, the door on the right which is closed rather

than open, all of the playwright's suggestions were

3Robert Edmond Jones, Drawings for the Theatre (New
York, 1925), p. 16.

Eugene O'Neill, A Touch of the Poet (New Haven,
Conn., 1957), p. 7.







64

followed. Elsewhere in the text O'.eill calls for "The

dining room of i'elody's Tavern, in a village a few miles

from Boston. .. over a hundred years old . now

fallen upon neglected days. . low ceilinged, with

heavy oak beams and paneled walls."5 The dining room and

barroom were originally one room, but, according to the

playwright, Cornelius Melody has had them "divided into

two rooms by a flimsy partition, the barroom being off

left. The partition is painted to imitate the old paneled

walls but this only makes it more of an eyesore."6 Further

study indicates that Jones followed these suggestions just

as scrupulously, even to the point of making the new left

wall contrast with the other walls through a special use

of color and line.

While the specific requirements set down by the

playwright serve to establish certain limits for the de-

signer, a second set of limitations is imposed upon him

by the period in which the action takes place. Although

O'Neill places his action in 1828, the building in

question is one hundred years old. To keep his design in

accord with the architectural style in use in New England

in 1728, Jones introduced glazed windows, employed a color

suggestive of mellowed oak, and made use of a particular

5Ibid.
6Ibid.






65

type of hardware on the doors. There is also a sparseness

of decoration which is appropriate in view of the archi-

tectural simplicity of the period.

In spite of these limitations, there is evidence

that Jones had the opportunity to make an individual

statement or expression when designing A Touch of the Poet.

For instance, neither O'Neill nor the architectural stan-

dards of the period prescribed the direction in which the

ceiling beams ought to run a major artistic consider-

ation insofar as line is concerned. While the detail of

the paneling had to fit the style of the period and the

situation called for by O'Neill, Jones was permitted a

freedom of choice with respect to the manner in which line

could be used in the treatment of the windows and doors.

Furthermore, while the period did dictate the use of large

rather than delicate masses, and while O'Neill did specify

certain walls and furniture, Jones was the one to finally

determine the sizes, shapes, and relationships of those

masses. Aside from the playwright's specific reference

to white tablecloths and the period's characteristic use

of unsophisticated hues, Jones also had free rein in the

selection of color. He enjoyed a similar degree of

expressive freedom in terms of the use of light since

O'Neill did nothing more than specify morning as the time

of day at which the events of the play transpire.

As a designer, then, Jones was faced with the






66

problem of establishing an appropriate environment for

the playing out of a series of very realistic events and

actions. Considering the relationship between the

designer and the script and the limitations imposed by

O'Neill's stylistic choice, the avenues by which Jones

articulated his personal artistic impression become

valuable sources of definition for the nature and poten-

tial of the design elements.

Line. -- In establishing the manner in which Jones

has used the desiLn elements to express visually the

realistic atmosphere of Cornelius Melody's tavern, one

possible point of departure is an examination of his use

of line. Long, low, horizontal lines predominate on the

walls and in the stage properties. In fact the only

strong verticals are in the corners where the walls come

together, and on the "temporary" wall on the left. V'hile

these verticals serve to relieve some of the monotony of

the horizontals, they give no suggestion of the nobility

usually associated with extended vertical lines. Since

the play is a struggle of man with man, not man with his

god, it is significant to note that Jones has established

a basic line pattern which confines that struggle close

to earth. This fact becomes inescapable when one notes

the manner in which the heavy horizontal beams of the

ceiling seem to hover close to the floor.

In the previous chapter it was pointed out that the






67

most exciting lines are those which form angles. Since

the situations in O'Neill's play are melodramatic, the

severe angularity of the line intersections in the design

is particularly appropriate. Moreover, Jones created the

major portion of these intersections in his construction

of the windows, thereby turning the limitation of the

period's small paned windows into a dramatic asset. This

effect is given added strength since the total absence of

window decoration, including curtains, insures that the

angles are kept clearly visible.

Mass. -- Further insight into Jones' method of

solving the design problems of A Touch of the Poet can be

gained by a study of his control or use of mass. Exami-

nation reveals that the planes of the walls, floor, and

ceiling are the main masses in the design. The ceiling

appears the heaviest and dominates the others. While the

main wall takes on significant literal dimensions, the

panes of its windows with the clear, pale, blue sky beyond

tend to diminish its weight. This particular treatment of

the windows also tends to thrust the back wall towards the

spectator, thus counterbalancing the sense of deep reces-

sion created by the dark ceiling. The character and

interaction of these masses tends to create the impression

of a dark cloud of doom hovering over the sparse earthly

domain of the Melodys.

Jones positioned these masses within the stage space







68

in such a manner that a system of symmetrical balance is

created. The long back wall joins two shorter side walls

on each side of it; similarly, the ceiling mirrors the

floor. 1,hile the basically symraetrical placement of

these masses could produce a degree of monotony because

of its essentially static quality, Jones varies the deco-

rative detail of the units in order to create visual

interest. For example, while the center door with the

two pairs of windows on each side of it clearly reinforces

the setting's symmetry, Jones has introduced significant

variations in the details on the two side walls. This is

most noticeable in the treatment of the doors. Not only

are they positioned differently in each of the side walls,

but they are of a completely different design. As a

consequence, the side walls, although symmetrically bal-

anced units, in no way mirror each other. Insofar as the

ceiling and the floor are concerned, variety is achieved

in these masses by virtue of the fact that the ceiling

timbers run horizontally and the floor boards run verti-

cally. The variety which Jones achieved through the

control of the masses' inherent decorative elements adds

considerable visual interest to an ordinarily stable and

undynamic system of relationships.

The minor masses in the design, the tables, the

cupboard near the left wall, and the desk near the right

wall, tend to be large and bulky and reflect the rustic,






69
hand hewn qualities of the period. In contrast to the

major units, these are positioned in space so that they

balance asymnetrically. This combination of symmetrical

and asymmetrical balance in the design becomes one of its

most striking features and contributes significantly to

its aesthetic interest. lUhen viewed as a unit, the

symmetrical balance of the larger units generates a

feeling of repose appropriate to the relatively simple

materialistic world inhabited by the ielodys, while the

variety in the decorative elements and the asymmetrical

balance of the furniture creates just enough variety to

make the setting visually stimulating.

Color. -- Since the effects of masses are not

limited to those created by their character and manipu-

lation but extend to or include those produced by their

coloration, Jones' use of that element of necessity must

be considered next. It might be noted, first, that the

use of warm amber, a low value of a yellow-orange hue,

creates a feeling of domesticity completely fitting to

this New England family. These hues are also quietly

decorative. -iithin the basic monochromatic color range

there is considerable variety, however, since it ranges

from the lightest tint of yellow-orange, seen in the

center panels of the rear wall, to the dark burnt siennas

of the beams and furniture. Accents are provided by the

pale blue of the sky beyond the windows and the white

tablecloths.






70

In this design, one important function of color is

to set apart the left wall and establish the fact that it

is a new partition. The color of this wall, a single

shade of lighter yellow-orange, has a harsh, new quality

when compared with the soft patina of the aged, old walls.

This distinctive feature serves as a reminder of the fact

that stage settings exist only in terms of the script for

which they are designed. While a representational setting

such as this one is expected to make a sensible picture,

it is meaningless when divorced from the script for which

it is created.

Color also serves to insure that the furniture,

tables and benches, cupboard, and desk remain distinct

units. These are treated in very dark values of yellow-

orange and appear as dark brown objects. Because of the

difference between the light values used on the walls and

floor and the dark values of the furniture, the two

general groups of mass units are clearly distinguishable.

Added attention is directed to three of the four tables

by their white cloths.

Since Jones has expanded the color potential

normally available to a designer by including one of the

characters in his sketch, his choice of costume color and

its integration into the total design scheme must be

considered. The scarlet of the uniform worn by Cornelius

is the most vivid hue in the setting. It attracts so much







71
attention that it becomes the major factor which causes

him to dominate the scene. Another factor, of course, is

his dominant position in the setting near the center of

the stage. Jones also appears to have considered the

character as a unit of mass inasmuch as he has placed him

in a position which permits him to function integrally in

the over-all pattern of mass and color. For example, the

vertical mass that is the character contrasts strongly

with the large, horizontal masses of the tables and

benches to which he is related. This relationship is

achieved by the placement and proximity of the masses in

space, and the character's location at the accent point

of a rhythmic pattern created by the three white-topped

tables. The latter device not only employs color, but it

is extremely subtle as well; it merits careful analysis.

The four tables are placed two on each side of the center

of the stage with a wide space separating the left and

right pairs. Since the uppermost table at the left side

is uncovered and dark, the space between the covered table

on the left and the other downstage table appears to be

greater than it actually is. Because of the placement of

the three white tables and the similarity of their size

and shape, a rhythmic pattern is developed. The eye

perceives two white masses on the right separated by a

small space, then an apparently long space interval and

a single white mass on the left. As it scans from left







72

to right and right to left, there is a pattern of regular

or recurring intervals with the accent in it being estab-

lished by the longer space interval which exists between

the table located at right center and the single white

covered table on the left. Artistically, Jones uses this

space accent as he places the figure in the setting. He

locates that figure in the space which serves as the long

interval in the spatial relationship between tables.

Then, in its rhythmic movement, the eye meets actor and

accent simultaneously, and greater attention or emphasis

centers on the actor.

Light and shade. -- Although design elements such

as line, color, or mass may perform a seemingly more

obvious and descriptive role in a realistic setting such

as the one under consideration, the matter of light and

shade is equally important and demands careful attention.

O'Neill specifies the time of day as nine o'clock in the

morning. Jones establishes this by having sunlight stream

through the windows at an angle appropriate to the sun's

mid-morning position or elevation.

Using this morning sun as a light source, Jones is

able to establish a level of illumination sufficient to

make all of the action visible. moreover, through careful

location of the instrument sources which are to provide

it, he succeeds in creating highlight, shadow, and shade

where one might expect it in an actual room of this type.







73

The upper and lower horizontal edges of the setting are

the darkest areas, with the intensity increasing to a

medium level in the center of the room where most of the

action would probably take place. As logical and simple

as this may appear to be, examination of the sketch

indicates Jones had an acute feeling for the subtlety of

its gradations and the variety which could be contributed

by the shadows which the objects in the room created.

His handling of light also made possible a potential

effect which might be noted. The sun streaming through

the windows was apparently to be of a high intensity.

That being the case, it is conceivable that it could be

used to backlight characters. This potential, if employed

as Jones does in his sketch, would tend to thrust the

characters towards the audience. In so doing it would

supplement the emphasis which the elements of color and

mass are able to place on a figure standing in front of

the windows.

The total effect. -- Within the limitations imposed

by the playwright and the period, Jones created a setting

which provides an appropriate atmosphere for the charac-

ters and situations. The dominating horizontal line

pattern, rather than becoming monotonous or creating

boredom, establishes a sense of earthiness. In his ar-

rangement of the masses symmetrical and asymmetrical

balance are combined in a most imaginative manner. Color






74

in the setting is interesting because of the range of

values and saturations achieved within the monochromatic

use of hue to which Jones was limited by the architectural

facts of a realistic script. Also significant is the

contribution which color makes in the establishment of a

rhythmic and emphatic potential of the design.

Although the playwright limited the design to a

representational style, the artistry of Jones appears to

far exceed the realistic suggestions of Eugene O'Neill.

As designer, Jones also appears to have had the touch of

a poet.

Macbeth

After the death of Jones in 1954, critic Stark

Young singled out Jones' design for Macbeth as

S. the most profoundly creative decor that I have
ever seen in the theatre. I am using the term as
Plato used it when he said: "Poetry (creation) whih
is the general name signifying every cause whereby
anything proceeds from that which is not into that
which is."7

At the opening of the production in 1921, however, the

critics ladled heavy criticism upon the expressionist

scenery of Jones.

The production's failure is given extensive treat-

ment by Black, and, for present purposes, it is


7Stark Young, "Robert Edmond Jones: A Note," The
Theatre of Robert Edmond Jones, ed. Ralph Pendleton
(Middletown, Conn., 1958), p. 5.

8Black, pp. 97-120.






75

sufficient to explain that these critics of 1921 did not

understand the then new expressionistic style of design

which Jones employed. They refused to acknowledge that

Macbeth could be staged in any but the traditional manner.

In addition, when they considered the expressionistic

elements of the setting in relation to the acting style,

they recognized an inartistic juxtaposition of styles.

This judgement, admittedly, was a valid one since the

acting of Lionel Barrymore and Julia Arthur Macbeth and

Lady Macbeth was naturalistic and the characters were

"underplayed to the extreme."9 Time has shown that the

play may have more than one interpretation, although today

such a juxtaposition of styles would be criticized just as

it was in 1921. While the 1921 Hopkins-Jones production

was a failure with critics and audiences, the settings of

Jones remain as landmarks in modern American scene design.

For example, in his work on Jones, Black exonerates the

designer, arguing that the failure was due to the direc-

tion and the acting rather than to the design. "Somehow,

during the preparation of the production they failed to

realize what was happening."10 However, the "subsequent

lesson to be learned did not escape Jones. Never again

9Ibid., p. 109.

10Ibid.






76

did he design a setting incongruous with the rest of the

production."11

For this writer the most exciting of the Jones

designs for the Macbeth production is the one for "The

Banquet." This scene is the climax of Shakespeare's

play. It is here that Macbeth learns from his hired

murderer that Banquo is dead, but that Fleance has es-

caped. Being no hardened criminal, Macbeth is goaded by

his conscience, and in the scene in question he has the

hallucination of seeing Banquo's ghost appear at the

banquet table. Twice he sees the ghost. After its second

appearance his nerves are completely shattered, and he says

to his guests,

You make me strange
Even to the disposition that I owe
Then now I think you can behold such sights
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks.12

When Ross asks, "What sights, my lord?",13 the Queen comes

to the rescue of her husband by explaining that he is ill

and ordering them to leave at once. As the scene ends,

the frantic Macbeth decides upon a course of continued

bloody action. With respect to that decision, Adams notes

that it "marks the turning-point both in Macbeth's charac-

ter and in his career. The play breaks here, and the rest

11Ibid.
12William Shakespeare, Macbeth, ed. Joseph Quincy
Adams (Boston, 1931), p. 66.

13Ibid.















































Plate 6
Robert Edmond Jones, Macbeth, Act III, Scene 4,
"The Banquet," 1921







7U

of the story merely chronicles the decay in his moral

nature, and tae rapid decline in his fortunes."'1

The setting, shown in Plate 6, indicates Jones'

conception of the scene at the climactic moment when

Banquo's ghost appears. It is almost impossible to tell

from the drawing whether it is the first or second ap-

pearance of the ghost. Since the scene obviously builds

in emotional intensity, it would seem natural for Jones

to have illustrated the second of the two appearances

since it is the more dramatic.

In contrast to the guide lines for the design

process which Jones had available when working on the

O'Neill script, the content of this scene is prescribed

solely by the dialogue. In this manner it is established

that the scene occurs in the banquet room of the palace.

Because of Macbeth's private conversation with the

murderer, there needs to be an entrance which is apart

from the banquet table where the guests are seated. A

special location also needs to be provided for the appear-

ance of the ghost of Banquo. The only food or drink

called for in the dialogue is wine for toasts. In terms

of the literal conditions to be incorporated into the

design, the custom of the period required a seating ar-

rangement according to rank. As Adams explains, it was

14Ibid., p. 201.






79

customary for the King and Queen to sit at a small table

"mounted on a dais . while a long table on the lower

level was provided for the guests."15

It is obvious from an examination of Plate 6 that

Jones' design for this scene met the requirements of the

director, playwright, and period. Since director Hopkins

conceived of i'Maebeth and Lady Macbeth as being possessed

by the evil spirits of the witches and totally without

control of their destinies, Jones supplied masks which

hovered overhead, constantly reminding the audience of the

forces shaping the lives of the helpless monarch and his

queen. Every element called for in the dialogue is

present, except the wine goblets an unimportant detail

at this moment in the scene. The two level historical

arrangement of the tables is used thus satisfying the

protocol of the period.

The most notable feature of the design, however, is

something other than the extent to which it fulfills these

literal requirements. It is the fact that these require-

ments are fulfilled in a highly artistic manner. Having

gained freedom in the selection and construction of envi-

ronmental detail by the choice of a presentational style,

Jones captured the turbulent spirit of Shakespeare's scene

through the use of abstract forms and statements. His

15Ibid., p. 191.







$0

primary concern was to externalize the inner spiritual

forces at work within the characters, and in the process

he was free to employ line, mass, color, and light in any

way that would serve to symbolize Macbeth and Lady

'iacbeth's pangs of conscience over the bloody deeds for

which they were responsible. The resulting artistic

product produced effects which Stark Young described as

follows:

the gold frames, or sharp gold lines, or the
forms like Gothic abstractions, or however we may
define them, which standing alone against the black,
defined the scenes. Three great tragic masks were
hung to the front, high above the action, and from
them vast daggers of light poured down, crossed,
pierced, flooded the action below, as in the witches'
scene or the banquet. The banquet hall with its gold
and light and figures moving, and above all else Lady
Macbeth's robe, in which, by a hidden combination of
many shades, an unheard-of intensity of red Was
discovered, defied any conveyance in words.10

Since the preceding comment justifiably assigns a

unique degree of poetic artistry to Jones' design for the

banquet scene, the next step is to analyze its execution

in order to discover the particular way in which the

design elements were handled and the manner in which they

contributed to the uniqueness of this artistic product.

Line. -- In view of the interpretation which charac-

terized this production, a particular, even unique, use of

line was warranted. Examination discloses that the line

pattern is basically angular. The angles which are

16young, p. 5.






81

created by the intersection of lines engender feelings

of excitement in the viewer. The clashing lines in the

design seem especially appropriate in view of the level

of excitement which accompanies these hallucinations.

This angular pattern receives particular emphasis by

virtue of the fact that it is seen in relation to the

contrasting curve of the proscenium arch. Essentially,

angles dominate the major units of scenery. Not only do

they appear in the planes of the witches' masks, but

examination reveals these masks are a part of a larger,

sharper v-shaped pattern of light which has its apex at

center stage. A similarly strong angularity is apparent

in the centrally located red mass. Moreover, its many

sharp angles are pointed up or emphasized by the fact that

it is seen against the huge off-white mass immediately

behind it. This mass, it might be noted, has a shape rem-

iniscent of a Gothic arch, but in keeping with the general

line treatment in the setting, the Gothic curve has been

replaced by a series of angles. Diagonals and angles also

dominate the silhouettes of the three central figures,

Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the ghost. In the case of Lady

Macbeth's gown, its angular shape is accented by its

shadow.

It is interesting to note that this angularity is

not limited to the key elements in the setting. Angles

also appear in scenic ingredients of secondary interest.






82

Both the tables at which the nobles are seated and the

tall candelabra are slightly distorted and angular in

shape. With respect to the latter item, one finds that

while the candles do thrust upwards at odd angles towards

the supernatural symbols above, the nature of the light

cast by the candelabra is such that it results in a soft

oval glow. The curved limits of the area illuminated

tend to modify somewhat the momentum of the angular,

upward thrusts of the candelabra themselves. Admittedly

the figures at the tables are all in dark shade, and the

visual statement Jones envisioned them making is difficult

to establish, but their basic line pattern appears to

consist of a series of softened angles. Apparently, then,

he has extended this line character or idiom into the

figures with which he chose to populate his setting. In

exploring the extent to which Jones has given his setting

an angular character, it might be noted, finally, that

there is a strong shaft of diagonal light which forms a

distinct line pattern as it travels from the right edge

of the picture to the figure of Lady Macbeth.

Vhile the use of line has given the design a

distinctive angularity, there are a few curves and hori-

zontals in the setting. In addition to the curves

mentioned above, the strong shaft of diagonal light

entering from the side causes a hard, curving line to

surround Lady Macbeth. Insofar as horizontals are






83
concerned, they may be found in the top of the canopy over

the Queen, in the table tops, and in the branches of the

candelabra. These are deliberate and calculated and serve

to add aesthetic interest to the design by virtue of the

fact that they contrast with the dominating angular use of

line.

Mass. -- The expressionistic style which Jones chose

for this setting not only afforded unique opportunities,

for the use of line, but for the use of mass as well.

Except for the figures which Jones has introduced in his

sketch of the setting, the design has three key mass

units the masks overhead, the center unit with its

canopy and off-white backing, and the four tables with

their chairs and candelabra. In addition, several illu-

sory masses are created by the introduction or use of

strong beams of light in front of dark curtains. The

first of these is that mass created by the beams of light

which connect the three masks to the area stage center.

The second is created by the beam of light which origi-

nates on the right and focuses on the figure of Lady

Macbeth.

As a result of his control of the positions of

these masses, Jones achieved a maximum artistic effect

from relatively few units. The center unit, for example,

consists only of the platform with its two red and white

vertical forms. Their location and relationship, however,






84

establish two distinct space units a shallow space

between the two vertical forms, and a deep space which

runs from the red vertical form to the front of the stage.

Thus, while the unit is basically simple, it produces both

a unique effect and a unique potential for the play's

director. For example, a regular rhythm is set up as the

eye moves down from the white form to the red panel and

ultimately to the white framed figure of Lady Macbeth

which Jones has located stage center. In turn, the ap-

pearance of the ghost could be given special emphasis if

placed off center since that would break the regular

rhythm established by the arrangement of the red and

white masses.

Insofar as the other masses in the design are

concerned, it will be noted that the secondary units on

the right and left serve to balance the larger unit in

the center. They also extend the base of the design

horizontally. This serves to counterbalance the upward

thrust of the center unit and, in essence, anchors it to

the stage floor. The upward thrust of the center unit is

also modified by the overhead masks which constitute the

fourth group of masses. While there are few individual

units in any of these four groups of masses, the total

effect is such that the stage appears to be completely

filled, completely articulated.

In examining the arrangement of these masses, it






35

will be seen that their balance is symmetrical. Vile,

as has been noted, this kind of balance has an essentially

static quality, it is overcome in this instance by the

excitement generated through the use of the diagonal and

angular line pattern and stark color on these masses.

Color. -- W;hile a decisive relationship between

color and mass exists in Jones' design for "The banquet,"

attention also must be given to the overall use or role

of color in the setting. In a note to the writer, Edward

F. :ook17 stated that he remembered the color of macbeth

as "symbolic and violent." 'Vhile an examination of

Plate 6 reveals a stark and shocking combination of black,

white, and red, one wonders, however, about Young's

reference to the gold of the banquet scene (see quote page

80). Since this was obviously a color effect introduced

during the course of production, its absence in Plate 6

may indicate that at the time of his initial conception

of the scene Jones was most preoccupied with symbolizing,

through color, the character's bloody deeds. In consid-

ering the symbolic role which color plays in the design,

attentionn should be called to the infinite number of greys

17Notes addressed to the writer on the reverse sides
of the pages of Jones' lighting plot of MIacbeth. This
plot was made available by Edward F. Kook, assistant to
Jones. Cited hereafter as Jones, ITacbeth Light Plot. The
complete plot including the instrument mounting diagram
numbers eighteen pages. The artistic director of Jones'
estate believes this to be the only extant Jones lighting
plot.






86

which recede into the black void beyond the functional

portions of the set. These not only serve as a neutral

background for the brilliance of the reds and whites, but

also create numberless shadows and amorphous shapes which

symbolize and accentuate the mystery surrounding the

bloody deeds and the hallucination of Macbeth himself.

Perhaps the most significant fact about the use of color

in this design is that the violent feelings of the char-

acters at this climactic moment in the tragedy were

suggested or mirrored through use of a limited number of

hues which contrasted strongly with each other when used

together.

Light and shade. -- With respect to the matter of

light and shade, which he has relied on to produce a

living, boundless atmosphere, Jones states, ". . our

real problem in the theatre is to know where to put the

light and where to take it away," and ". . it demands

the knowledge and the application of a lifetime."18 He

also believed

The actors who reveal the heightened life of the
theatre should move in a light that is altogether
uncommon. Our purpose must be to give by means
of light an impression of something out of the
ordinary, away from the mediocre, to make the per-
formance exist in an ideal world of wisdom and
understanding.19

18Robert Edmond Jones, The Dramatic Imagination
(New York, 1941), pp. 111, 112.

19Ibid., p. 115.






87
A study of the design for "The Banquet" reveals

that Jones relies en light to contrast the four groups

of passess from the infinite space which bounds them. In

doing so, the light becomes a means by which these masses

can be unified. Light also serves to point up the

important elements in the design and to subdue the un-

important ones. Insofar as the source of motivation for

this illumination is concerned, that which covers the

central unit has no natural or literal source; it finds

its justification in the supernatural forces which exist

within the framework of the play. Since most of the

action of the leading characters could be expected to

take place around that unit, as Jones illustrates in his

sketch, the control of the direction and location of the

light sources makes possible distinctive highlights on the

emphatic characters. Since this light and/or highlight is

so intense and decisively controlled, it is possible, to

achieve uniquely contrasting light levels within the

scene. One may note this in the sketch by examining the

light level in the area presumably illuminated by the

candelabra. It is far less extreme, thus enveloping the

right and left masses in varying and more intensive

degrees of shade. Likewise, since the masks which sym-

bolize the power of the witches are also of secondary

importance, they are visible only as hazy abstractions.

In fact, although they were hanging overhead during the






88

entire scene, they were made completely visible to the

audience only during the two appearances of the ghost.20

Uith respect to the color of this light, there is

little use of colored light in the banquet scene. From

the drawing it would appear that none was used, and,

indeed, Kook reports a "minimum of color in lights."21

This is further borne out by the fact that, with one

exception, Jones' lighting plot calls for only subtle

colors such as daylight blue, pink, and white. The excep-

tion, of course, is the red filter used in the spotlight

which focuses on the area where, in the sketch, Jones

placed the figure of Lady Macbeth.22 Aside from its con-

notative and atmospheric effect, this red light would

have made the red of her costume highly saturated, and

thus even more expressive a fact which might account for

Young's reference to the peculiar and intense color of

that costume. Certainly, as an effect, this use of light

serves to illustrate Jones' belief in the importance of

knowing where to put light and where to take it away, and

the necessity of having an "uncommon" light for actors in

the poetic theatre.

A study of Jones' light plot for "The Banquet"

20Jones, "Macbeth Light Plot," p. 4.
21Ibid., p. 1.

22 bid., passim.






89
reveals thot he accomplished this control of light and

shade through the use of only sixteen electrified candles

divided among the four candelabra, nine spotlights, and

three sections of x-rays. The entire production utilized

an additional nineteen spotlights and three sections of

footlights. There were no backlights, no cones of light

superimposed one over another, and no instruments mounted

in front of the proscenium.23 Furthermore, there seems to

have been little need for them. The effect normally

achieved through backlighting was accomplished by the large

off-white, center mass framed in the beam of the white

spotlight. The white mass certainly had the capability of

reflecting the white light with great efficiency, thus it

could give off reflected light in a quantity sufficient

to serve as a foil to the red canopy located directly in

front of it. Optically, this condition would tend to

thrust the red unit towards the audience. Moreover, any

character located in front of it would have been projected

forward in the same manner. In considering Jones' depar-

tures from traditional lighting practice, it might be

noted that he ignored today's standard practice of

insuring visibility by superimposing one cone of light

over another thereby increasing the amount of light hitting

a particular mass. He also ignored the practice of

23Ibid.






90

mounting lighting instruments so that their beams strike

stage masses at forty-five degree vertical and horizontal

angles, the angles most propitious for viewing three-

dimensional masses.24 Although, for Macbeth, Jones illumi-

nated the downstage areas exclusively from the first pipe

and tormentor positions, years later, according to Kook,

he went along with the idea of mounting instruments in

front of the proscenium in order to get forty-five degree

vertical and horizontal angles on the masses in the down-

stage areas.25 It is significant, also, that the criti-

cisms which were leveled against the production fail to

include a single one concerning visibility.26 Apparently

visibility was adequate.

The total effect. -- Jones' design for the banquet

scene of Macbeth is a model one in many respects. Certain-

ly it serves to reveal an imaginative interpretation of

the script. Moreover, it has the capacity to serve the

needs of the scene, even though subject to the limitations

of the proscenium arch stage. Perhaps most significant,

however, is the fact that it develops this potential

through a most complicated appearing scenic style, while

retaining extreme simplicity in its use of mass, color,

24Ibid.

25Ibid.

26Black, pp. 106-118.







S1

and light. In this r -- .: t, Jones -- -lilies the od rn

artists' enjr -is t in cr at 'cts with a minium of

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Plate 7
Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII Act II, Scene 1,
"Buckingham's Farewell," 1944






93

from Holinshed's Chronicals of 7npland, 'cotlanc. and

Ireland to :.lrin the situations of the various scenes.

'r "e-- ork critics enj the E-lendor of the cal

.. '.ntion and the -o.. .. t-- actl.. ut questii

whether the te-ir' play of s '-re, Fletcher ssi-

bly ot' rs merited the effort.27

In designing settii s for the Jro, .-tion Je

realized t',-t it needed the exploitation of its exc .I i1a

festive elements. Ii..e every scri t b" t to

life upon the st' needs to have a fetiv ele s it

a possess < I z.. t r-- not onl offer

o jrtunities for such i= ha' r the nature of '

I1 demands t cir exploitation. n.. ,i, as P' )te 7

indicates, in his execution of the de i J- Jones t o e

prosc .'" arch of the ea'. "rank tre ted it as

a 'u ro-', i' frme : nis

kaleidosco .'c hist could .o. t t' '.i h int ,

the : j of arch he 1 e f-arm

an t ortte blue, red, a since,

occasion "1y, th eld o s e as

this eniu- e. serve to A.. th r

erchitectur t other scenic units. "" the


S s tkinson, aoar, r nos, Joh ,
Robert rland, 'il akins, ,ouis o r r,
ard .:oeho atts Le ork ._tre critics'
Svi- l p(p'. Tork 1946 pp. 271-273.




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PAGE 1

THE USE OF THE DESIGN ELEMENTS IN THE STAGE DESIGNS OF ROBERT EDMOND JONES AND LEE SIMONSON By HERMAN DAVID MIDDLETON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GR,\DUATE COUNQL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA August, 1964

PAGE 2

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 3 1262 08552 2489

PAGE 3

Copyright by Herman David kiddleton 1964

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS For the use of illustrations the vo'iter gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the following individuals and organizations: Victor Jackson, for the photograph of the setting from The Rhine Gold : Ojrville Larson, for photographs of the settings of Robert Sdmond Jones; Marshall Metze of Sandak, Inc., for photographs of the paintings of Franz Kline and settings by Lee ^iimonson; Crown Publishers, Inc., for the Gauguin print; and The Museum of Modern Art for the print of Jackson Pollock, Special assistance was given by bidward Kook, Peter Larkin, Ralph Pendleton, Mary Hall Furber, Orville Larson, and the staffs of The Library of Congress, The New York Public Library, and The University of Florida Library, The study was conceived and executed under the direction of Ur, L, L, Zimraez*man, Other suggestions and encouragement were given by the late Dr. Dallas C, Dickey, Professor H. P. Constans, and conunittee members Dr. Welvin Baker, Dr. August Staub, and Dr. Roy E, Tew, The problems of the study have been lived with and shared by the writer's faiaily his wife, Amelia, son, David, and daughter, Kathleen, iii

PAGE 5

For the interest and aid of all of these the writer is most grateful. IV

PAGE 6

TABL3 OF Cji4 TENTS Chapter Page acknov;lsdgmi<;nts iii LIST OF PLATES vi INTRODUCTION 1 Limitations of the xiedium of Theatre on Scene Design I THE DESIGN PROCESS: THE BASIS OF SCENIC CREATION 15 The Process of Artistic Conception The Process of Artistic liixecution II ROBERT EDMOKD JONES' USE OF THE DESIGN ELEMENTS 59 A Touch of the Poet Kacbeth Henry VIII Summary III LEE SmONS0N»S USE OF THE DESIGN ELEi-lENTS 134 The Adding Machine DynaiiiO i-uaphitr' on ^8 The ihine C^old Suiruiiaz*y IV CONCLUSION Igg A Comparison of Jones' and Simonson's Use of the Design iillements Values of the Design Process and Scene Analysis BIBLIOGFJIPHY 203

PAGE 7

LIST OF PLATES Plate Page 1 Jackson Pollock, "Number One," 1950 21 2 Paul Gauguin, "Still-Life," 1^90 26 3 Franz Kline, "Painting No. 7," 1952 29 4 Frana Kline, "Mahoning," 1956 33 5 Robert fidmond Jones, A Touch of the Poet . "Ilelody's Tavern," 1946 62 6 Robert Edmond Jones, Macbeth . Act III, Cicene 4, 'The Banquet," 1921 77 7 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII . Act II, Scene 1, "Buckin^haja's Farewell," 1944 92 & Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII . Act II, bcene 4, "Katharine's Trial," 1944 102 9 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII . Act III, Scene 2, "The King's Apartment," 1944 112 10 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII . Act IV, Scene 1, "The Coronatioii of Anne," 1944 117 11 Robert Edmond Jones, Henry VIII . Act V, Scene 5, "The Christening of iilissabeth," 1944 124 12 Lee Simonson, The Adding Machine . Scene 4, "A Place of Justice,'" 1923 142 13 Lee Simonson, Dynamo . Act III, "The Dynamo," 1929 151 14 Lee Simonson, Ariiphitryon 3g . Act I, "iunphitryon ' s x'alace," 1936 158 15 Lee Simonson, The Rhine Gold , Scene 1, "The Bottom oi the Rhine," 194^ 174

PAGE 8

INTRODUCTION The purpose of this study is to analyze the way in which the elements of design have been used in the execution of selected stage settings of Robert Edmond Jones and Lee Simonson. These elements are: line, mass, color, and, light and shade. Designers Jones and Simonson were selected since they are generally acknowledged to be the finest of the first generation' of scene designers of the United States. The need for such a study was shown when the writer taught advanced courses in scene design and theatre history at the University of Delaware. It was discovered that only a few books contained reproductions of the work of modern scene designers, and that color reproductions of their work was almost non-existent, i^oreover, none of these published designs is analyzed in detail. They exist in a vacuum with no suggestions as to how the student ought to approach viewing them, and with essentially no descriptions of how they represent a particular designer *s ^ Prior to the twentieth century scenery for the proscenium arch stage was designed by easel painters. The modern theatre, which uses scenery as an organic part of the production, has necessitated the development of a particular kind of artist, the scene designer. 1

PAGE 9

2 method of creating an organic setting for a given play script. This study's purpose demands that a framework or basis for scene design analysis be established, one I'^hich makes it possible to discover how the design elements line, mass, color, light and shade were used by Robert Edmond Jones and Lee Simonson, It is to be inferred that this, in turn, might become the basis for a study of the work of any theatrical designer. Furthermore, this writer believes it is only through understanding the artist's problems, the process by which the work of art was produced, that one may deeply appreciate a work of art and be able to analyze it. The process of scene design has two parts: conception and execution. It derives from two sources: modern aesthetics and design theory as it is found in the space arts, painting, sculpture, and architecture. An artist is always restricted in his conception and execution by the limitations of the particular medium in which he works. In examining the artistic process involved in scene design, it should be remembered that probably no medium restricts the artist as much as the theatre does the scene designer. Therefore, before the design process operative in scenic art can be isolated and considered, the major limitations of the medium must be explored.

PAGE 10

Limitations of the Medium of Theatre on Scene Design The scene designer must remember that theatre is a motion art since a performance of a play consists of actors moving in space. Usually these actors are surrounded by scenery and are illuminated with varying degrees of light. Sometimes the scenery moves and frequently there are changes in the patterns of light and shade. While the easel painter captures the movement of his subject in his mind*s eye and executes it on a twodimensional canvas in a stationary picture, the scene designer must provide the actors with a decor which allows them to move around according to the dictates of the ideas,] emotions, and physical necessities of the script being ) interpreted. This limitation is peculiar to theatre. The only other space art in which movement may exist is in some modern sculpture. Mobile sculpture moves and presents a constantly changing stimulus to the viewer. The complexity and demands of that movement, however, do not reach the proportions of that found in a stage production. Movement in the latter becomes highly complex with the actor,, segments of scenery, and/or light and shade moving in various combinations. The artistic processes of the modern scene designer also are affected significantly by the fact that he is working in an era in which the theatre is dominated by

PAGE 11

4 the playwright. The twentieth century theatre bases its production of plays upon the playv/right*s script, in contrast to the last two centuries in which the theatre was dominated by the actor, and in which virtuoso painters were needed to create an artistically satisfying picture before which the great stars could perform. Today, the script becomes the blueprint from which the many artists * director, actors, scene designer, costume designer build the play, with the director's interpretation of the script as the means of unifying the final composite product. Consequently, in his design process the contemporary designer must employ the design elements in a manner capable of satisfying the needs of the playwright's script as interpreted by the director, — -— The scene designer also is controlled by the types and styles of scenery peculiar to his age, ".Tiile specialized types of settings such as arena and platform staging do exist, the twentieth century proscenium theatre inherited and retained two basic types of stage scenery the wing and drop setting and the box setting. These types function within a space whose maximum and minimum limits are determined by the size of the human figure, and they are revealed to audiences primarily through the use of the picture frame stage of the proscenium theatre. The stylistic development or treatment of these types, however, is no longer limited to the representational

PAGE 12

5 styles of the nineteenth century realism and naturalism. Today, one also discovers such presentational styles of scenic art as constructivism, theatricalisra, and expressionism. John Colby Lewis has summarized the emergence of these presentational art styles in these words, First the realistic elements were reduced in number and simplified. Thus the complete nature of the object was conveyed by sug estions, and imagination once raore returned to art. It was then but a step to the symbol, a sign which would stand, not for the material n?ture of the object but for its essential inner meaning. The iiapressionists syrabolif.ed the v^'holc \nth a r^art of the whole. The expressionists employ a syrobol which is pure form. The form is carefully organized so that every part of it is a necessary statement of the idea. Since it expresses an ider rather than describing an object, the form is abstract. For the same reason it may ignore everyday logic of s-pace and tine in the Interest of expressing an idea that transcends individual manifestations in space and time, 2 The modern American scene designer may be influenced by all of these styles as he fulfills his creative function in the theatre. Because the twentieth century audience accepts many styles of scenery, the scene designer has considerable freedom with v;hich to work within the medium of theatre. The final limitation imposed upon the scene designer is due to the fact that the medium of theatre requires that its scenery fulfill three purposes. The first is that it reveal the emotioiis of the playv.Tight*s script by "John Colby Lewis, "A Correlation of the Theatre vjith the Graphic Arts" (Ph. D. dissertation, Cornell University, 1940), p. 45^.

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reinforcing the physical and psychological relationships of the characters in the story. V.riting in On the Art of the Theatre « published in 1905 and nov; a standard reference work for theatre artists, ^ Gordon Craig presented this fundamental belief of the twentieth century theatre. According to hira, all artists who participate in the production of a play must make their contributions "match the verse or the prose, the beauty of it, the sense of it."^ I.ith respect to the scene designer he suggested specifically that , • . he does not merely sit dovjn and draw a pretty or historically accurate design, with enough doors and windov.s in picturesque places, but he first of all chooses certain colours which seera to hin to be in harmony with the spirit of the play, rejecting other colours as out of tune. He then weaves into a pattern certain objects — an arch, a fountain, a balcony, a bed — using the chosen object as the centre of his design. Then he adds to this all the objects v:hich are mentioned in the play, and which are necessary to be seen. To these he adds, one by one, each character, and each costume. He is likely as not to iiiake several mistakes in his pattern. If so, he must, as it were, unpick the design, and rectify the blunder even if he has to go right back to the beginning and start the pattern all over again — or he may even have to begin a new pattern. At any rate, slowly, harmoniously, must the whole design develop, so that the eye of the beholder shall be satisfied, ^'hile this pattern for the eye is being devised, the designer is being guided as much by the sound of the verse or prose as by the sense or spirit. . • .5 3Gordon Craig, On the Art of the Theatre (London, 1912), p. 149. 4lbid., p. 139. 5lbid. , pp. 157, 15^.

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7 Here is revolution indeed! The idea of a scene designer being guided by "verse," "prose," "sense," or "spirit" v;as totally foreign to the nineteenth century painter of vfing and drop scenery. This nevj, modern concept of scenic purpose, with its obligation to reveal the emotional concepts of the script, was made more explicit by the work of Adolphe Appia and the iieriuan composer, Kichard '.agner. For them, the unified art of music, painting, and acting was the only one -vvhich coula give complete, direct expression of the soul. Appia conceived of a kind of "word-tone drama" v/ith the scenery being music in spatial form i«ihich, through its lights, colors, lines, and masses, was to be related directly to the ideas and moods being expressed by the music. Since tnese concepts of scenery's responsibility to the emotive condition of the play script have received coi/jaon acceptance, it is to be expected that the design process of the contempoi-ary scenic artist will be governed by them. The second purpose which controls trie scene designer's process is that wnich requires that scenery surround the characters of the play v.ith an appropriate and, hence, constantly changing atmosphere. This is in contrast to ulric lioore, " . usic and the 'Jcene .' a translation of Adolphe Appia 's i^ie i-^.usik Und uie .inscenierung " (I:, A, thesis, Joruell Jniver^ity> 1929). passifa .

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the nineteenth century concept of an enlarged easel painting x^hose purpose was to provide a background for the actors. Today, it is recognized that the physical and psychological relationships of the characters of a play constantly change, and that these periods of tension and release create differing moods. In order to reveal these moods, it is necessary for the scenery to change, J. Craig has said, for example, that the "Scene must be living . . • seemingly alive, breathing as in Nature the Earth seems to breathe, . . ."' The play^«*ight selects the characters, situations, and locations. Fodern theatre practice requires the scene designer to produce the locations which the playwright feels are appropriate for the action of his characters. A common location for this dramatic action is the living room setting. Simple though this scenic demand might appear to be, the designer is faced with the task of creating a setting v^ich not only provides the physical necessities or elements peculiar to that locale, but which also reinforces the eternally fluctuating moods of the^ characters and situations. For instance, in Ibsen^s Hedda Gabler, tlie designer must provide a room which appears appropriate to the social and economic position of its owners, the Tesmans. It must have suitable walking and \ "^Gordon Craig, "The Living Scene," English Review . XXXII (June 31, 1921), 52?.

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9 seating space for the number of characters who frequent it, and it must provide physical or inani;iiate items needed in each of the particular scenes: a stove into whic> Hedda can thrust the majiuscript of Eilert Lovberg; a desk for the use of George Tesman's research and for the storage of the pistols v/ith which Kedda kills herself. Moreover, the designer must provide a room which can reflect the varying and constantly changing moods of the activities which take place there. For instance, the room needs to be happy and bright, gay with abandonment as Hedda stands in the French doors, flooded with morning sunlit;ht, shooting at a pistol target in the garden. Later, \ihen a morning caller. Judge Brack, interrupts her practice and makes his threat of blackniail, the room must take on a totally different visual character. Moreover, these totally contrasting moods occur within the short span of fifteen minutes. The designer has no choice but to provide a setting which will reflect and reinforce these moods and the many others which are inherent in the script. The medium of theatre is unique in this demand that the designer's process provide scenery which allows for the fluctuating emotional values of the play. The easel painter need only capture the feeling of a single moment on his canvas. The sculptor chisels on a mass with actual depth capturing the feeling of one mood, a mood

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10 which will never change. The painter or sculptor maytake as much time as he needs to adequately express the mood of the moment through his stationary figures. Toreover, he has complete control over his choice of mood. There is no one to dictate the rnood which must be expressed. The scene designer, on the other hand, has infinitely more complex problems. Ke deals with actual mass in actual space. Moreover, he must work on a large scale in a medium which has constantly moving figures, a shifting center of interest, and the constantly changing moods chosen by the playwright. He must limit his personal desires, not only until he has accommodated all the demands imposed by the playwright *s characters, situations, and locations, but until he has satisfied the director's interpretation or concept of them. Furthermore, the time at his disposal is limited. The scene designer can observe and work with his piece of art only while the complete play is actually being rehearsed or performed. T'Chen the actors leave the stage the play no longer exists, and the designer's scenery, which is an integral part of the play, has no reason for being. The third purpose of scenery is that it be artistic it must be an expression of the artistry of the designer. Through the efforts of Appia and Craig the force of the imagination was regenerated as a means of artistic expression in the theatre and specifically in scene design.

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11 The lesson modern theatre practitioners learned from Craig, and, in turn, passed on as a charge to scene designers, was that "There is only one power which commands today, as it has always commanded in the past. It is the Imaginative Power. "° To discover the extent to which modern stage designers use "Imaginative Power," it is only necessary to refer to the six scenic interpretations of Hamlet which Lee Simonson has pictured in The Art of Scenic Design . 9 Each of the designers, Robert Edmond Jones, Norman 3el Geddes, Stev.art Chaney, Vlatislav Hofman, Donald Oenslager, and Simonson himself, reveals through his drawings a different interpretation of the play. Simonson explains his own very original interpretation by saying, Hamlet is usually thought of as a black figure in a gloomy world, or his gloom is projected onto his surroundings. The basic idea of my project is that he is a black and brooding figure in a bright world and the scheme of production is designed to emphasize his isolation in a sensuous, guzzling, luxurious court. Therefore, the center of the castle structure is dull red. Every time the court assembles it brightens this glov; of red with its orilliant robes studded with jewels and ornamented with bronze and gold, Hamlet moves against this brightness in solitary protest, uniquely black. ^0 ^Gordon Craig, Towards a New Theatre (New York, 1913), p. 6. 9Lee Simonson, The Art of Scenic Design (New York 1950), pp. 162-174. 10 Ibid ., p. 162.

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12 In a conversation^^ v;ith Simonson, the vriter attempted to pursue this interpretation further. Simonson was asked why he used dull red as the color for the castle structure. Vhy didn»t he use a rich yellow? '!hy did he curve the stairs to the left rather than to the right? The purpose of these questions was to see if particular portions of the dialogue had prompted his use of a particular color, or his choice of a particular line in the set structure. He said, "No," that he felt that this v;as his imaginative expression of the playwright *s idea. The designer*s "Imaginative Power," as manifested by the Simonson comment, can be limited, obviously, by the tv/o previously mentioned purposes of scene design. Then too, it is further limited by physical factors which prevail in the realm of theatrical art. "Imaginative Power" can be curtailed by the materials with v/hich the designer vrorks and the stage space which the theatre provides. These last two limitations, hov:ever, are not unique with theatre. The painter, for instance, is limited by the materials at his disposal, and the size of his canvas may be limited by studio space or the size and/or decor of the particular room in which it is to be hung. In characterizing the process of scene design, the following might be said. It must take place within the 11 Greensboro, N. C. to Simonson in New York, N. Y., January 21 , 1963.

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13 four limitations imposed by, and peculiar to, the medium of theatre. It must recognize that the medium is a space art in which there is constant movenient of the subject matter* Not onl7 is it dominated by the influence of the playvnright, but it is limited by two basic types of staging (albeit these embrace many styles) which demand the fulfillment of three distinct purposes. Host designers recogni2e these limitations and work within them. For example, Jo Mielziner, who was once Robert Edmond Jones' apprentice, says Jones "could be described as a dreamer, but he was also a doer. Idealist he was, but certainly he cannot be dismissed as a mere visionary. A prophet, yes, but at the same time a most practicc.1 craftsman. "12 '.Jhile craftsmanship, used here to mean the ability of the artist to accommodate his "Imaginative Fov/er'' to a particiilb.r medium, is a necessary part of all art media, the severe limitations imposed by theatre make it a critical factor in scene design. The following chapter vrill identify the steps in the design process which are the basis of scene design. '>
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14 medium and the script while, at the same time, preserving his own artistic integrity. Succeeding chapters will provide an analysis of the design elements as used in a number of the significant v/orks of Jones and Simonson. ?ince this study is concerned primarily with thr design elements, the other parts of the design process are referred to only if they have direct bearing upon a joarticular point being made concerning a design element. It should be noted also that it is not the function of this study to discover what design process Jones and Simonson used. Rather, it seeks to study their use of the design elements and principles in order to demonstrate the manner in vrhich they function, and to establish a means or pedagogical device by v;hich the scenic art under consideration can be understood. Since complete biographical studies stressing personal backgrounds, artistic development, and individual impact upon modern American theatre have been made of Jones and Simonson, '3 none of this information will be included in the following chapters unless it has a direct bearing upon a point under discuRsion, l3Eugene Robert Black, "Robert Edmond Jones: Poetic Artist of the New Stagecraft** (Ph, D, dissertation, University of I isconsin, 1955), Zack Lee York, ^Lee Simonson, Artist-Craftsman of the Theatre" (Ph, D, dissertation, University of I'.'isconsin, 1950),

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CHAPTER I THE DESIGN PROCESS: THE BASIS OF SCENIC CREATION The Process of Artistic Conception As I. A. Richards says, The greatest difference between the artist or poet and the ordinary person is found as has often been pointed out, in the range, delicacy, and freedom of the connections he is able to make betv;een different elements of his experience. -* How does the artist give birth to the subjective conception, this unusual penetration of some facet of human life? What is his method of procedure? A modern explanation, offered by Benedetto Croce in his Asthetic .'^ identifies three steps in the process. Impression The first step in this process of artistic conception is "ijapression."^ The artist is impressed by something in his environment. ^I, A, Richards, Principles of Literary Criticism (London, 194^), p. iSl. ^Bensdetto Croce, Asthetic as Science ox'' Expression and General Linguistic , trans, Douglas Ainslie (London, 1909), p. 22, ^ Ibid .. p, 156. 15

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16 Synthesis The result of this impression is that the artist sees nature in a specialized manner one peculiar to his unusual and particular ability to penetrate its mysteries, Croce calls this phenomenon "Spiritual Aesthetic Synthesis. "4 It is the period in which the artist thinks about the impression ^ich he has received, mulls it over in his mind, and sensitively investigates its essence. The images or concepts vrtiich the artist synthesizes in this, his own, specialized manner are a product of his particular knowledge. As Croce notes, this knowledge is • • • either intuitive knowledge or logical knowledge; knowledge obtained through the iiaagination or knov;ledge obtained through the intellect; knowledge of the individual or kno^.-lodge of i-ne uiiiversal; of individual things or of the relations between them. . . .5 Therefore, the conception of the artist may "well all be intuitive facts without a shadow of intellective relation."^ The artistes completed concept may come after a minimum of time, or it may take a greet deal of deliberation. For example, two famous painters, Leonardo and Degas, are known to have spent long hours in deliberation. Croce points out that Leonardo stood for days before his ^Ibid. 5lbid., p. 1. 6lbid., p. 3.

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^"^ <^ •» in -t17 tirifT, "i"he Last Tupper,'' v.df '',•. touching it vath a brush,' and Ross qiiotes Degas vfao declared, "'Iw art was ever less spontaneous than mine. ..hat I do is tht result of reflection and the study of the ^reat masters, "o Hedonistic Accompaniment The third step in the process of conception as defined by Croce is closely connected to the first tv/o. It is "hedonistic accompaniment, or pleasure of the beautiful (aesthetic pleasure). "9 The poet or any other artist affords an instance of purely aesthetic pleasure, auri.it; the uioratnt in Vvhich he sees (or has the intuition of) his work for the first tine; that is to say, v.hen his impressioas take form . . ."^O There is, then, a sensation of pleasure (beauty) accompanying the successful synthesis of a work of art, end the sensation of pain (ugliness) in the case of an unsuccessful synthesis of a work of art. The three steps in the process of artistic conception inspiration, synthesis, hedonistic accompaniment are the same for all arts. It is in this first part of the creative process that all arts are similar. .hen the artistic conception gets exposed to the limitations of a 7 'jioid. , p. lo, "Deniiian I., Ross, Cn Lra;;in/^ and Painting (New York, 1912), p. '3. ^^Ibid . . p. 156. lOlbid., p. 131.

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U; particular medium, however, it gets modified. It is at this point that the differences among the arts emerge, as the following discussion will demonstrate. The designer finds his inspiration within the playwright's script and the director's interpretation of it. For example, if the playv/right specifies that the situations of his play occur in a living room, and the director believes that the play's style demands a naturalistic style of scenery, the designer must provide it. VTiile the script and director's interpretation may call for a very specific kind of room, the designer does have considerable freedo^i in the aesthetic development of such details of the room as its size, style, color, dominate line pattern, and even the materials from which it will be constructed. During the period of synthesis, the scene designer applies his intuitive and logical knowledge to the kind of life which the script reflects, keeping in mind, all the while, the peculiar limitations of the medium. In his mind's eye he sees the characters moving in space among constantly changing scenic forms which invoke emotional responses parallel to those being revealed by the actors. In the case of a traditional realistic production, he also bears in mind that he is designing for a proscenium arch stage which has two basic types of scenery. Moreover, he knows the stage's space, adjacent storage

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19 areas, and the amount and efficiency of its scene changing equipment will deterrair.e the size and amount of scenery which may be used. In short, his synthesis must be a vision of a sequence of stage settings which can be adequately handled by the particiilar stage for which the production is being designed. Furthermore, these eleraexits or conditions are difx^erent for each stage. If the play must be performed on more than one stage, as almost all professional productions in this country are, the designer must adjust his concept to the smallest and least elaborately equipped stage v;hich the play will encounter. It should be noted also that in the process of synthesis, whether he uses the box set, the v/ing and drop type of set, or a combination of the two, the designer must scale it to fit the proportions of the actors, whose sizes have maximum limits. The third step of the scene designer's process of conception is also different from that of the easel painter or sculptor, v.hile the designer may well bask in his feeling of hedonistic accompaniment, he must always realize that his artistic conception is only a part, albeit an important part, of a conception which is generated by the combined effort of the playwright, director, actors, costiimer, and lighting designer. The Process of Artistic Execution V tvhen the artist has arrived at his artistic

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20 conception he is ready to execute it by translating it, via the tecriniques of his particular mediam, from a mental image into a work of art which may be appreciated by the public. Existing theories in the graphic arts indicate the artist's execute xon involves three steps. ^^ (1) He must express the for./ of the mental conception in terms ox the design factors ~ content, decoration, and expression. (2) This necessitates nis mastery of the technique of composition v/hich involve: the 'ase of the design elements line, mass, color, and, li^ht ; id shade. (3) In employing the design elements he must respect and utilize the principles of haraony, rhythm, and balance. Factors oi Design The factors of design content, decoration, and expression maintain an interdependence which may be visualizeu by imagining three overlapping rings, each labeleu appropriately. For example, decorrition may reveal the expression oi the artist; content may be decorative, and it frequently is. The three factors are also mutually important. In revealing form, an emphasis on decoration •^^Denman W. Ross, A Theory of Pure Uesipxi (New York, 1933); ^^verard M. Upjohn, Paul S. Vkini-ert, Jane G. i'-iahler, History of .orld art (New York, 1949); Wallace S. Baldinger, The Visual Arts (New York, I960).

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21 « o « .a o o o c: o to u ctf '-9

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22 more than content or expression is no better or worse than emphasizing expression more than either of the other tvjo. It is the judgement of the artist which determines Which factor or factors are emphasized. He may arrive at this decision as a result of intuitive knowledge, logical knowledge, or even because of circumstances outside his control. Content , — This factor is defined as the subject matter of the v;ork of art. It may be representational. That is, it may resemble very closely an object in real life. To illustrate, in the case of sculpture the body v/ould be revealed in exact detail with careful attention to the minutae of the hand, the head, and the muscles. In contrast, it may be presentational and tend not to resemble an object in real life, Modern artists frequently are totally abstract or symbolic, as is Jackson Pollock in his painting, "Wumber One," shovm in Plate 1, This painting contains no evidence of recognizable forms, and the representational oriented art patron may say that this painting has no subject matter. For the symbolist oriented patron, however, its content may suggest , , • endless cosmic motion. But unlike a photograph of the heavens, which might show the specific appearance , , , of heavenly bodies and move.aents, such paintings give what photography or even scientific description never could: a sense of immeasurable

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23 scale, a response to infinite motion, and an intuition of the vital creative force of the cosmos. "12 Decoration . — The second factor of design, decoration, may be defined as those attributes which are pleasing to the eye and used by the artist in addition to those inherent in his content or expression. Decoration abounds in modern life. Stained glass windows which are frequently found in churches offer a good examole of this design factor. In these there frequently is no effort to accurately portray objects or figures. The effect of such a window upon the spectator is achieved primarily through the color of the fragments of glass and their combination. Expression . ~ The third factor of design, expression, may be defined as the comment of the artist. According to Upjohn, I/ingert, and Mahler, all painting has some degree of expression. ^^ There is even a degree of it in a representational portrait since it is the result of the analysis of the subject's personality by the artist. In a symbolic or presentational work, this comment is achieved by abstraction and/or distortion. Abstraction is the stripping of the artistic concept of all material aspects not essential to the concept. Distortion results when the remaining material is altered in order to present '^John P. Sedgwick, Jr., Art Appreciation Made Siiiiple (New York, 1959), p. 151. 1 ^Upjohn, VJingert, and Mahler, p. 5.

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24 more effectively the concept, an alteration that shows no respect for the representative attributes (natural appearances) of the material. The degrees of abstraction and distortion vary infinitely,. The painting by Jackson Pollock mentioned earlier is a complete abstraction v.ith the lines and masses bearing no resemblance to actual objects. As an example of Americans abstract-expressionist movement, this work attempts to express mind and being through the artistes "spontaneous, uncalculated"^^ use of paint. Like most products of this movement, Pollock's "Ilximber One'^ is an immense canvas measuring sixty-eight inches by one hundred four inches. Abstract-expressionist works frequently assume these dimensions so that they may 1 5 be "gone into" -^ by the viewer rather than taken in. The spectator fights his way around in such canvases, he is not likely to sit back and be entertained: his time and energy are involved: the spaces are vast, the substances incredibly activated yet compelling and authoritative, 1o As the Pollock canvas reveals, artists use abstraction and distortion to intensify reality. The use of these tv;o techniques has led to the development of the many "isms" which characterize the diverse styles of twentieth century ^^John I. H. 3aur, "Painting of the Twentieth Century," Arts of the United States , ed. Mlliam H. Pierson, Jr., and Martha Davidson (New York, I960), p. SO. ^ ^Sedgwick, p. 150. I^ibid.

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25 art. All of these styles are coin-r.only grouped under the large heading, symbolism. Since symbolic art contains much expression of the artist, it stands in opposition to representational art which tends to be illustrative in character, showing people arid things as they are in nature. The Design Elements The second step in the process of execution is concerned with composition vrhich is the manner in which the graphic artist uses and arranges the design elements. All art objects can be thought to consist of individual elements similar to the chemical elements which make up chemical compounds. Janet K. Smith in A Manual of Design defines the design elements as the "irreducible item serving as one of the components of more complex things in the realm of art."^7 Authorities differ over the number and names of the elements. According to Smith the elements of the visual arts are: line, shape, tone, space, color, texture, raass.'^ According to Saldinger the elements of the visual arts are: point, line, plane, texture, color, mass, space. ^ Since study indicates these differences in classification are academic and not serious, the one employed in this study is a composite vrtiich has been constructed by the ^^jp.net K. Smith, A Manual of Design (New York, 1950), p. 13. ia 19 Ibid. baldinger, p. vii.

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26 Plate 2 Paid Gauguin, "Still-Life," 1690

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27 writer from the possibilities found in standard reference sources. Point will be considered a part of line since a line is a series of connected points. In addition texture, shape, plane, and space are to be considered as aspects of mass. Thus, in this study, the design elements of the visual arts are conceived to be line, mass, color, and, light and shade. Line . — A line may be as simple as a trace of a point or as complex as the pattern formed by different colors coming together. Traces may be found in the Pollock, Plate 1 . A line pattern formed by the meeting of various shades of green may be seen in the Gauguin ^ Plate 2. There are five types of line: vertical, horizontal, slow curves, sharp curves, and jagged. Every trace or pattern, however complex, may be analyzed ultimately into these five types. ^^ Usually in a work of art one type of line predominates over the others. As a result of experience, psychological connotations normally have been attached to the various types of line. Long vertical lines are noble. Stand before some Gothic cathedral — close to it. Look against the v/all and upward, and let those lines engrave themselves upon your eyeballs — lines one after another pressing tirelessly up into space. Forget that life is made of acts, forget that there is a cheap cafe just behind you. Let the world blot itself out and let only those lines remain. You seem 20r.Iilton Smith, Play Production {New York, 194^), p, 46.

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2^ to ascend with them — viiither? That you cannot tell; upward! That is the v/hole of it. The noises of the city arc a blur; your thoughts become misty. Only those lines remain, striving upvrard. And they will remain and strive, most lively, after half a dozen governments, liberal, revolutionary, and reactionary, have frittered themselves av.'ay.21 In contrast to vertical lines, long horizontal ones ?.re tied down to earth and usually involve base or ignoble feelings. In a similar manner one may say that slow curves are sensuous and sophisticated, sharp curves are comic, and jagged lines and diagonals with their sharp angles are exciting. Pollock's "Number One," for example, reveals great excitement through the predominate use of diagonal and jagged lines, yet these are almost always softened by sIok curves mostly in the vertical plane. Moreover, all types of line are used in the painting and the total pattern which they create gives the painting its feeling of unlimited, violent energy. In addition to creating or producing a psychological effect, line has tv.'o other purposes. These are to reveal form, and to lead the eye to the focal point of the work of art, Paul Gauguin's "Still-Life," shows line giving form to the fruit, bowl, cup, and cloth which form the major details of the picture. The bold verticals and horizontals of the window frame, and the slow curves of the edge of the table lead the eye to the focal poiat of the ^ 'Hiram Kelley Moderwell, The Theatre of To-Day (New York, 1927), p. ^5.

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29 Plate 3 Franz Kline, "Painting, No. 7," 1952

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30 picture, the bowl of fruit. In a more co.nplex but similar manner, the lines formed by the right and left edges of the cloth lead the eye to the bowl of fruit. Although both of these lines run out of the edges of the picture, the eye of the vievver is kept in the picture and carried to the focal point by the curving line pattern in the folds in the cloth which interrupts the basic line. In the case of the left edge of the cloth, this reverse movement tends to throw the eye of the viewer upwards towards the bowl of fruit, while the line pattern of the right edge of the cloth tends to lead the eye upwards in two possible directions one towards the right edge of the windov; frame; the other towards the cup handle and the cup rim. Both the window frame and the parts of the cup, however, lead the eye to the focal point of the painting. Mass . — The second element in composition which the graphic artist employs is mass. It may be defined as a "quantity of laatter."^^ Painting possesses mass only through illusion. Sculpture, architecture, and stage design possess actual mass. If a straight vertical line drawn on a white canvas is broadened, the effect of a mass is created. Plate 3 shows Franz IQine's "Painting, No. 7" which raay be said to consist of six vertical lines and three horizontal ones which have been broadened into ^2 ' ebster * s Nevj Collegiate Dictionary (dth ed.; S pringfield, Mass., 1953), p. 516,

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31 masses. Since this black and white oil measures fiftyseven and one-half inches by twenty-nine and three-quarter inches, the nine lines have been broadened considerably. Since the nine masses have no apparent depth, they are called planes. In so far as psychological attributes of mass are concerned, they are the same as those of line, except for the fact that the energy of mass is greater. For example, the focal point in Kline's "Painting, No. 7" shows a violent clash of vertical and horizontal forces, and as a consequence, it conveys a strong sense of energy. Another of the major characteristics of mass is that it always exists in space. Ppace may be thought of as an "environment for energies, "^3 These energies are the result of the artist's use of mass, sometimes called positive space, in space, sometimes called negative space. ^ In Kline's "Painting, No. 7" the nine planes convert about two-thirds of the total space available to the artist into positive space. One of the major interests of modern artists has been the use of mass in space. According to Simonson, whose designs are to be examined in the course of this study, Bernard Berenson called renewed attention to the third-dimension in IS96: ^^ Janet K. Smith, p. 29. ^^Henry N. Rasrausen, Art Structure (New York, 1950), pp. 75, 76,

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32 "r.pace-coraposition • • . is not an grranp-ement to be judged as extending only laterally, or up and down on a flat surface, but extending inwards in depth as well • . • space-composition differs even more widely from ordinary composition in its effect. The latter, reduced to its elements, plays only on our feeling for pattern. ... Space-composition is much more potent. Producing as it does immediate effects ... on the vaso-motor system, with ever3'' change of space we suffer on the instant a change in our circulation and our breathing a change whic^ vre become aware of as a feeling of heightened or lowered vitality. "^^ The use of complex illusory third-dimension is illustrated in Plate 2. By dividing his canvas into an infinite number of receaing planes, Gauguin achieves a feeling of great depth, fly giving these planes mass, the objects have an illusion of a third-dimension. The relationships among these receding planes are very important. It is the feeling of total depth which they give to the picture which causes the focal point, the bowl of fruit, to be placed in proper perspective in so far as its location v;ithin the total depth of the picture is concerned. The greater portion of depth is placed behind the bowl of fruit, and this serves to thrust it forv;ard towards the viewer. The lesser portion of depth in front of it tends to keep the bowl of fruit pulled back within the picture frame. The relationships among the masses cause thrusts and counterthrusts which affect the feelings of the viewer by virtue of the fact that they establish a "'heightened or lowered 25Lee Simonson, The Stage Is Set (New York, 1932), p. 60.

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33 Plate 4 Franz Kline, "Mahoning," 1956

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34 vitality." Sheldon Cheney admonishes the viewer of a work of art to » , . make sure that he is not merely follov.'ing tracks from edge to edge, but rather feeling the tensions from axis to axis. Tvery plane has axes, meeting at a center of weight; and "planetary movement'' may be said, to be engendered by the tensions between axial points. ^^ The living axial relationships of volumes across space cannot be reduced to law. For one reason, there are those other elements to enter in and modify or correct: color, texture, etc. The task of creation is bound up in almost intuitive counterpoise of the several movement-means. But this much can be recorded confidently; the Moderns as a group recognize main movement and counterplay of moveraent as resulting chiefly from tensions betvj^een related volumes; and what is sometimes termed the focal point of the picture is where the coiled power of the tension system enters. 2" Cheney credits Cesnanne with revolutionizing painting by his search for a dynamic use of mass. For centuries before 1900 painters had been content to record nature realistically through "static surface composition." A more complex example of the dynamic use of mass and space in graphic art can be found in Franz Kline's "Mahoning," Plate 4. This eighty by one hundred inch painting uses black oil on canvas. The over-all effect is one of great violence. In comparing this canvas with his "Painting, No. 7," one notes Kline has achieved this effect Sheldon Cheney, Expressionism in Art (rev. ed.; New York, 194^), p. 177. 27lbid., p. 214. 2 ^Ibid. ^ p. 225.

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35 through a system of highly complicated masses. This complication, when coupled with the diagonal character of masses, gives the "Mahoning" canvas a far greater sense of excitement than is found in "Painting, No. ?•" The three long horizontal masses running across the top half of the picture keep the structure tied down and counteract the upward force or thrust of the short verticals and main diagonal. The center of these forces lies near the left edge of the picture. Vhereever the eye enters the picture it gravitates to one of the black masses and gets carried swiftly to this focal center. The final characteristic of mass to be discussed here is textiire. It may be natural or imposed, and it may change with wear. It may appear as a regular pattern or at random. It may be soft, hard, dull, shiny, coarse, fine, or have an infinite number of other attributes. "Texture," says Wallace Baldinger, appeals to the tactile sense, which we begin cultivating the moment we are born. About the first thing that v/e do as infants is reach out and touch things, learning gradually that an object v.ith a particular "feel" carries with it a particular "look. "29 Textures, like the other aspects of mass, may have psychological connotations. The black masses used in the two Kline paintings reveal rough textures, similar to rough textured logs in nature which are usually uncomfortable to 29iialdinger, p. 12.

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36 touch. In contr?st, the cup and the boifl in the Gaupuin painting reveal a smoother texture. Texture, hoi-rever, is relative. The smoothness of Gauguin *s cup and bov/l is not nearly as smooth as that of an actual silver cup and bowl. From his painting it is impossible to tell whether the cup and the bowl are silver, and the quest of an answer is artistically pointless. The importance of the picture lies in Gauguin's interpretation of this bit of still-life, not in its resemblance to nature. The whole of this painting has a roughness of texture which reveals the masculinity of the ertist. Color . — The third element used by the graphic artist in developing composition is color. It is "a sensation evoked as a response to the stimulation of the eye and its attached nervous mechanisms by radiant energy of certain wave lengths and intensities. "30 physical color has three dimensions. Hue is the dimension "in respect to which colors may be described as red, yellov;, green, or blue, or as intermediate between two of these. "31 In other v;ords, it is the dimension which persons commonly and erroneously refer to as color. Value, sometimes called brilliance, is the dimension "v;hich measures" variations 3 Q^yebster'5 New Collegiate Dictionary , p. 162, 31 Ibid.

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37 "among the grays, "32 a hue is usually called a shade if it has some black added to it and a tint if it has v-hite added to it the amount of black or v.'hite determining its value. Saturation is the dimension "in which colors may be differentiated as being higher or lov;er in degree of vividness of hue. "33 a hue may have its vividness diminished by being saturated with its complementary color. For instance, the vividness of a red may be lessened by the addition of some green. These physical attributes of color have been classified and discussed in the Prang, Hunsell, and Cstwald color systems, 34 The Prang system, which includes the familiar color '/rheel of three primaries, red, yellow, blue, and of three secondaries, orange, green, violet placed at the mid-line of a sphere with black at one pole and white at the other pole, is the standard pigment theory in art. Being interested in the physical sources of color, Frang examined surfaces colored with pigment in order to determine and systematize the manners in wiiich they selectively absorbed certain light rays. The Munsell theory wi-.ich includes five primaries, red, yellov;, blue, green, purple, and five intermediate hues, which are made by mixing equal strengths of the primaries. 32ibid, 3 3 Ibid. 34Brief but clear discussions of Prang, Kunsell, and Ostwald theories may be found in Janet K, Smith, pp, 23-25,

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3^ Is the standard light theory in art. Kunsell was interested in "the selective emission of light rays from a primary light source,"^Through his study of the effect of colored filters on a light source he developed a color circle on \rhich one hundred hues are distinguishable. Both worked v;ith color in isolation. "They paid little, if any, attention to the eye which registered the color effects or to the response of the brain to the eye*s message, "36 Ostwald like Prang studied the selective absorption of light rays by pigment, but he went a step further. He was concerned v/ith the effect of these phenomena upon the eye. The eyes are most sensitive to blue and yellov;, and red and green. These four are the Cstwald primaries. Lying between them are orange, purple, turquoise, and yellow-green, the secondaries. His color wheel, therefore, contains eight hues. The system is worked out mathematically with exact intervals "fixed as to wave length and quantity. This is the most accurate system so far devised, in respect to pigments and to the sensations they produce through the eye on the receptor, the human brain. ''37 Vliile it is necessary for the artist to understand 35 lbid .. p. 26. 36ibid. 37ibid., p. 24.

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39 physical color in order for hin to have control over its dimensions in so far as Pigment and lig-ht are concerned, his primarj' interest lies in its psychological effects. The psychological aspects of color \>rhich are derived from nature vere explored in considerable detail as early as 1910 by V'assily Kandinsky. A fev: of his co.mnents concerning the pignent primaries will serve to suggest the extent and method of his analysis, Yellov is the typical earthly colour and never contains a profound meaning, l?.ith an intermixture of blue, it takes on a sickly colour. VTien compared with the frame of mind of some individual, it would be capable of the colour representation of madness — not melancholy or hypochondriacal mania but rather an attack of violent, raving lunacy. ... Blue is the typical heavenly colour. v;hen very dark, blue develops an element of repose, ''hon it sinks into black, it echoes a grief that is hardly human. It attains an endless, profound meaning sinking into the deep seriousness of all things where there is no end. Rising tovrard light, a movement little suited to it, it takes on a different character, growing more distc-.nt to men like the high, light blue of the sky. The lighter it is the weaker it becomes until it achieves a silent repose by becoming white. , . . Absolute green, which is the most restful colour in existence, moves in no direction, has no corresponding appeal, such as joy, sorrow, or passion, demands nothing. This persistent lack of movement is a quality which has a quieting effect on the tired souls of men, though it becomes tiresome after a time. Pictures painted in shades of green confirm this str.tement. :. picture painted in yellov; v;ill always exhale a spiritual warmth, or a blue painting appears cooling, (tuat is an active effect, because man, as an element of the universe, has been so created as to exercise constant, eternal movement). Green has a wearisome effect (passive effect). Passivity is the most characteristic quality of absolute green,

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40 carrying xyith it a certain emanation of this quality of richness and self satisfaction, 3 B The ideas of Kandinsky are found in many popular concepts of the psychological use of color. Among these are those -which label hues warm and cool, analogous, and complementary. A brief discussion of these will serve to establish the dynamic use of color made by modern artists. Taking cues from nature, man considers orange, red, and yellow the sixn hues as warm hues, and blue, green, and violet the earth hues as cool hues. The warm hues' tendency to advance and the cool hues^ tendency to recede are shovm in Gauguin's "Still-Life." The hue of the fruit in the bowl helps to thrust it towards the viewer. The receding nature of the dark valued greens and the dark valued purples cause them to retire quietly in the background. This tendency for the hue to recede, however, is accompanied by just enough use of v/arm hue v/ithin these dark valued greens to keep them significant. This is illustrated in the view framed by Gauguin's window. Here, he uses a dash of light valued yellow and a touch of light valued red to make the receding masses of the exterior bcene significant. In considering the role or function of hue it should be noted also that warm hues have a tendency to spread, while the cool hues have a tendency to become ^^i/assily Kandinsky, On the Spiritual in Art , trans. Solomon R. Guggenlieim Foundation { New York , 1 946 j , pp. 6365.

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41 smaller. Kandlnsky said, If two circles of the same size are dravm and painted respectively yellow and blue, a brief concentration on these circles will reveal in the yellow a spreading movement outwards from the center. ... The blue, on the other hand, develops a concentric movement (like a snail hiding in its shell) .39 Likewise, it has been found that hue has the capacity to generate excitement. Consequently, warm hues are frequently used by artists to point up the center of interest in a composition. The final theory concerning the use of the three dimensions of color which must be discussed is that involving analogous and complementary hue^. Today's artist refers to the various color wheels and thinks of analogous hues, those lying adjacent to each other on the wheel, as being ones which produce a pleasing sensation when used together. Pollock's "Number One" shows the use of analogous cool hues. Blues and grayed greens are the main colors. A very light value of brown (brown being a dark value of an orange-yellow hue) serves as a contrast and points up the blues and grays. ComplementaxT' hues, those lying opposite each other on the wheels, clash boldly when used with equal degrees of saturation and value. Vlien used in unequal quantities or with unequal degrees of saturation and value they clash in a subtle manner. 39ibid., pp. 60-62.

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42 Lipht gnd shade . — The fourth element used by the graphic artist in structuring his composition is light and shade. Light has three dimensions; direction, intensity, and color. The direction from which the light rays come determines vrhere the brightest illuminated area on a particular mass will be. The strongest light upon any surface other than a polished or reflected one will be where the surface more directly fronts the rays. If this surface be at right angles to the light, it will intercept its rays with the fullest effect. The nearer it approaches the right angle, the lighter it will be and the nearer the surface approaches the parallel to the rays, the darker it will appear. ^^ The intensity of the light sources determines three stages of visual perception of mass in space, "The recognition of presence, bare perception of form, and acute and definite perception of form,'*^^ \*7ithin each of the three stages there are infinite variations. Essentially, the eye perceives mass with acute detail, when it is illuminated with a high degree of intensity, and when it stands at right angles to the light source. As the angle diminishes and the intensity decrsases, one reaches *-.he intermediate stage in which there is only the bare perception of form, V/ith extremely low levels of intensity there may be only the recognition of the presence of the mass. In nature ^•^Edmund J. Sullivan, Line (London, 1922), p. 107. ^ 'Henry Adams Klopot, "The Distribution and Form of Light in Space" (MFA thesis, Yale University, 1941), p. 7.

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43 two kinds of light are found. One, general illumination, is diffused and relatively even in intensity. The other, specific illumination, is undif fused with shafts of light rays highlighting certain areas. The process v*iich an artist uses to control the direction and intensity of general light and/or specific light in order to achieve infinite variation of highlight, shade, and shadov;, and thus reveal mass, is called chiaroscuro. The color of any object may best be seen in highlight, and it disappears or fades as the object passes through the infinite degrees of shade into shadow. Since light controls the intensity of the color of an object as seen by the eye, it essentially determines the amount of movement of the object within the picture plane the degree with which the object will appear to thrust forward towards the viewer or recede within the picture plane. Colored light also has great control over the appearance of an object. It may change the form of the object markedly, or it may bring a unity to a combination of objects, thus creating a new form. For example, when a painter reveals a landscape under the rays of an orange setting sun, all items in the scene are unified by virtue of the fact that they reflect varying degrees of that common or single color frequency. Control Principles of Design The third step in the process of execution concerns

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44 itself v.dth the control principles of design harmony, balance, and rhythm. The name derives from their purpose, vrhich is to control the manner in which the £rtist uses the design elements, line, mass, color, and, light and shade, in his expression of the form of his artistic conception. The degree of order in his execution of that conception will depend upon the lack or presence of harmony, balance, and rhythm in the use of the design elements. Harmony . — *^^.Tienever two or more impressions or ideas have something in common that is appreciable, they are in harmony, in the measure of what they have in co3iinon."^2 \ great deal or excess of harmony in a work may bring monotony; too little harmony may bring such variety that the necessary unity of form may not be achieved. Monotony is not used here as a negative term, as an artist may purposely use it for a special effect. The proper degree of monotony or variety within the harmonious relationship of the design elements is determined by the content, expression, and/or decoration of the artistic concept. The relationships within the colors, lines, masses, spaces, highlights, shades, and shadov/s, and, the relationships of all of these with each other ought to be euch as to faithfully reveal the concept of the artist. ^'^Ross, A Theory of Pure Design , p. 1.

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45 An examination of the "Still-Life," Plate 2, vrill serve to illustrate the principle of harmony. In it, Cauguin uses a triadic selection of color Involving three hues equally spaced on the Prang color v:heel. The quantity oi violet and green is very large, harmonizing well v/ith the smaller amount of orange. Proportion is one dimension of harmony. It is concerned with relationships of height, width, depth, and space, "Any one dimension is by itself neither right nor vrrong, V'hen dimensions are placed together, however, relationships are established,"^^ and these must harmonize. In general, obvious proportions are less interesting than ones which offer the "surprise of the unexpected or the fascination of the subtle, "^^ Since scene designers work ^fith such large masses and spaces, harmony in proportion is difficult to achieve. Balance . — The second control principle of design, balance, is concerned with ... some equal opposition and consequent equilibrium, as it occurs at some moment of Time or at some point of Space; an equilibrium v;hich induces, for the moment and in its place, a suspension o^ all change or movement, and causes a pause or a rest. ^5 It is based upon man's affinity for a sense of balance and its necessity for his physical v;ell being. "Unless for 43Baldinger, p. 37. 4 4ibid . 45hoss, a Theory of Pure Desij.^n > p. 1.

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46 the thrill of it we entrust ourselves to some contrr^ption that tosses us about and stands us on our heads, we tend to resent any force th?,t throv;s us off our balance. '^^ The feeling of pleasure at balance and displeasure at lack of balance is projected to our environ-tient, T'e engage thus in a process called empathy. Through it we project ourselves psychologicelly into the object or situation. le identify ourselves vfith it. '-e feel it operating in ourselves in a positive muscular way. "^7 Unless there is balance in a work of art there will be this empathic discomfort vathin the viewer. There are two kinds of balance: symire tries 1, sometimes called formal; and asymmetrical, sometimes called informal. Symmetrical balance is usually illustrated with a fulcrum under a seesaw vath identical objects placed equidistant from the fulcrum, e speak of this mass as being in balance, and this particular arrangement as being symmetrical. The effect of such balance is great dignity. It is static and easily comprehended. Asymmetrical balance results when "one balancing form assumes some special quality of attraction to oake up for its not being a aiere reversal of image so placed as ^^Baldinger, p. 29. ^7ibid,

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47 to balance another form."^*^* Since raodern artists are much concerned v;ith the third-diraension, with advancing and receding colors, and vrith the use of light to control color and mass in space, they use asyronietrical balance most frequently. This can be explained by the fact that through the use of tensions, or the thrusts and counterthrusts of lines, masses, and color in space, it is possible to achieve a degree of balance without relying on the static, even less interesting, reversal of imc^ge or symmetrical arrangement of objects. To the Victorians, balance v?as static and • . . on the surfr.ce of the canvas, varied only by depth as understood through the laws of perspective. It is to the later painters dynamic and recessive. To the surface movement is added back-and-forth thrust and return, Equilibrium is construed lesa as balanced objects, more as related paths of tension betv/eezi volumes , ^° The effect of such balance is casual. It is dynamic and easily sensed by the vievver, but extremely difficult to analyse. The use of asynimetrical balance is illustrated in the Gauguin, Pollock, and Kline paintings. The tensions released by the design elements in each of these results in a feeling of repose v;ithout the use of the technique vhich reverses the image. These examples represent only a f2w of the infinite number of ways of achieving asyminetrical balance. ^ %bid ,. p. 30. ^9cheney, p. 127.

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43 P,hyth:u » — The filial control priaciple which the graphic artist uses is rhytraa. It isay be defiued as •'movemeiit laarked by regular recurrence of, or re£,ular alternation in, features, eieiaents, piieaoiriena , etc.*' As may be seen from the definition, rhythm depends upon repetition with stress. It gets its effect in the graphic arts \vhen the viev/er is led through repetition of a motif to expect that motif to continue. An example might be found in architecture where a building might have a series of six evenly spaced windows, followed by a large door, and then repeat the pattern with six more windov^s and a second large door. As the eye moves across the side plane of the structure the doors function as stressed accents in the pattern, the windows as the unstressed ones. A combination of the two give rhyttimic movement to the pattern. Rhythmic patterns in painting are not as regular as those in architecture. In Kline's "Painting, No. 7," for example, a rhythmic pattern results when the eye moves across the vertical masses, A different rhythmic pattern results when the eye moves across the horizontal masses. The power resulting from the clash of forces inherent in these two rhythmic patterns gives a feeling of violent energy at the center of interest. In the Gauguin painting there are obvious rhythmic patterns in the curving orange 50, "^ uebster's New Collegiate Dictionary , p. 72^.

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49 surfaces which represent the fruit in the bowl. Another pattern is set up by the use of orange color in four different locations in the picture. Similarly, the use of yellow in four locations results in a rhythuiic pattern* Each of these patterns has an accent. In the case of the pattern of red, it is the bowl of fruit. In the case of the yellow pattern, it is achieved by the lemons in the foreground. JIany other rhythuic patterns are discernible in this picture, but these serve to illustrate some of the ways in which the painter creates rhythms through the use or handling of color. In the process of artistic execution, the role or use of the design factors, the design elements, and the design principles is fundamentally the same for all graphic arts. "Then the process of artistic execution is being performed within the limitations of a particular medium^ however, modifications are necessary. Insofar as the raediiiia of scene design is concerned, these will become apparent during the following discussion. In the modern theatre the three design factors apply directly to the work of the scene designer. In the case of the box set, with a content usually quite representational since it frequently depicts someone ^s living room or place of business, the decorative aspects are probably the ones admired in furniture magazines: a particular lamp, fireplace mantel arrangement, or new style of

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50 v^indovr treatment. In this case, the expression of the scene designer can be found in the special way he selects items from the hundreds of combinations available to him, and in the special way he uses or treats those selected. Since the stage setting must serve the script of the playwright, the designer must work within the framework of the playwright *s "blueprint," A wide area remains, however, in vrfiich the designer's artistic conception is the deciding factor. For example, the designer frequently simplifies a box set by cutting away portions of walls and using only those pieces of furniture which function in the action of the play. In the case of the presentational style of scenery frequently found in the modern theatre, settings often have so little content that they resemble no place at all until the director brings on the actors with their particular costumes and properties. In these settings masses may be used in the stage space simply as decorative forms, and this degree of decoration may vary from the simple to the elaborate. This decorative function, and oven the elaborateness of the decoration itself, is usually dependent upon the amount of expression which the designer is permitted by the director's interpretation of the script. This type of presentational setting is frequently employed for multi-set clastical plays, as well as for modern plays and dances. One example is the Robert Edmond Jones

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51 setting for ShaVe5?pearp*s Hamle t* As producer! in 1923 in ?Tew York, the setting represented nothing in particular, therefore it may be said to have had no content. The stage space vres enclosed by high forms which in some of the interior scenes may have sug';ested the roufh hewn vralls of a castle. There were several small openings in these forms, and the central design motif was a large arch in the center. The formes were not decorated with designs of patterns of color, ^"'hat decorative element they contained derived from their shapes, the manner in v;hich they were arranged, and the way in which they were made visible through the use of light. Since these items were determined by the designer, the setting may be said to have contained a great deal of the expression of its designer. According to Lee Simonson's description of the production, the changing content demanded by the script *s large number of locations was provided by the "pattern of the lighting and the pattern of the actor's movements."^' The formal style of presentational scenery described above frequently contnins abstraction and distortion. The theatre in its styles of scenery, however, is unable to follow abstraction and distortion as far as the other arts. Nevertheless, the process of abstraction has fascinated modern scene designers. John Colby Lewis describes ^ISimonson, The Art of l;cenic Design , p. 162.

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52 Adolphe Appia*s use of it in designing ^'Jagner*s Die I'alkuere ; The first sketches offer an impressionistic treatment in light and shade of three suggested objects a crag, the mouth of a cave, and s tree indicated by one limb and a branch projecting in from the margin . The second designs are purely fomal: the cave a rectangular opening, the craig a slightly curving spheric section ?t the hecc' of 5 flight of steins; trie tree seems to have disappeared. This reduction to a geometry, intended to express itself only through the movements of the actor exemplifies an abstraction v.'hich, in later years sttrrcted Appia so much that he vdished to eliminate the swan from Lohengrin , not being able to conceive the bird successfully as an abstraction. 52 Although it is possible that abstraction and distortion could be complete in stage settings, the human being, the essence of the theatre and the moving center of attention in eveiry designer's work, resists. Once the scene designer has decided v/hich of the factors of design will dominate the execution of his artistic conception, he is ready to compose his design by employing the elements line, mass, color, and, light and shade. It is by the use of these elements that he is able to execute settings which not only contain psychological values parallel to those inherent in the characters and situations of the script, but also possess artistic values which reflect his own "Imaginative Power," The scene designer's use of line and mass is similar to that of the easel painter and sculptor. Frequently he 52Lewis, p, 392.

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53 uses line to create the impression of raass in space through the use of perspective painting on a twodimensional surface. In modern theatre practice this technique is frequently used on the v:ing and drop type of settings emplo}'-ed in multi-scene musical comedies. Just as frequently, hov:ever, the scene designer will ignore this method of introducing the element of mass and , in accord vrith the theories of Appia and Craig, actually create mass by filling the stage space vrith actual threedimensional forms, the lines of v^hich are inherent in the shapes of the units. VThen he does this, the designer is using line and mass as the sculptor does, although it is doubtful if many sculptors work on as large a scale. Although stage spaces are large, the designer frequently needs to create the impression of even larger space. In these instances he may use the same techniques as v/ere found in the easel painting of Gauguin. He may place many receding planes in the stage setting in order to create a feeling of great depth even though the actual depth may be quite limited, A striking example of this will be observed in Chapter III in the course of an analysis of Simonson's setting for the "Prologue" of The Rhine Gold . In his use of mass, the scene designer's efforts parallel those of the painter and sculptor in two other respects. In the first place, he uses it as a

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54 consideration in determining or establishing balance v/ithin the stage picture. Then, since these masses can be textured and given distinctive, reflective, and psychological potentials, he uses it as a means of achieving variety. Insofar as the third element of design is concerned, stage designers use the Prang color theory in cresting effects and statements in the scenery itself, and the Munsell color theory in determining or producing lighting effects. The psychological values of color are also commonly used by scene designers since they enable them to structure visual statements parallel to the feelings or situations inherent in the script. In a bright comedy in which there is no deep conflict, the scenery and costumes may be conceived in terms of light tints of analogous hues, Veiry moody plays are usually conceived in terms of dark shades of complementary hues, the clashing hues serving to point up the deep conflict in the script. These hues may be used in the scenery itself, or one hue may be found in the costumes and another in the scenery, I'^ile the stage designer* s use of line, mass, and color is similar to that of other graphic artists, he faces serious restrictions in the use of light. He is the victim of many variables. Since light sources in the theatre are usually hidden from viev, it is frequently impossible for the designer to have ideal control over the

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55 direction of the rays v;hich emanate froT. his instrximents. This necessity for masking also limits the number and location of the positions at v'hich instruiuents can oe mounted. A further restriction c?n be engendered by the fact that the level of illumination v/hich the designer may use on stage must conforT. to the limitations or capacities of the spectator's vision. For example, normal eyes have the tendency to fatigue considerably when one views a full-length play "lighted vdth less than twelve footcandles of illumination, *'53 Likewise, the glare which results when the mean level of illumination exceeds the thirty-one footcandle range can produce visual discomfort. 54 Nevertheless, the scene designer makes every effort to control the intensity and direction of the light he uses on stage. It is only through such control that he is able to focus the attention of the audience upon the actors who are the moving centers of attention in his stage picture. It is usually possible, moreover, for the designer to highlight, shade, or shadow the separate sections of a setting in a wide variety of ways. 3y doing this he creates a variety of focal points within the setting which can serve to point up the successive focal points in the 53john G. Felton^ Jr., 'Optimum Level of Illumination for Maximum Visual Efficiencc in the Theatre*^ (H. A. thesis, State University of Iowa, 193^), p. 3^« 54ibid.

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56 scenes and their constantly changing moods. In spite of the variables, it is by the use of light that the scene designer can most effectively achieve the "living scene** 80 important to modern stagecraft. Color in light gives the designer another dimension in which he may v/ork to produce a "living scene." 3y changing the color of the light striking the scenic elements he can change the color of the elements themselves. This change in color may be a decisive one, as when a "sky" drop changes from day to night, or it may be extremely subtle, as in the case of a spot of amber light unobtrusively accenting the gilt on the capital of a setting's Corinthian column. V.'hile the scene desifener develops his composition through the use of the design elements, and in accord with the relative importance he assigns to the design factors, he must constantly bear in mind the importance of the design principles in guiding his proper use of the elew ments. It is by the control of t-he elements through proper employment of the principles of harmony, balance, and rhythm that his artistic conception will be capable of being aesthetically sound and pleasurable. The designer works with these principles in the same manner as other graphic artists. The proper degree of repetition or variety in the use of line, mass, color, or light determines the lack or presence of harmony. Symmetrical

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57 and asyiametrical balance result from his proper use of the elements, just as it does in easel painting or sculpture. Rhythm coiaes fron the accented repetition of line, mass, color, and/or light patterns in space. These rhythms affect an audience* s "vaso-motor system,** to use Simonson*s words, just as surely as they affect the viewers of the Gauguin and Kline paintings discussed earlier in this chapter. Rhythmic patterns in scenery are usually very complicated and involve not only horissontal, vertical, and diagonal movements, but movement in actual depth as v/ell. In addition, they can be employed to reflect the psychological values of the script. For instance, a lariguid rhythmic pattern may bring a feeling of repose to the audience, while a violent pattern may induce great tension. Sometimes the designer may use rhythmic patterns to build excitement around the major acting areas in a manner similar to that which Gauguin used in calling attention to the focal point of his "Still-Life" composition. It is evident from the foregoixig that the scene designer's use of the design process, the basis of scenic creation, is similar to that of other creative artists. All arts are alike in the process of artistic conception. The artist gives birth and form to his subjective conception through a process which begins when he is impressed by something in his environment. This gives rise to a

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5S synthesis or formation of a concspt, v^hich, in turn, affords the artist considerable aesthetic pleasxire. It is in the adaptation of this artistic concept to a particular xnedium prior to and during its execution that the differences aaong the arts become apparent. In the graphic arts, including scene desi(£,n, the artist executes iiis concept in a particular style which embraces the three factors of design decoration, content, and expression. This execution is made possible by the development of composition through the use of the design elements line, mass, color, and, light and shade. The use of these elements must be governed, however, by the control principles harmony, balance, and rhythm. Now that the design process has been explored, and its parts identified, analyzed, and applied to the medium of scene design, it is possible to examine the scene designs of Robert Edmond Jones and Lee Simonson and to establish tlie manner in which they have used the design elements.

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CHAPTER II ROBERT EDMOND JONES' USE OF THE DESIGN ELEMENTS This analysis of Robert Edmond Jones' use of the design elements is based upon his designs for three plays: Eugene 0»Neill»s A Touch of the -oet , and Uilliam Shakespeare's JIacbeth and Henry VIII > The first cf these is an excellent example of s typical, representational, box setting, and as such, it reveals the many limitations placed upon the designer when a playV'^right treats his materials naturalistically. The designs for the Shakepcarian dramas,, on the other hand, are , done in a presentational manner. These serve to illustrate the freedom which the designer enjoys Vvhen the plsyvnright's style does not demaxid the reproduction of an actual scene. Of the designs for Kacbeth . "The Banquet," Act III, Scene 4, is the most elaborate, and it alone is analyzed. In the case of Henry 71 II . the designs for the play's five most ijaportant scenes were selected for analysis. A Touch of the Foet Although the first Nexv York, production of this drama used scenery designed by Ben Edwards, Robert Edmond Jones designed a setting for the play eleven years earlier, in 59

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60 1946, Before analyzing Jones' design for A Touch of the Poet , it is necessary to review the story and characters upon which its conception and execution are uased. The play is concerned with the lives of the Melody family. The principal figure is Cornelius, the father. Being unsuccessful as an innkeeper in ^ew England in 1B2l,, Cornelius finds pleasure in life through strong drink, strong drinking companions, and the illusion that he is stili the irresistible lover and dashing officer which he was in his youth, Rather than face his problems, he runs away from life, Viith the help of drink, and a mirror into which he speaks the poetry of liyrou, he surrounds hiiaself with a life of illusion. His wife, Nora, devotes herself to taking care of him. His daughter, i>ara, refuses to condone her mother's subservient attitude and her father's failure to maintain contact with reality. As the play opens Sara has fallen in love with the son of a Yankee family whose parents consider her beneath them, Cornelius whips himself into a frenzy of temper over this rebxiff and, in spite of warnings from Sara and Nora, drunkenly sallies forth to challenge the father of the young man to a duel. He never sees the Yankee aristocrat, however, since the man sets both his sextants and the police upon Cornelius, Soundly beaten, Cornelius is brought home sober. It is then, for the first time, that he renounces his illusions and faces life. Next, Sara»s young man

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61 determines to marry her in spite of the opposition of his family. This insures her happiness, although she does sense a twinge of unexplicable sadness at the passing of her father *s old self. Such a brief summary of the plot of A Touch of the Poet tends to make it appear simply a melodramatic and sentimental theatre piece. The play, however, does have signal dramatic assets vrihich are of prime consideration to a scene designer. For example, the play's action, in Francis Fergusson's use of that term,^ is "to face the facts of life,'' All of the incidents in the story, and all of the motivations of character stem from the efforts of the Irish family to face these facts and, hence, become accepted in this Yankee country, VJith regard to this dimension of the play, Joseph V/ood Krutch states, Suppose that one does face fact. Does one then emerge in triumph? Is fact, or things-as-they-really-are, something that at least the strong can face,, or is to face it merely to face a bottomless pit? At the conclusion of the present play Cornelius faces fact and "reforms," He has renounced delusion, and the thing of which he is dispossessed is the illusion about himself, 3ut the curtain descends and the situation reminds one inevitably of that at the end of The Iceman Cometh , I^ioreover, the killixig of the mare suggests the murder of the wild duck in Ibsen's play, and the moral is the same. At least for some, says Ibsen, life without a "life illusion" is impossible. For some or for all? 2 "•Francis Fergusson, The Idea of a Theatre (Princeton, N. J., 1945), passim , ^Joseph Wood Krutch, ''The O'Neill's On Stage Once More," Theatre Arts . XLII (October, 195^), 71.

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62 Plate 5 Robert Edmond Jones, A Touch of the Poet . "Melody's Tavern," 1946

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63 A study of Jones' design for the production ultimately must establish the means which he employed to make the visual elemerits of the production parallel the inherent values of the script. The aptness of this objective becomes apparent, of course, v/hen one recalls Jones' statement that as the designer works "in his mind's eye he must see the high original intention of the dramatist, and follow it, • , ,*'3 In terms of Jones' ability to follow the ''original intention of the dramatist," it is apparexit immediately that in his design, Plate 5, he faithfully adhered to the explanations and instructions provided by the playwright. For example, O'Neill notes at one point that At left front, two steps lead up to a closed door opening on a flight of stairs to the floor above. Farther back is the door to the bar. Between these doors hangs a large mirror. Beyond the bar door a small cabinet is fastened to the wall. At rear are four windows. Between the middle two is the street door. At right front is another door, open, giving on a hallway and the main stairv;ay to the second floor, and leading to the kitchen. Farther front at right, there is a high school master's desk with a stool. ^ A look at Jones' design reveals that with one negligible exception, the door on the right which is closed rather than open, all of the playv;right ' s suggestions were ^Robert Edmond Jones, Drawings for the Theatre (New York, 1925), p. 16. Eugene O'Neill, A Touch of the Poet (New Haven, Conn., 1957), p. 7.

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64 follov;ed. Elsewhere in the text C'Leili calls for "The dining room of Melody ^s Tavern, in a village a few miles from Boston, ... over a hundred years old • . • now fallen upon neglected days. • . . loxv ceilingea, with heavy oak beams and paneled walls. "5 The dining room and barroom were originally one room, but, according to the playv.xight, Cornelius Melody has had them "divided into two rooms by a flimsy partition, the barroora being off left. The partition is painted to imitate the old paneled walls but this only makes it more of an eyesore."^ Further study indicates that Jones followed these suggestions just as scrupulously, even to the point of making the new left wall contrast with the other walls through a special use of color and line. While the specific requirements set down by the playwright serve to establish certain limits for the designer, a second set of limitations is imposed upon him by the period in which the action takes place. Although O'Neill places his action in l32ci, the building in question is one hunared years old. To keep his design in accord with the architectural style in use in New England in 1722, Jones introduced glazed windows, employed a color sug£;estive of mellov/ed oak, and made use of a particular ^ Ibid . ^Ibid.

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65 type of hardware on the doors. There Is also a sparseness of decoration which is appropriate in view of the architectural simplicity of the period. In spite of these limitations, there is evidence that Jones had the opportunity to make an individual statement or expression when designing A Touch of the Poet . For instance, neither O'Neill nor the architectural standards of the period prescribed the direction in vrtiich the ceiling beams ought to run a major artistic consideration insofar as line is concerned, IJhile the detail of the paneling had to fit the style of the period and the situation called for by O'Neill, Jones was permitted a freedom of choice with respect to the manner in which line could be used in the treatment of the windows and doors. Furthermore, while the period did dictate the use of large rather than delicate masses, and while O'Neill did specify certain walls and furniture, Jones was the one to finally determine the sizes, shapes, and relationships of those masses. Aside from the playvjright's specific reference to white tablecloths and the period's characteristic use of unsophisticated hues, Jones also had free rein in the selection of color. He enjoyed a similar degree of expressive freedom in terms of the use of light since O'Neill did nothing more than specify morning as the time of day at which the events of the play transpire. As a designer, then, Jones was faced with the

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66 problem of establishing an appropriate environment for the playing out of a series of very realistic events and actions. Considering the relationship between the designer and the script and the liraitations imposed by 0»neill's stylistic choice, the avenues by \ifhich Jones articulated his personal artistic impression become valuable sources of definition for the natui-e and potential of the design elements. Line , — In establishing the manrier in which Jones has used the desife,n elements to express visually the realistic atmosphere of Cornelius Melody^s tavern, one possible point of departure is an examination of his use of line. Long, low, horizontal lines predominate on the walls and in the stage properties. In fact the only strong verticals are in the corners where the walls come together, and on the "temporary" v.all on the left, .hile these verticals serve to relieve some of the monotony of the horizontals, they give no suggestion of the nobility usually associated \fith extended vertical lines, Dince the play is a struggle of man with man, not man vriLth his god, it is significant to note that Jones has established a basic line pattern which confines that struggle close to earth. This fact becomes inescapable when one notes the manner in v/hich the heavy horizontal beams of the ceiling seem to hover close to the floor. In the previous chapter it was pointed out that the

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67 most exciting lines are those which form angles, Tince the situations in 0»Neill»s play are melodramatic, the severe angularity of the line intersections in the design is particularly appropriate. Moreover, Jones created the major portion of these intersections in his construction of the windows, thereby turning the limitation of the period » 6 small paned windows into a dramatic asset. This effect is given added strength since the total absence of window decoration, including curtains, insures that the angles are kept clearly visible, Mass . — Further insight into Jones* method of solving the design problems of A Touch of the Poet can be gained by a study of his control or use of mass. Examination reveals that the planes of the walls, floor, and ceiling are the main masses in the design. The ceiling appears the heaviest and dominates the others, ''hile the main wall takes on significant literal dimensions, the panes of its windows with the clear, pale, blue sky beyond tend to diminish its v;eight. This particular treatment of the windows also tends to thrust th^ back wall towards the spectator, thus counterbalancing the sense of deep recession created by the dark ceiling. The character and interaction of these masses tends to create the impression of a dark cloud of doom hovering over the sparse earthly domain of the Melodys, Jones positioned these masses v/ithin the stage space

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6a in such a manner that a system of syimnetrical balance is created. The long back wall joins two shorter side v/alls on each side of it; similarly, the ceiling rairrors the floor, ..hiie the basically synuaetrical placeraent of these viiasses could produce a degree of monotony because of its essentially static quality, Jones varies the decorative detail of the units in order to create visual interest. For example, vjhile the center door with the tv^o pairs of windows on each side of it clearly reiiiforces the setting *s symmetry, Jones has introduced significant variations in the details on the two side v;alls. This is most noticeable in the treatment of the doors* i^'ot only are they positioned differently in each of the side walls, but they are of a completely different design. As a consequence, the side wails, although symmetrically balanced units, in no way mirror each other. Insofar as the ceiling and the floor are concerned, variety is achieved in these masses by virtue of the fact that the ceiling timbers ruii horizontally and the floor boards run vertically. The variety which Jones achieved through the control of the masses* inherent decorative elements adds considerable visual interest to an ordiiiarily stable and undynamic system of relationships. The minor masses in the design, the tables, the cupboard near the left wall, and the desk near the right wall, tend to be large and bulky and reflect the rustic.

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69 hand hewn qualities of the period. In contrast to the major units, these are positioned in space so that they balance asyaiiaetricaily. This combination of symmetrical and asymmetrical balance in the design becomes one of its most striking features and contributes significantly to its aesthetic interest, '..hen viewed as a unit, the synaaetrical balance of the larger units generates a feeling of repose appropriate to the relatively simple materialistic world inhabited by the Ilelodys, while the variety in the aecorative elements and the asymraetrical balance of the furnitiAre creates just enough variety to make the setting visually stimulating. Color . — bince the effects of masses are not limited to those created by their character and manipulation but extend to or include those produced by their coloration, Jones' use of that element of necessity must be considered next. It might be noted, first, that the use of warm amber, a low value of a yellow-orange hue, creates a feeling of domesticity completely fitting to this New England family. These hues are also quietly decorative, aithin the basic monochromatic color range there is considerable variety, however, since it ranges from the lightest tint of yellow-orange, seen in the center panels of the rear wall, to the dark burnt siennas of the beams and furniture. Accents are provided by the pale blue of the sky beyond the windows and the white tablecloths.

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70 In this design, one important function of color is to set apart the left wall and establish the fact that it is a new partition. The color of this wall, a single shade of lighter y ell ov;orange, has a harsh, nev; quality vrhen compared with the soft patina of the aged, old v;alls. This distinctive feature serves as a reminder of the fact that stage setti*igs exist only in terras of the script for which they are designed. V;hile a representational setting such as this one is expected to make a sensible picture, it is meaningless when divorced from the script for v;hich it is created. Color also searves to insure that the furniture, tables and benches, cupboard, and desk remain distinct units. These are treated in very dark values of yelloworange and appear as dark brov/n objects. Because of the difference between the light values used on the walls and floor and the dark values of the furniture, the two general groups of mass units are clearly distinguishable. Added attention is directed to three of the four tables by their white cloths. Since Jones has expanded the color potential normally available to a designer by including one of the characters in his sketch, his choice of costume color and its integration into the total design scheme must be considered. The scarlet of the uniform v;orn by Cornelius is the most vivid hue in the setting. It attracts so much

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71 attention that it becomes the major factor which causes him to dominate the scene. Another factor, of course, is his dominant position in the setting near the center of the stage. Jones also appears to have considered the character as a unit of mass inasmuch as he has placed him in a position which permits him to function integrally in the over-all pattern of mass and color. For example, the vertical mass that is the character contrasts strongly v;ith the large, horizontal masses of the tables and benches to which he is related. This relationship is achieved by the placement and proximity of the masses in space, and the character's location at the accent point of a rhythmic pattern created by the three white-topped tables. The latter device not only employs color, but it is extremely subtle as well; it merits careful analysis. The four tables are placed two on each side of the center of the stage with a wide space separating the left and right pairs. Since the uppermost table at the left side is uncovered and dark, the space between the covered table on the left and the other downstage table appears to be greater than it actually is. Because of the placement of the three white tables and the similarity of their size and shape, a rhythmic pattern is developed. The eye perceives two white masses on the right separated by a small space, then an apparently long space interval and a single white mass on the left. As it scans from left

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72 to right and right to left, there is a pattern of regiilar or recurring intervals with the accent in it being established by the longer space interval which exists betv:een the table located at right center and the single white covered table on the left. Artistically, Jones uses this space accent as he places the figure in the setting. He locates that figure in the space which serves as the long interval in the spatial relationship between tables. Then, in its rhythmic movement, the eye meets actor and accent simultaneously, and greater attention or emphasis centers on the actor. Lifjit and shade . — Although design elements such as line, color, or mass may perform a seemingly more obvious and descriptive role in a realistic setting such as the one londer consideration, the matter of light and shade is equally important and demands carefiil attention. O'Neill specifies the time of day as nine o'clock in the morning. Jones establishes this by having sunlight stream through the windows at an angle appropriete to the sun's mid-morning position or elevation. Using this morning san as a light source, Jones is able to establish a level of illumination sufficient to make all of the action visible. Moreover, through careful location of the instrument sources which are to provide it, he succeeds in creating highlight, shadow, and shade where one might expect it in an actual room of this type.

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73 The upper and lov;er horizontal edges of the setting are the darkest areas, v/ith the intensity increasing to a medium level in the center of the room where most of the action would probably take place. As logical and simple as this may appear to be, examination of the sketch inaicates Joner had an acute feeling for the subtlety of its gradations and the variety which could be contributed by the snadows which the objects in the room created. His handling of light also iuade possible a potential effect which might be noted. The sun streaming through the windows was apparently to be of a high intensity. That oeing the case, it is conceivable that it could be used to backlight characters. This potential, if employed as Jones does in his sketch, would tend to thrust the characters towards the audience. In so doing it v/ould supplement the emphasis which the elements of color and mass are able to place on a figure standing in front of the w^indows. The total effect . — '.within the limitations imposed by the playwright and the period, Jones created a setting vhich provides an appropriate atmosphere for the characters and situations. The dominating horizontal line pattern, rather than becoming monotonous or creating boredom, establishes a sense of earthiness. In his arrangement of the masses symmetrical and asymmetrical balance are combined in a most imaginative manner. Color

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74 in the setting is interesting because of the range of values and saturations achieved within the monochromatic use of hue to which Jones vfas limited by the architectural facts of a realistic script. Also significant is the contribution vfhich color makes in the establishment of a rhythmic and emphatic potential of the design. Although the play-Tight limited the design to a representational style, the artistry of Jones appears to far exceed the realistic suggestions of Eugene 0*Neill, As designer, Jones also appears to have had the touch of a poet. Macbeth After the death of Jones in 1954, critic Stark Young singled out Jones* design for Macbeth as ... the most profoundly creative decor that I h?vt ever seen in the theatre. I am using the term as Plato used it when he said: "Poetry (creation) which is the general name signifying every cause whereby anything proceeds from that which is not into that which is. "7 At the opening of the production in 1921, however, th«^ critics ladled heavy criticism upon the expressionist scenery of Jones. The production's failure is given extensive treatraent by Black, and, for present purposes, it is 'Stark Young, "Robert Kdmond Jones: A Note,'* The Theatre of Robert Edmond Jones , ed. Ralph Pendleton (r'iddletown. Conn., 195^^), p. 5. ^Black, pp. 97-120.

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75 sufficient to explain that these critics of 1921 did not understand the then new expressionistic style of design which Jones emploj'-ed. They refused to acknowledge that Macbeth could be staged in any but the traditional manner. In addition, when they considered the expressionistic elements of the setting in relation to the acting style, they recognized an inartistic juxtaposition of styles^ This judgement, admittedl3'', was a valid one since the acting of Lionel ^an^nnore and Julia Arthur Macbeth and Lady Macbeth vras naturalistic and the characters were "underplayed to the extreme,"^ Time has shown that the play may have more than one interpretation, although today such a juxtaposition of styles would be criticized just as it was in 1921, While the 1921 Kopkins-Jones production vras a failure with critics and audiences, the settings of Jones remain as landmarks in modern American scene design. For example, in his Kork on Jones, Black exonerates the designer, arguing that the failure was due to the direction and the acting rather than to the design, "Somehow, during the preparation of the production they failed to realize what was happening, "10 However, the "subsequent lesson to be learned did not escape Jones, Never again 9lbid ,. p. 109. IQibid.

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76 did he design a setting incongruous with the rest of the production."^ 1 For this v;riter the most exciting of the Jones designs for the Macbeth production is the one for "The Banquet." This scene is the climax of Shakespeare's play. It is here that Macbeth learns from his hired murderer that Banquo is dead, but that Fleance has escaped, "leing no hardened criminal, Kacbeth is goaded by his conscience, and in the scene in question he has the hallucination of seeing Banquo 's ghost appear at the banquet table. Tvdce he sees the ghost. After its second appearance his nerves are completely shattered, and he says to his guests, You make me strange Even to the disposition that I ov;e ^Tien nov/ I think you can beheld such sights And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks .IWhen Ross asks, "What sights, my lord?", "'3 the Queen comes to the rescue of her husband by explaining that he is ill and ordering them to leave at once. As the scene ends, the frantic Macbeth decides upon a course of continued bloody action. V'ith respect to that decision, Adams notes that it "marks the turning-point both in Macbeth 's character and in his career. The play breaks here, and the rest 11 Ibid. 'William Shakespeare, I'acbeth . ed. Joseph Quincy Adams (Boston, 1931), P» 66. 13lbid.

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77

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73 of the story merely chronicles the decay in his moral nature, and tne rapid decline in his fortunes. ''^^ The setting, shown in Plate 6, indicates Jones* conception of the scene at the climactic moment when Banquo's ghost appears. It is almost impossible to tell from the drawing whether it is the first or second appearance of the ghost. Since the scene obviously builds in emotional intensity, it would seem natural for Jones to have illustrated the second of the two appearances since it is the more dramatic. In contrast to the guide lir.es for the design process which Jones had available when working on the O'Neill script, the content of this scene is prescribed solely by the dialogue. In this manner it is established that the scene occurs in the banquet room of the palace. Because of Macbeth 's private conversation with the murderer, there needs to be an entrance v.iiich is apart from the banquet table where the guests are seated. A special location also needs to be provided for the appearance of the ghost of Banquo. The only food or drink called for in the dialogue is wine for toasts. In terras of the literal conditions to be incorporated into the design, the custom of the period required a seating arrangement according to rank. As Adams explains, it vras ^^Ibid., p. 201.

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79 customary for the King and Queen to sit at a small table "mounted on a dais ... while a long table on the lower level was provided for the guests."^ 5 It is obvious from an examination of Flate 6 that Jones* design for this scene met the requirements of the director, playvnright, and period. Since director Hopkins v conceived of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as being possessed by the evil spirits of the witches and totally without control of their destinies, Jones supplied masks which hovered overhead, constantly reminding the audience of the forces shaping the lives of the helpless monarch and his queen. Every element called for in the dialogue is present, except the vjine goblets an unimportant detail at this moment in the scene. The tv,'o level historical arrangement of the tables is used thus satisfying the protocol of the period. The most notable feature of the design, however, is something other than the extent to which it fulfills these literal requirements. It is the fact that these requirements are fulfilled in a highly artistic manner. Having gained freedom in the selection and construction of environmental detail by the choice of a presentational style, Jones captured the turbulent spirit of Shakespeare »s scene through the use of abstract forms and statements. His 15lbid,, p, 191.

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go primary conceni was to externalize the inner spiritual forces at work within the characters, and in the process he was free to employ line, inass, color, and light in any way that would serve to symbolize Macbeth and Lady Kacbeth's pangs of conscience over the bloody deeds for which they were responsible. The resulting artistic product produced effects Vvhich Stark Young described as follows : • • . the gold fraiiiec:, or sharp gold lir.es, or the forms like Gothic abstractions, or however we may define them, v/hich standing alone against the black, defined the scenes. Three great tragic masks were hung to the front, high above the action, and from them vast daggers of light poured down, crossed, pierced, flooded the action belov/, as m the vritches' scene or the banquet. The banquet hall with its gold and light and figures moving, and above all else Lady Macbeth 's robe, in which, by a hidden combination of many shades, an unheard«-of intensity of red was *** discovered, defied any conveyance in words. '^ Since the preceding comment justifiably assigns a unique degree of poetic artistry to Jones* design for the banquet scene, the next step is to analyze its execution in order to discover the particular way in which the design elements were handled and the manner in which they contributed to the uniqueness of this artistic product. Line. — In view of the interpretation which characterized this production, a particular, even unique, use of line was warranted. Examination discloses that the line pattern is basically angular. The angles which are I^Young, p, 5, •*:^

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«1 created by the Intersection of 15.nes engender feelings of excitement in the viewer. The clashing lines in the design seem especially appropriate in view of the level of excitement which accompanies these hallucinations. This angular pattern receives particular emphasis by virtue of the fact that it is seen in relation to the contrasting curve of the proscenium arch. Essentially, angles dominate the major units of scenei^r. Not only do they appear in the planes of the witches' masks, but examination reveals these masks are a part of a larger, sharper v-shaped pattern of light which has its apex at center stage. A similarly strong angularity is apparent in the centrally located red mass. Iloreover, its many sharp angles are pointed up or emphasized by the fact that it is seen against the huge off-white mass immediately behind it. This mass, it might be noted, has a shape reminiscent of a Gothic arch, but in keeping with the general line treatment in the setting, the Gothic curve has been replaced by a series of angles. Diagonals and angles also dominate the silhouettes of the three central figures, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the ghost. In the case of Lady Macbeth' s gown, its angular shape is accented by its shadow. It is interesting to note that this angularity is not limited to the key elements in the setting. Angles also appear in scenic ingredients of secondary interest.

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da Both the tables at which the nobles are seated and the tall candelabra are slightly distorted and angular in shape. ith respect to the latter item, one finds that while the candles do thrust upwards at odd angles towards the supernatural symbols above, the nature of the light cast by the candelabra is such that it results in a soft oval glow. The curved limits of the area illuminated tend to modify somewhat the momentum of the angular, upward thrusts of the candelabra themselves. Admittedly the figures at the tables are all in dark shade, and the visual statement Jones envisioned them making is difficult to establish, but their oasic line pattern appears to consist of a series of softened angles. Apparently, then, he has extended this line character or idiom into the figures v/ith which he chose to populate his setting. In exploring the extent to which Jones has given his setting an angular character, it might be noted, finally, that there is a strong shaft of diagonal light which forms a distinct line pattern as it travels from the right edge of the picture to the figure of Lady I^cbeth, 'Tiile the use of line has given the design a distinctive angularity, there are a fev/ curves and horizontals in the setting. In addition to the curves mentioned above, the strong shaft of diagonal light entering from the side causes a hard, curving line to surround Lady Macbeth. Insofar as horizontals are

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S3 concerned, they rnay be found in the top of the canopy over the Queen, in the table tops, and in the branches of the candelabra. These are deliberate and calculated and serve to add aesthetic interest to the design by virtue of the fact that they contrast with the dominating angular use of line. Mass . — The expressionistic style which Jones chose for this setting not only afforded unique opportunities^ for the use of line, but for the use of mass as well. Except for the figures which Jones has introduced in his sketch of the setting, the design has three key mass units the masks overhead, the center unit with its canopy and off-white backing, and the four tables with their chairs and candelabra. In addition, several illusory masses are created by the introduction or use of strong beams of light in front of dark curtains. The first of these is that mass created by the beams of light which connect the three masks to the area stage center. The second is created by the beam of light which originates on the right and focuses on the figure of Lady Macbeth. As a result of his control of the positions of these masses, Jones achieved a maximum artistic effect from relatively fev; units. The center unit, for example, consists only of the platform with its two red and white vertical forms. Their location and relationship, however.

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84 establish two distinct space units a shallow space between the two vertical forms, and a deep space which runs from the red vertical form to the front of the stage. Thus, while the unit is basically simple, it produces both a unique effect and a unique potential for the play*s director. For example, a regular rhythm is set up as the eye moves dovm from the white form to the red panel and ultimately to the white framed figure of Lady Macbeth which Jones has located stage center. In turn, the appearance of the ghost could be given special emphasis if placed off center since that would break the regular rhythm established by the arrangement of the red and white masses. Insofar as the other masses in the design are concerned, it will be noted that the secondary units on the right and left serve to balance the larger unit in the center. They also extend the base of the design horizontally. This serves to counterbalance the upward thrust of the center unit and, in essence, anchors it to the stage floor. The upvrard thrust of the center unit is also modified by the overhead masks which constitute the fourth group of masses. While there are few individual units in any of these four groups of masses, the total effect is such that the stage appears to be completely filled, completely articulated. In examining the arrangement of these masses, it

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^5 vfill be seen that their balance is symmetrical, "^""hile, as has been noted, this kind of balance has an essentially static quality, it is overcome in this instance by the excitement generated through the use of the diagonal and angular line pattern and stark color on these masses. Color . — '.'hile a decisive relationship between color and mass exists in Jones* design for "The Banquet," attention also laust be given to the overall use or role of color in the setting. In a note to the writer, Edward F. Kook^ ' stated that he remembered the color of I-^acbeth as "symbolic and violent," 'Jhile an exaioination of Plate 6 reveals a stark and shocking combination of black, white, and red, one wonders, however, about lounges reference to the gold of the banquet scene ( see quote page ^0}. Since this was obviously a color effect introduced durixig the course of production, its absence in Plate 6 may indicate that at the time of his initial conception of the scene Jones was most preoccupied with symbolizing, through color, the character's bloody deeds. In considering the symbolic role which color plays in the design, ::ttention should be called to the infinite number of greys ''Notes addressed to the writer on the reverse sides of the pages of Jones' lighting plot of Ilacbeth . This plot was made available by Edward F. Kook, assistant to Jones. Cited hereafter as Jones, ITccbeth Li^ht Mot . The complete plot including the instrument mounting diagram numbers eighteen pages. The artistic director of Jones' estate believes this to be the only extant Jones lighting plot.

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86 which recede into the black void beyond the functional portions of the set. These not only serve as a neutral background for the brilliance of the reds and whites, but also create numberless shadows and amorphous shapes which symbolize and accentuate the mystery surrounding the bloody deeds and the hallucination of Macbeth himself* Perhaps the most significant fact about the use of color in this design is that the violent feelings of the characters at this climactic moment in the tragedy were sugg;ested or mirrored through use of a limited numt5r of hues which contrasted strongly with each other when used together. Li^ht and shade . — With respect to the matter of light and shade, which he has relied on to produce a living, boundless atmosphere, Jones states, "... our real problem in the theatre is to know where to put the light and where to take it away," and "... it demands the knowledge and the application of a lifetime.""'^ He also believed The actors who reveal the heightened life of the theatre should move in a light that is altogether uncommon. ... Our purpose must be to give by means of light an impression of something out of the ordinary, a\\fay from the mediocre, to make the performance exist in an ideal world of wisdom and understanding. ^9 '"Robert iidmond Jones, The Dramatic Imagination (New York, 1941), pp. Ill, 112. 19ibid,, p. 115.

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S7 A study of the design for ''The oanquet" reveals that Jones relies on light to contrast the four groups of masses from the infinite space which bounds them. In doing SO) the light becoiaes a raeans by which these masses can be unified. Light also serves to point up the important elements in the design and to subdue tne unimportant ones. Insofar as the source of motivation for this illumination is concerned, that which covers the central unit has no natural or literal source; it finds its justification in the supernatural forces which exist within the framework of the play. Since most of the action of the leading characters could be expected to take place around that unit, as Jones illustrates in his sketch, the control of the direction and location of the light sources makes possible distinctive highlights on the emphatic characters, Since this light and/or highlight is so intense and decisively controlled, it is possible, to achieve uniquely contrasting light levels within the scene. One may note this in the sketch by examining the light level in the area presumably illuuiinated by the candelabra. It is far less extreme, thus enveloping the right and left masses in varying and more intensive degrees of shade. Likewise, since the masks which symbolize the power of the witches are also of secondary importance, they are visible only as hazy abstractions. In fact, although they were hanging overhead during the

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entire scene, they v.'ere made completely visible to the audience only during the tv;o appearances of the ghost. ^^ V.ith respect to the color of this light, there is little use of colored light in the banquet scene. From the drawing it would appear that none was used, and, indeed, Kook reports a "minimum of color in lights."^' This is further borne out by the fact that, with one exception, Jones' lighting plot calls for only subtle colors such as daylight blue, pink, and white. The exception, of course, is the red filter used in the spotlight which focuses on the area where, in the sketch, Jones placed the figure of Lady Macbeth. ^^ Aside from its connotative and atmospheric effect, this red light v;ould have made the red of her costume highly saturated, and thus even more expressive a fact which might accoxmt for Young's reference to the peculiar and intense color of that costume. Certainly, as an effect, this use of light serves to illustrate Jones* belief in the importance of knowing where to put li^ht and where to take it away, and the necessity of having an "uncommon" light for actors in the poetic theatre. A study of Jones' light plot for "The Banquet" ^^ Jones, " Macbeth Light Plot," p. 4. ^^Ibid., p. 1. ^^Ibid . , passim .

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eg reveals that he accomplished this control of light and shade through the use of only sixteen electrified candles divided among the four candelabra, nine spotlights, and three sections of x-rays. The entire production utilized an additional nineteen spotlights and three sections of footlights. There were no backlights, no cones of light superimposed one over anothc^r, and no instruments mounted in front of the proscenium. ^3 Furthermore, there seems to have been little need for them. The effect normally achieved through backlighting xvas accomplished by the large off-white, center mass framed in the beam of the white spotlight. The white mass certainly had the capability of reflecting the white light with great efficiency, thus it could give off reflected light in a quantity sufficient to serve as a foil to the red canopy located directly iii front of it. Optically, this condition would tend to thrust the red unit towards the audience, r^oreover, any character located in front of it v/ould have been projected forward in the same manner. In considering Jores^ departures from traditional lighting practice, it might be noted that he ignored today »s standard practice of insuring visibility by superimposing one cone of light over another thereby increasing the amount of light hitting a particular mass. He also ignored the practice of 23 Ibid.

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90 mounting lighting instruments so that their beams strike stage masses at forty-five degree vertical and horizontal angles, the angles most propitious for viev/ing threedimensional masses ,24 Although, for Macbeth, Jones illuminated the do^vnstage areas exclusively from the first pipe and tormentor positions, years later, according to Kook, he went along with the idea of mounting instruments in front of the proscenium in order to get forty-five degree vertical and horizontal angles on the masses in the downstage areas. 25 it is significant, also, that the criticisms which were leveled against the production fail to include a single one concerning visibility. 2" Apparently visibility was adequate. The total effect . — Jones' design for the banquet scene of I-lacbetlis a model one in many respects. Certainly it serves to reveal an imaginative interpretation of the script, ^'oreover, it has the capacity to serve the needs of the scene, even though subject to the limitations of the proscenium arch stage. Perhaps most significant, however, is the fact that it develops this potential through a most complicated appearing scenic style, while retaining extreme simplicity in its use of mass, color. 24ibid. 2$Ibid. 26Black, pp. 106-1 IS.

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91 and light. In this respect, Jones exemplifies the modern artists* enjoyment in creating effects with a minimuai of means, Henry VIII William Shakespeare's Henry YIII is primarily a pageant and, as such, it places great emphasis on the court spectacle indigenous to the middle of Henry VIII 's reign. There are large street scenes, a masque, a coronation procession, s trial, and a court christening. V'ithin the framework of this pageantry are dramatic moments in the lives of those figures who came in contact v;ith Henry VIII during the time in v.^hich he was divorcing Katharine of Aragon and beginning his life with Anne Bullen. For example, it includes the execution of the Duke of Buckingham, the divorce of Katharine, the downfall of Cardinal ':olsey, the coronation of Anne, the dov/nfall of Archbishop Crammer, and the christening of Elizabeth. V-'hile these admittedly are interesting scenes, few of them have exceptional emotional power. None, for example, comes near reaching the high dramatic intensity of the banquet scene from I' acbeth , Moreover, only two characters, Katharine and 'olsey, are developed in significant detail. Because of the script's episodic nature, the sequence of events is frequently difficult to follow. For example, in its last professional production (1946) director Margaret . ebster relied on a Chronicler and interpolations

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92 Plate 7 Robert Edmond Jones, Kenrv VHI j Act II, Scene 1, "Cuckinghaxa's Farewell," 1944

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93 from Holinshed*s Chronicals of England, Scotland, and Ireland to explain the situations of the various scenes. The New York critics enjoyed the splendor of the physical production and the competent acting, but questioned whether the tepid play of Shakespeare, Fletcher and possibly others merited the effort, ' t In designing settings for the production Jones realized that it needed the exploitation of its exceptional festive elements. While every script being brought to life upon the stage needs to have any festive elements it may possess emphasized, Henry VIII not only offers more opportunities for such emphasis, but the nature of the play demands their exploitation. Consequently, as Plate 7 indicates, in his execution of the design Jones took the proscenium arch of the theatre and frankly treated it as a hugh, regal, Tudor picture frame through which this kaleidoscopic history could flov/. At the high point in the curve of the arch he placed a massive coat-of-arms an elaborate blue, red, and gold quartered shield. Since, occasionally, the shield was used on stage as a symbol, this proscenium emblem served to unify the proscenium architecture and the other scenic units. Then, from the 27 'Brooks Atkinson, Howard Barnes, John Chapman, Robert Crarland, illiam Hav/kins, Louis Kronenberger, I ard Ilorehouse, Richard l.atts, l*e\-j York Theatre Critics* Reviev;s. 1946 (New York, 1946;, pp. 271-273.

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94 motif of the coat-of -arms , he drew the predominating colors of the settings and costiomes blue, red, and gold. The play makes extreme demands of the scenic artist inasmuch as it calls for twelve different locations, some of which are used several times during the course of the seventeen scenes, prologue, and epilogue. In order to expedite the numerous scene shifts and keep the scenes moving rapidly, Jones mounted a second but smaller Tudor arch upstage of the scenically functional proscenium arch. The larger settings were set-up and struck behind the second arch while the action of the smaller scenes took place in front of a curtain or drop located downstage of the second arch. Except for one scene, "The King^s Apartment," which demanded a modified box set, Jones chose to employ what was basically a wing and drop setting. Although this type of sceneiry is far from modern, Jones* stylistic treatment of it was frankly theatrical and in the best twentieth century tradition. Consequently, the design of the wings and drops in no way resembled the easel painting techniques vrfiich had been used on this type of scenery prior to Craig and Appia, They were not pictures in front of which the pageant of history could take place; rather, they were designed to create an atmosphere within which the lives of the figures of this pageant of history covild be re-created. Since these settings established the atmosphere which the playwright

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95 intended for each of the twelve locations, the production scheme was both practical and aesthetically satisfying. From the fourteen designs Jones completed for the production, the writer has chosen five for specific analysis "Huckingham's Farewell," Act II, Scene 1; "Katharine »s Trial," Act II, Scene 4; "The King»s Apartment," Act III, Scene 2; "The Coronation of Anne," Act IV, Scene 1; and, "The Christening of Elizabeth," Act V, Scene 5. These not only represent the major locations called for in the play, but, since they are the most complicated of the designs, they serve as a better index to Jones' artistry and technique. The five designs will be considered in the sequence in which they would appear in production. "Buckingham's Farewell," Act II, Scene 1 Before an analysis of the design elements in this setting can be made, it is necessary to examine the situation and the characters in the scene. It begins when a crovy/d gathers in the street outside '-estminster v/here "the great Duke of Buckingham"^° has been found guilty of high treason and condemned on false charges. The populace realizes that Wolsey, the scheming, unchristian "cardinal is the end of this."29 The populace hates Cardinal "The Modern Readers Shakespeare (New York, 1909), p. 46. 29 Ibid ., p. 45.

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96 Wolsey and Wish hira ten fathoms deep; this duke as much They love and dote on; call htm bounteous Buckingham, The mirror of all courtsey.30 At this point in the scene Buckingham, well guarded, enters on his way to his execution, Buckingham urges his friends to hold no malice towards anyone and declares that he feels richer than his base accusers because he has lived a good life full of tiruth. His farewell instructions are, Pray for me! I must now forsake ye: the last hour Of my long vreary life is come upon me. Farewell : And when you would say something that is sad, Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me I-'' It is this moment of the scene which Jones depicts in his design, Plate ?• Line. — As one begins a study of Jones' conception of this scene, certain factors relative to the use of line are immediately apparent. The design is dominated by a vertical line pattern which connotes, psychologically, the essential nobleness of the victim, Buckingham. In examining the background of timbered Tudor house fronts on which this line pattern predominates, one notes that, though vertical, the pattern is decidely angular. This angularity, in its expressive function, serves to reveal 3 Qlbid .. p. 49. 31lbid., pp. 52, 53.

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97 scenicelly the excitement inherent in tae situation. • ith respect to this feature, the very posture of the buildings warrants consideration. They do not stand upright. They are bent over and appear to be on the verge of toppling. This visual condition serves as a striking, graphic reminder of the toppling vrorld of the noble Buckingham, The official party which, in Jonss' conception of the scene, is located up stage center is set apart and emphasized by the vertical line of their tail staffs. Similarly, he uses the vertical line of the adjacent lamp posts to separate the official party frora the citizens. Since the mass xvhich the latter group creates has its definitely horizontal character emphasized, its contrast vjith the vertical lines of the official party serves to further separate the two groups. Iass . — Since the masses which project the above line patterns are both unique and sizable, particular attention must be given to their fionctioa v^ithin ths design. The four planes forming the houses are the dominant masses. Arranged in pairs on either side of tiie stage, they balance each other in modified Sjoametry and form p definite contrast to the horizontal mass of people. Since the vertical masses appear ready to topple upon the horizontal ones, the scene is filled v^dth a degree of rxciternent appropriate to the crisis in Buckingham's life. Mot only is the hopelessness of Buckingham's

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9B situation portrayed visually, but also his faith in the future. The unit of space which rises vertically in the center of the design appears to be boundless, as is also the offering of eternal hope to man which inheres in the story of Buckingham. In addition to the house fronts which are the dominate masses, there is another mass hidden by the center group of court figures. This is an elevated section of the street running between the two groups of houses, and Jones' version of the scene demonstrates the potential of that unit as a place for grouping characters. Color . — Since the episodic nature of the coiaplete play makes the crisis of "Buckingham's Farewell" extremely important, the factors which translate it into visual terms warrant special notice. Foremost among these is the element of color. The crisis in the dramatic action is symbolized by an analogous color scheme composed of many values of oran^;e and yellow hues. As s result of their v/armth, the setting achieves a degree of excitement v/hich serves as an extension of the moment itself. Jones* use of symbolic color for the sake of excitement extends to the frankly theatrical sky in which he has used a light value of yellow rather than the usual cool, and much more soothing, light value of blue. In terms of its contribution to the design, it would appear the main purpose of color in the setting is to enhance the exciting angular

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99 line pattern found on the house facades. The extreme contrast in color value on these structures burnt umber, a low value of orange, for the half-timbers, and light cream, a high value of yellow, for the stucco serves to intensify the spectators' awareness of its angular statement. While this specialized use or function is significant, it is iiaportant to recall that the colors, as such, were typical of those used on buildings of the Tudor period. Furthermore, since the textures of the timbers and of the stucco are rough, as if hand hewn and weathered, they tend to suggest the building »s age and the remoteness of time so essential to this historical chronicle. Inasmuch as Jones has assiiraed the director's prerogative and placed characters in the setting, he has provided an extended illustration of his ability to exploit the potential of color and to use it to contribute to the atmospheric quality of the scene. The color of the costumes is the same as that of the scenery, except for changes in value and the addition of a bit of blue the complement of yellow-orange. In his use of color in the costumes, Jones continues to exploit its symbolic potential. The values of the hues used in the costumes reflect the social positions of the characters. For example, the official group, representing the authority of the King, appears in gold and highly saturated

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100 yellow-orange. The commoners, on the other hand, are in earth shades of yellow-orange, '''hile these class distinctions are so simple as to be conducive to monotony, Jones has insured variety and aesthetic interest by introducing an infinite number of shades within the two basic color groups, A study of these costume colors offers further testimony to Jones' ability to use color as a means of gaining emphasis. For example, attention is drawn to Suckinghara since the dark brown of his attire contrasts so sharply with the intense orange of the costumes of the official group surrounding him and the pale color on the building in front of which he stands, Vhile it is true the broxin of Buckingham's costume tends to cause him to recede into the picture, the forward thrust of the light color on the building facade counteracts this tendency. Essentially, the contrast of the two values seems to thrust Buckingham forward and to give him dominance. Light and shade , — Putting aside considerations of separate parts of the environment and viewing the scene as a whole, it it interesting to note how quickly one becomes aware of its illumination. In terms of his control or application of this illumination, Jones employs highlight, shade, and shadow in order to bind the various parts of the setting together and to focus attention. For instance, in his conception of the scene, the brightest

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101 area is that in the center of the stage where he has placed Buckingham, The degrees of shade become darker as the edges of the design are approached. As a whole, the realistically conceived level of illumination is generally low, but the control of its gradations and the careful focus on the pivotal area results in an efficiency which makes possible both visual acuity and aesthetic satisfaction. With respect to the source of the general illumination, the principal one appears to be the sky. Insofar as the specific time of day is concerned, it would appear to be early evening, since the lamps are lighted. This, of course, would be symbolically appropriate inasmuch as the scene concerns itself with the final hours of a man's life. Interestingly, this had to be the designer's choice since the script makes no mention of the actual time of day. The total effect , — In his design statement, Jones has captured the essential dramatic meaning of the scene and translated it into visual ter;us. To visually convey the idea of the toppling world of the great Duke of Buckingham, Jones has used line, mass, color, and light in a manner which preserves and accentuates the festive aspects of the total play. In viev/ of the play's complex nature, the advantages of a basic plan which consists primarily of easily shifted planear masses are readily

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102 Plate 6 Robert Edmond Jones, henry VIII . Act II, Scene 4, '» Katharine ' s Trial , " 1944

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103 apparent. Through his imaginative artistry, Jones has produced a design which is practical and dramaticallyvalid. "Katharine's Trial," Act II, Scene 4 In Henry VIII . Katharine is one of two characters which Shakespeare has given more than surface development. Much of this occurs in the trial scfcafc. There are two forces which have brought about the trial of the kind, faithful Queen Henry VIII *s desire to marry Anne Bullen, and Cardinal V.olsey-s distrust of her influence in official matters with the King, In the beginning of the scene Katharine honestly reveals her distrust of Wolsey, challenges his suitability to judge her, and declares she will appeal her case • , , unto the pope. To bring ray whole cause *fore his holiness And to be judged oy him, 32 At that, she sweeps from the room, refusing to return, even in the face of the King's sumaioas, Jones' setting for this scene, and his concept of the scene itself, is reproduced in Plate S, An examination of it reveals that he created the atmosphere required by the script with very fev: units of scenery the two permanent and decorative Tudor arches, an elaborate coat-of-arms hanging up stage center, a dais 32ibid. , p, 75.

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104 consisting of an arch moxinted on a saiall four-step unit, and a backdrop. The effect of these few units in such a large space serves to reiiiforce the noble and exciting character of the situation. In Jones' version of the scene and its coaiposition, Katharine stands center, the King is on the right, Cardinals V»olsey and Campeius are on the left, along with various lords and attendants whose particular connections Vfith the court are indicated by the staffs they carry. Since Jones elects to place some of these figures in front of the large Tudor arch, it v>(Ould appear that, in production, he intended to have this unit or stage area function practically and serve as a means of establishing a link between the stage and the audience. V/hile the placement of characters outside the proscenium arch migtit be out of order in a realistically conceived setting, it must be remembered that this production chose to reject or ignore the architectural function of the proscenium arch and decoratively treated it as an integral element of the scenery. Line . — In a study of the function of specific design elements in this setting, it is immediately apparent that the dominant line pattern is that established by the elongated c\irves of the Tudor arches and the elaborfte curves of the coats-of-arras. The extreme height and grandeur of the arches help establish a feeling of nobility, while the elaborate pattern of curving, twisting

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105 lines in the coat-of-arms up stage center lends a sense of sophisticated lujcuriousnesc. These conditions, of course, are signally appropriate \\iien one considers the nature of this high court of justice. There are two other features of the line pattern which are i/aportant to the design, 'A'hile the angles on the backdrop are subordinate to the dominate curved lines, they, nevertheless, add the excitement which the melodramatic spirit of the scene demands a condition v^hich the elaborate curves do not supply, V'hile considering the matter of line, it should be noted that, except for the steps and the top of the center arch unit, there are no horizontal lines to modify or detract from the setting* s noble, sophisticated feeling. That is not to say the few existing horizontals lack significance in the design. Rather, since they do contrast with the basic line pattern, they attract attention, thus adding dominance to the center stage area which is intended to be the focal point of the setting, V;hile line pattern is perhaps the design element most responsible for the feeling or sense of nobility which the setting achieves, it should be remembered that this statement is one being made in purely theatrical terms. Certainly no one vjould suggest that this setting looks like a courtrooia. It does, however, have the character and atmosphere which makes it a place appropriate for the conduct of the business of the scene.

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106 Mass . — In the case of this courtroom, it is interesting to discover that the functioning masses derive almost coiapletely from Jones* specialized use of the proscenium arch and its inclusion as part of the working elements in the setting. Since these scenic masses are created by the arches and the elaborately designed backdrop, they become essentially planear units rather than plastic volumes. By locating these arches on three separate planes of the stage space and in front of the backdrop, the setting acquires a feeling of great depth and width. The repetition of the same basic arch motif in these three different planes also brings a feeling of harmony to the design. In arranging these masses, Jones established a system of symaetrical balance, vv'hile it is apparent that the three arches and the two shields are completely symmetrical, with the right and left sections mirroring each other, the background for the shields and the angled design on the backdrop are handled somewhat differently. These, though basically symmetrical, do not mirror each other, thus giving variety and additional aesthetic interest to the balance factor in the design. In this scene it also should be noted that Jones used mass as a device for controlling emphasis. By covering the center steps with an arch unit, he created an enclosure which will serve to add emphasis to any

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107 character who may be placed within or in front of it* This is illustrated in Plate d by the location Jones has assigned to the figiire of Katharine. Since the arch frames her, her size appears to increase and her proportions harmonize v^ith the vastness of the setting. As a consequence, she achieves a visual dominance similar to that which her personality exerts or achieves in the script. Color . — In this design the use of color is such that it creates a sense of tasteful opulence, liellowed grays, which might be found in a real courtroora, are combined with gold, blue, and v/hite in a simple and sym* bolic maimer. These gr^ys cover the largest areas and act as perfect foils for the splashes of gold, red, blue, and white which are introduced in the coat-of-arms and the small center arch. Moreover, the red and gold by connotation and richness of texture are symbolic of royalty. Again in this scene, Jones introduced characters in the process of rendering his design, and, in their costumes, he extended the symbolic use of color which he employed in the scenery itself. The secondary characters, who fill the great reaches of the stage, are in mellowed grays with the primary characters being given the emphatic colors. In using costumes to make these additional color statements, Jones relied on several traditioxxal , even stereotyped, possibilities. He included the royal white

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ermine trim on the King's robe, the red of the Roman Catholic Church on the cardinals' robes, and pure white for the virtuous Queen, Beyond the symbolic function, it should be noted that he also used costume color as a means of adding emphasif to the figure of Katharine, As indicated in Chapter I, some colors give the illusion of spreading out or advancing while others seem to contract or withdraw. This is illustrated in Jones* choice of white for Katharine's costume and for the small center arch. Since white advances towards the viewer, it helps bring emphasis to this portion of the setting. The white of Katharine's costume intensifies the visual effect of the white arch, an effect not possible if the color used in her costume had been one which tended to recede. Just as the use of white causes this center arch to dominate the scenic elements, the white costume on Katharine causes her to dominate the characters. It is this combined use of color and mass for emphasis which Jones used as a technique for controlling the immense proportions of the setting and the great number of characters which the scene demands. Light and shade , — A completely theatricalized setting such as this one contains no literal source or motivation for its illumination, of course, Since he was not limited to realistic motivation, Jones was free to

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109 consider only aesthetic factors when designing his lighting for the scene. As a result he developed a chiaroscuro which not only enhanced the theatrical decor, but which also insured a high level of emphasis on the portion of the setting v/hich he considered the most iiiiportant. Zxainination of the over-alJ. pattern of illumination reveals that the highlight is concentrated stage center in the area which Jones obviously considv. ohe focal point of the setting and the strongest position for the actors. In moving from the center to the edges of the design, there is the gradual introduction of shadows. These intensify until there is only dark shade and shadow in the deep recesses of the stage space. Thus, the secondary areas are subordinated to the primary one. Moreover, the aistribution of highlight, shade, and shadowis controlled carefully in order to avoid monotony in this basically syiriraetrical setting. For example, rather than using a monotonous wash of flat light v>^hich could be boring, Jones used a little more light on the left side than on the right. Moreover, the light on the left is obviously of a different tint because the decorative features of the iuasses on that side are more readily discernible and of a different tint than those on the right, Jones' lighting is most interesting, perhaps, because with it he achieved variety in a fundamentally symmetrical setting.

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110 The total effect . — Jones* highly theatrical design for "Katharine's Trial" parallels in visual terms the dramatic values v/hich inhere in the scene. As a design, it tends to create an impression of vast space, thus making the control of attention a critical factor. To direct the attention of the viewer, Jones relied heavily on highlight, shade, and shadow. In the process, the calculated differences of intensities and tints of light induced a significant degree of variety in the respective halves of the setting, thus minimizing the fundamentally static quality of the setting's symmetrical balance. This is seen most readily in an examination of one of the setting's most imaginative features, the proscenium arch. It is on the surface of this arch that the varying intensities and tints of light are most apparent. Study of the design as a whole reveals satisfaction of the demands of the script, a production scheme appropriate to the limitations of the theatrical medium, and a high level of imaginative power, "The King* 8 Apartment," Act III, Scene 2 The next major setting in Henry VIII is "The King's Apartment," V.hile Jones chose to use what was essentially a box set to establish this sumptuous interior, his style or treatment of it was highly theatrical. Since it was theatricalized, the setting harmonized with the wing and drop settings used for the play's other scenes.

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Ill Before the design may be analyzed, the situation in the script needs to be explored. The scene involved is the one which shows the downfall of the arrogant and crafty Cardinal VJolsey, It is here that the audience learns that Wolsey has discovered the King wants to marry Anne Bullen and that hs has written a letter concerning this to the Pope, This letter falls into the hands of the King, along with an inventory of the Cardinal »s worldly goods. Not only is the letter a damming piece of evidence, but the inventory is so extensive that the King realizes a considerable portion of his tax collections has been appropriated by the Cardinal for his own use. The King then meets 1^'olsey in his apartment, leads him into a declaration of loyalty, hands him the incriminating letters, and leaves, V;olsey stands alone talking to himself as he realizes he has been tricked. This paper has undone me: His the account Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together For mine own ends; indeed, to gain the popedom. And fee my friends in Rome, negligence! Fit for a fool to fall by: what cross devil Made me put this main secret in the packet I sent the king? Is there no vvay to cure this? No new device to beat this from his brains? I know » twill stir him strongly; yet I know A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune '."/ill bring me off again, V'hat's this? "To the Pope!" The letter, as I live, with all the business I writ to»s holiness. Nay then, farewell! I have touch »d the highest point of all my greatness; And, from that full meridian of my glory, I haste now to my setting: I shall fall

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112 Plate 9 Robert Edmond Jones, henrv VIII . Act III, Scene 2, "The King»s Apartment," 1944

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1<3 Likfc a oright eia;alation in the eveniag, And no man see me more, 33 Plate 9 shows Jones* concept of the setting and situation at this moment in the play. Line , — As in Jones' other designs, the setting for "The King's Apartment" relies on line to establish an atmosphere or quality appropriate to the people and events v'ith vrhich the scene is involved. In this design the use of line succeeds in establishing a sense or effect of earthly elegance. There are the dominating lines and strong upward thrusts of the great Tudor arches which give " ^tting an exalted, grandiose quality and set it apart from any commonplace enviroxwient. Before the effect of these lines reaches extreme proportions, however, they are brought in check by the povferful angular horizontals of the box setting. Thus, an environment is created which, although exalted, is definitely kept in its earthly context. It is simply made different, a place on earth unique unto the lives, the rank, and the fates that reside therein. Elegance is added to the set by Jones' cecorative use of line, On~ . -ctance of this involves the sophistication which is added by the fragile decorative curves on the vrall panels of the box setting. Other decorative uses of line include the angled design on the arches, and the ^-^Ibid, , pp. 100, 101,

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1H angulsr vindov? panes ss they ere reflected, on the glass curtains. This use of subtly revealed angles parallels, in visual terms, the subtle melodri=imatic excitement of the events in the scene and the concealed device with vrhich the King traps ''olsey and proves his disloyalty. It should be clear, therefore, that the ultimate source for Jones* decorative use of line was the dramatic content of the scene Itself, Mass , ~ Since this is basically a box type of setting, the existing masses are revealed in a traditional manner and are readily established. There is, however, reason to explore ho\f these have been employed to make statements appropriate to the nature of the scene. Framed within the arches are the planes which form the box setting. The angular shapes established by the arrangement of these major masses creates an excitement which underscores the melodramatic content of the scene. At the same time, their height provides a source of grandeur or nobility such as that which might be found within castle walls. The balance of the setting is asymmetrical, and when viewed in conjunction with the symmetry of the arch, the tv:o kinds of balance seem to comiilement each other. The factor which serves to establish harmony between the two systems is the modified symmetrical placement of the tvro desks in the space between the symmetrical arch end the asymmetrical walls of the room.

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115 Color . — Inasmuch as the status and po'^er of the characters are so important in the play, especially in the scene in question, Jones appears to have given high priority to the task of visually suggesting these factors. A significant portion of that objective is achieved througli his use of color. For example, colors such as the setting's lustrous green and gold suggest the social status of its iniiabitants and testify to their expensive tastes. In Jones* setting, the effects achieved through the use of complementary colors parallel the nature of the scene's action. For example, the luxurious green and gold of the apartment is seen in sharp juxtaposition with the red of the Cardinal's costume. The psychological antagonism of these two colors reinforces visually what the playwright has established in the way of personal antagonism between the two characters. Moreover, the effect which this use of color produces is aesthetically very pleasing since Jones kept the proportion of each of these complements carefully controlled the amount of green in the setting being much greater than the amount of red. Light and shade . ~ Earlier the role of the windows and their illumination was noted. At this point, certain other factors in connection with the settiiag's illumination must be considered. For instance, from the angle of the light entering the windows, the time of the scene would

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116 appear to be late morning, or early afternoon v;hen the sun is high in the sky. ^ince the time of day is not important to the scene as v;ritten, the light from this source xvas established and controlled by the designer for purely aesthetic reasons. In considering the total pattern of illumination, it might be suggested that its most important function in the scene is to motivate and control the revelation of form. The highlight, shade, ana shadow which this illumiriation provides serves to reveal and accentuate the character of the masses vvhich comprise the box setting. Aesthetically, the complete darkness in the area above the walls serves to intensify the frankly theatrical natiire of the scenery and, by so doing, it helps establish harmony between the realistically oriented characteristics of this setting and the non-realistic wing and drop settings which were used in the other scenes. The total effect . — In his design for "The King»s Apartment," Jones clearly sought to establish a sumptuous abode for an exalted man. Of particular interest is his sophisticated use of the complementary colors, red and green, and the manner in which he combined symmetrical and asymmetrical balance within the scenic structure. The contribution which this essentially box setting made to the complete design scheme must also be pointed out. Since it is the only setting of its kind, it offers

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117 Plate 10 Robert Edniond Jones, Kenrv VIII . Act IV, Scene 1, "The Coronation of Anne," 1944

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116 much neeaeu variety to the succession of wing and drop settirigs used for other locations in the play. This, plus his ability to bring the realistic features of a box setting into harmony with the formal stylistic characteristics of the wing and drop settings which were used for the remainder of the production, testifies to Jones' ingenuity and imagiriation, "The Coronation of Anne," Act IV, Scene 1 In this scene, which chronicals Anne Bullen's coronation, Shakespeare calls for a "Street in Westminster"^^ through which a coronation procession passes and in which three Gentlemen can describe the coronation v/hich occured off-stage. In giving that description the Third Gentleman vividly re-creates the awe of the majestic event, noting that the populace which jammed "i* the abbey; where a finger Could not be wedged in more," was "stifled with the mere rankness of their joy,"^^ From Plate 10, it is evident Jones sought to recreate the actual coronation. The scene which he depicts is that which Shakespeare has take place off-stage, and which the Third Gentleman has described in these words: The rich stream Of lords and ladies, having brought the queen 3 ^Ibid .. p. 113. 35ibid. , p. 117.

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119 To a prepared place in the choir, fell off A distance from herj while her grace sat dovm To rest av/hile, some half an hour or so. In a rich chair of state, opposing freely The ueauty of ).ier person to the people Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman That ever lay by .iian: which whea the people Had the full view of, such a noise arouse As the shrouds iuake at sea in a stiff tempest.^" The theatricalized sepia and gold spectacle which Jones offers in Plate 10 provides an ample statement of Anne's magical influence on the crowd. Unfortunately, there are two blemishes on the original colored sketch. Although one of these partly covers the figure of Anne, they do not interfere with the analysis of the design of the setting itself. Line . — Upon examining the lines used by Jones in his visualization of this setting, one discovers that the significant feature of the conception is the lack of a formal line statement. In this instaiice color is the most dominant design element. It creates a total atmosphere and all features of the design, except the figures of the nobles, are subordinated to it. In spite of this fact, enough of the Tudor arches is visible to identify Jones* overall concept for Henry VIII . and enough fragile, gold paneling is sketched into the middle plane of the setting to give the impression of very decorative and elegant wall panels. As in the other castle scenes, the aiagnitude of 36lbid,

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120 the vertical diiaension of the room is established through a linear stateatent, a statement which conveys a feeling of nobility. The other linear statement, the vague rectangles in the center unit, provide an ornateness or elaborateiiess appropriate to the rank and way of life of the personages in the scene* In considering the total psychological effect created by this subdued and restricted use of line, it might be said t^iat it serves to establish a fragile kind of noble elegance. I'.ass . — Though subordinated to color, the element of mass contributes equally positive values to the coronation design. These masses the great arches, the decorated wings, the center ^findow, and the backdrop serve two functions. First, they define the stage space in a particular manner. The edges of the masses are fuzzy because of the blending value of color, and in the dark up right and up left reaches of the setting the limits of the stage space are not visible. As a result, the stage space becomes limitless. The second function of mass is a decorative one. Even though their sizes are large, the masses are given a decorative quality through the use of color and line which help to establish the peculiar kind of elegance which the setting achieves. Looking to other aspects involved in the control of these masses, one notes they are balanced in a modified symmetrical manner. At first examination, the balance

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121 seems to be syrnraetrical with the left half of the design mirroring the right. Careful analysis reveals, however, there is considerable variety in the shape or nature of the details on the masses. For instance, the fuzzy appearance of the panes in the center window unit do not mirror each other. Likewise, while the gold cecorative panels on the right and left wings are similar in style, they are not identical. This same modified symmetry is revealed in Jones ^ placement of characters in the scene. As one studies the arrangement of these figures it becomes apparent that Jones conceives of them as roasses in space, and as such, he has employed them just as he used the scenic elements. They perform limiting and decorative functions which project his interpretation of Shakespeare's scene. Color . -In the earlier discussions of line and mass it v>ras noted that color is the primary design element in Jones' execution of the setting for Anne's coronation. The monochromatic color scheme which washes over the entire setting dominates the other elements, Throiigh the use of different values and saturations of the single hue, yellow, Jones managed to capture the coronation in all of its shimmering golden majesty. The portions of the setting in which wood has been simulated reveal many shades of this basic hue, shades which range from dark walnut to the lightest wheat. The gold colored

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122 side panels not only extend this color idiom, but provide a feeling of royal splendor. These, it might be noted, are similar to those found in the earlier setting for '^The King's Apartment.^ This repetition of wall treatment accounts, in part, for the harmony among the various settings, a condition made particularly mandatory because of the play's rapid and continual changes in locale. The texture of these colored surfaces plays an important role in the design. For example, it provides the monochromatic color scheme with a much needed element of variety. There is, for example, the flat surface of the Tudor arches, the hard metallic texture of the golden lines of the panels, and the soft fuzzy texture of the panes of the central unit. Thus, even though the decoration employs a single hue, each unit is set apart from the remainder of the setting by the effects of texture. Light and shade . — In this design the control of light and shade serves to point up the center area which Jones obviously considered the major playing space. Illumination for this area is motivated by the center v;indow unit through which Jones apparently hoped to backlight the central group of characters. The areas of deepest shade are those furthest removed from the center area, and, as has been sugjiested, these give the effect of infinite space. Except for the use of highlight and shade as noted above, the remainder of the design is

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123 covered by a general wash of light of moderate intensity which reinforces, and harmonizes with, the monochromatic color schcae. The total effect . — 5Unce the play, by nature, assigns a high degree of importance to what might be considered a festive element, it seeras appropriate that Jones elected to bring the graphic detail of the coronation to the stafc,e rather than to rely on a character's description of it. Insofar as its composition is concerned, the design for "The Coronation of Anne" is notable J because, for total effect, it depends primarily upon the use of a single design element color. Line, mass, and light are definitely of secondary importance, v/ith their principal contribution being to reinforce the effect aade by the ^.olden brown hues. As a design, it stands as a unique example of the kind of creativity possible when the choice of scenic style allows a designer great freedom, and when the designer is imaginative enough to take advantage of that opportunity. "The Christening of Elizabeth," Act V, Scene 5 The final scene of Henry YIII involves the christening of the infant, Elizabeth. It begins vrLth a processional which the text describes as follows: Enter Trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord Ifeyor, Garter, Cranraer, Duke of ilorfolk with his marshal's staff, Duke of Suffolk, two Koblemen bearing great standing-bov/ls for the christening

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124 Plate 11 Robert Kdmond Jones, henry VIII . Act V, Scene "The Christening of Elizabeth," 1944 5,

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125 gifts; then four Noblemen besring canopy, under which the Duchess of Horfolk, godiaotlier, bearing the child richly habited in a mantle, etc., train borne by a Lady; then follows the Marchioness Dorset, the other godmother, and Ladies, The troop pass once about the stage, and Garter speaks. Gart. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty princess of England, Elizabeth! 37 It is this moment, when Garter makes his plea to Heaven, that Jones is concerned vrith in the design shovm in Plate 11. Line. — Since the central figure of this scene is the infant, Elizabeth, and the situation is one in v/hich there is an appeal for God's blessing upon her, one would expect the line pattern to reveal something of the tenderness of the moment and of the status of the figure involved. The design achieves the necessary delicacy of feeling through the thin, airy lines and curves of the center pavilion, the detailed treatment of the canopy, and the circles of flowers carried by the observers. A prime example of this line characteristic can be found in the pavilion -A-hich, although of large dimensions, appears to be weightless. Of particular interest, also, is the fact that the mass of the coat-of-arms on the pavilion is defined by line alone, rather than being a solid form or surface. The design takes on an essentially noble quality 3 7ibid .. pp. 155, 156.

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126 because of the many verticals in the center of the scene which come to an apex against the pure, pale, blue backdrop. In spite of the many vertical lines, the eye of the viev;er is not lost upward, hovfever, since the strong line pattern which Jones used on the deep scallops of the canopy serves to pull the eye dovm to the infant. These thick gold colored lines hang like giant finger tips pointing down towards Elizabeth. Not only do they contrast sharply with the vertical thinist of the general line pattern, but they serve as strong guides in directing the viewer s gaze to the infant. While the basic line pattern is vertical, Jones achieves variety in it through the use of long, slow curves in the Tudor arches and in the top line of the canopy. Though the quantity of these curved lines is limited, their impression is strengthened by the fact that by curving in opposite concave-convex directions they complement each other. In their own right, these slow curves add a feeling of sophistication to the design. The sensation produced by the use of line in this design is a pleasing one. The eye, caught within the sweep of the great arches, rhythmically moves froui one element to another until it is brought to rest in the center area by the dovmward force of the plunging scallops, A similar rhythm develops regardless of where

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127 the eye enters the picture. If it enters from the base, the lines of the skirts sv.eep it upv-rard to the line of the blossoms which, in turn, sweep it upwards to the canopy. If, on the other hand, the eye enters the side of the design, it moves alorxg the line of the blossoms to the canopy and then down to the infant, Elizabeth. In every case it is the power of line that leads the eye of the viev;er directly to the focal point of the setting. Mass . — Since the situation in the script deals with a tender moment, Jones has sought particular effects in his use of mass. Except for the formal Tudor arches, he has employed only small mass units v/hich, functioning as a complex, generate larger masses within the setting. 3y this process he has kept the character of the masses delicate rather than ponderous or heavy. The mass of the pavilion, for example, is created through the use of many fragile lines which, -when seen as a v/hole, gives the impression of a large, vertical oriented unit. For all of its size, hovjever, that mass retains a delicateness appropriate to the spirit of the event which the scene must encompass. Similarly, when viewed as a whole, the flowers held aloft by the characters become one graceful mass which stretches from the left to the right side of the stage. Since this mass is composed of an infinite number of smaller masses dispersed through space, the eye sv;eeps along it in a graceful, unrestrained fashion.

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125 In studying the manner in which the composition's masses are balanced, it becomes apparent that Jones once again has used two kinds of balance in order to create visual interest in the design. The set units are arranged in symmetrical fashion and modified by the use of higlilight and shade on the left and right halves. In this respect his technique is similar to that found in the design for "Katharine's Trial," Plate ^. The characters and properties v/hich Jones has placed in the setting are arranged asymmetrically, hov/ever, with the center of attention falling slightly to the right of center. Color . — As was the case vvith the elements of line and mass, the color scheme employed in the scene has been dedicated to the reinforcement of the qualities inherent in the event taking place, ^'ithin that scheme, the main hues red, blue, and gold are those of the coat-ofarms which decorates the dovmstage Tudor arch. These hues, in pure or unrelieved form, normally could produce a strong and vigorous statement, yet in this environment, Jones employed them in creating an exceedingly delicate atmosphere. The secret, one discovers, is that he has exerted a control over their normal expressive tendencies through an abundant use of white. Not only does this white lighten the blue vdiich washes across the pavilion and the sky drop, but in the canopy, the flowers, and the costumes, it is used abundantly as a color in its own

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129 right. Since, of course, v/hite is traditionally symbolic of purity, its function in this christening scene becomes symbolic as well as decorative. Such use of color reflects the ability of the designer to capture the spirit of the scene and to reveal it in color in a manner uniquely his o\:n. Light and shade , — From an aesthetic point of view, the least important element in the design for "The Christening of Elizabeth'^ is light and shade. As is evident from Plate 11, the light gives good illumination to the entire scene and establishes a clear, pleasant atmosphere for the event. It appears as a fairly even vrash, and it is varied only by the purely aesthetic use of slight shade on the right portion of the design. The total effect . — The design for "The Christening of Elizabeth" is characterized by a masterful use of fragile line and dispersed mass. In conjunction, they create an atmosphere appropriate to both the festive and religious aspects of the event. Color contributes significantly to this effect since v^hite, v;ith its connotation of purity, is used abundantly on the masses. Of particular importance to the setting's fragile character is the development of a light, airy rhythmic pattern through the repetition of many lines and masses in space. Essentially, these are the techniques upon vdiich the success of the design rests.

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130 The significance of the Henry VIII designs , — The series of five designs for Shakespeare* s Henry VIII are important because they not only demonstrate Jones* ability to capture the spirit of a playwright's script and to express it visually in terms suitable for a modern audience, but they also clearly show how a gifted designer may aid the playv^right through his ability to exploit the visual aspects of production. In the beginning of the analysis of the settings for Henry VIII the lack of character development in the play was noted. Except for Cardinal '.'olsey and Katharine of Aragon, the characters are not developed sufficiently to cause strong emotional reactions in the pudience, 'Jhile Shakespeare's development of characterization is not thorough or extensive, the form which he gives the incidents brief episodes v/hich form a kaleidoscope of English history offers many opportunities for visual spectacle. This, in Jones* hands, served to supply the spectator with the excitement lacking in the script. Mot only did he design each scene so that it reinforced or extended the limited emotional potential which the scene provided, but he also took full advantage of the pageant-like nature of the script and the festival aspect of the play, '.hile it is important for every designer to enhance or preserve the festive element of theatre in his designs, the significant factor, in this case, is the exceptional

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131 exciteiflent Jones achieved while ftilfilling that obligation." Through imagination and a unique control of the design factors , Jones has gone quite beyond a designer's normal involvement v^^ith the festive element of theatre. Jones' imaginative use of the spectacular aspect of the play is obvious when one considers the vast proportion he gave the production by incorporating the prosceniuia arch in the over-all design. This becomes more significant when one realizes that, simple though the technique is, it is rarely seen. The design of this emblemstudded Tudor arch kept the audience aware of the fact that this vras a Renaissance play. With the arch setting the period of the play, Jones \iras able to create the other visual units with considerable freedom. 'Vhile many of these settings lack distinct period features, they take on definite Renaissance characteristics when viewed through the great arch. 3y placing another arch upstage of the first one, Jones created a wing and drop type of scenic arrangement. Since this type of scenery lends itself to fast scene changes, it helped to solve the complex environmental problem LTiposed by the script. Advantageous as this system might be, it also had a distinct limitation. The designer had to confine his efforts, principally, to the use of drops and hanging pieces, ^.Tiile these functioned as mass units xvithin the scene, they lacked a practical

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132 third-diraension. l.hile these planear units could be flown in and out swiftly, there was the hazard of their becoming monotonous in a play which involved so roany scenes. Jones solved this problem by treating the scenery in a frankly theatrical style, one designed to capture the spirit of a scene through a spectacular use of line, mass, color, and, light and shade. For instance, it is apparent he does not pretend that the house fronts in the design for "Buckingham's Farewell" are real ones. They are obviously fake. They belong to the magical world of the poetic theatre. The poetic theatre, insofar as the scene designer is concerned, is characterized by the imaginative use of all styles of scene design and of all kinds of design factors, elements, and principles. In the poetic theatre there is no place for formula scene design. Although the designs for Henry VIII are unified artistically and made technically operable by the use of the Tudor arches and the theatrical style, these tv.'o techniques did not serve as a formula for the execution of the project. Rather, the use of the arches was characterized by a considerable degree of variety. This variety not only derived from the fact that their character was altered from scene to scene by the use of color, light, and shade, but also from the fact that it could either frame the individual settings or become a major part of them. Thus, in

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133 Henry 7111 . it is clear that Jones was not restricted by the limitations inherent in the wing and drop type of scenei*y, Siygpary Proof of Jones* artistry is not limited to his designs for Henry VIII . The other designs under consideration in this chapter offer similar evidence of it. In the realistically oriented A Touch of the Poet , for example, Jones managed to accommodate the setting's literal necessities and still reach imaginative, even poetic, heights in his use of the design elements. Likewise, in the design for Macbeth . Jones' understanding of the potential of the design elements enabled him to create intense and complex effects with minimal or simplified set ingredients. Although the techniques he used sometimes appear to be so simple as to be ordinary, examination of the scope of these three design projects, and of the control which Jones exerts over the infinite number of details in the design process, brings the realization that a truly unique artist has been at work. As he recalled his work with Jones at the r.etropolitan Opera, Leopold Stokowski once commented, "Such men are rare. Jones is not v/ith us any longer. It is hard to find persons today who can combine all the talents he had."^° 5°''!Jhat's i:rong with Opera A Dialogue with Leopold Stokowski," Opera News . XXVI (February 24, 1962), 12.

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CKAPTSE III LEE SmOKSON»S USE OF THE DESIGN ELEI-ffiNTS During the thirty years prior to 194^ when he was most productive, Lee Simonson's designs for the theatre were characterized by a wide variety of scenic styles. For the purpose of this study the designs for three plays and one opera will be analyzed. They are Elmer Rice*s The Adding Machine . Eugene O'Neill's Dynamo . Jean Giraudoux's Amphitryon ^^ . and Richard Wagner's The Rhine Gold. These designs have been selected, not only because they serve the particular needs of this study, but because Siraonson' considers them to be among his most important and successful. One of these. The Rin.g; of the Nibelung , of which The Rhine Gold is one of four parts, has the distinction of being the first scenery at the Metropolitan Opera House to be in accord v/ith twentieth century design concepts. Despite the limitations of the opera medium Simonson's designs sheared av:ay seventy years of tradition in the staging of The Ring . V.Tiile these designs caused a storm of controversy, they did lead the Metropolitan and. ''York, p. xlix. 134

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135 hence, other American opera companies to modem stagecraft. It will be noticed that the illustrations used in this chapter, except the one of The Rhine Jold . are photographs of actual productions. This reflects Simonson*s preference for photographs rather than sketches as a visual record of the production. In his autobiography, Part of a Lifetime , he says, It is extremely rare to find scenic drawings, like those of Kobert Edfflond Jones, that are already plainly realized in ter^Tis of stage sace, the particular Icind of third-dimensional relationships that can be achieved within it, and the kind of light which can be made to illuminate them. The test of the best intentions of works in the theatre dreams, visions, theories, and programs is always a performance. For that reason I prefer the record of the event to any announcement of it, graphic or otherwise, and I would prefer color photographs, could they be taken of a stage-setting as set, and lighted, to almost any preliminary drawing.^ The personal collection of Simonson is nov; the property of The New York Public Library* s theatre collection.^ The voriter discovered it contained only black and white pi jucwwion photographs siiice most of his productions took place before the advent of quality color photography. The quality of this photography, hov/ever, is excellent. Color slides do exist for The Ring , and it was Simonson' s showing and analysis of these in a series of lectures at The iiietropolitan I'luseum of Art in the spring of 194S ^Lee Simonson, Fart of a Lifetime (New York, 1943), p. 62. ^York, xliii.

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136 which initially sparked the "writer* s interest in the area of scene design analysis. Unfortunately, only one of these color slides Vfas made available to the v-Titer for use in the present study. The lack of color in the illustrations of the three plays is not a handicap in an analysis of Simonscn's designs since he regards color as distinctly secondary to successful scene design. Be^^inning with The Faithful in 1919, his second production on x^roadway, he indicated that he felt the use of the thira-difnension was the "fiindamental in a stage picture."* Prior to t^iis in his designs foi the Washington Square Flayers, however, he had aad© color the primary element in his designs, iriis setting for Alice 3ersteaberg*s Overtones , for example, had gold walls, and black and red lacquered furniture. For the farce, Fierre I'atelin . on the curtain that served as a street, the plastic housefronts were an aliaost salmon pink, the crossoiiiiberin^ and roof tops a red pui^ple. The trial took place under a painted arch framing the medieval tov;n of towers, spires, and turrets txiat rose as a pale yellow silhouette against a turquoise-blue sky. 5 Later, in reference to his v.ork on The Faithful , he said, X found ... thao a brilliani; parade of color no longer seemed of primary importance. I accepted the subdued hues of the samurai palace and v/elcomed the '•'oimonson. Fart of a Lifetime ^ p. 47* 5lbid., p. 29.

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137 cool i^ray and white patterns of the scene in the snow gorge that 1 took from Hiroshige*s color print." The 1919 decision against color may have res^ulted from a disagreement he had with Henry i'liller over his use of color in the settings for his first broadway production, Koliere. Producer --iller objected to the color and had the scenery repainted with vjhat Siraonson chose to call "a cast of particularly muddy gray."' 3y mutual consent the designer *s name was removed from official records of the produciion, ..hatever it may have been that prompted Simonson to change his artistic conception and manner of execution in his second broadway production, ics effect on his work was a permanent one. ..riting in 1943* he made clear his continuing belief in the fundamental importance of the third-dimension. ^Vhile a play is bein^ acted a stage is uo all intents and purposes a world. Actors live, and living, move in space. It is the pattexn of tneir movement ohat determines the pattern of design. Though a stage setting may originally be conceived as a picture and eventvially recorded as one, on the stage it Is less related to painting than to architectui o, for architecture fundamentally is a form of d. . ,a that^framea and dramatizes some pattern of human betiavior.^ Since the arcnitect primarily uses thu elements 01 line and mass in executing his conception of a living world, ^Ibid., p. 47. 7lbid. , p. 42. ^Ibid .. pp. 47-4S.

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13^ the implication would appear to be that the scene designer should also. In an attempt to understand Simonson*s fascination with the architectural aspects of scene design and his avo\ced desire to relegate the painterly aspects of scene design to a secondary position, the vnriter contacted him by telephone on January 21, 1963. Since designer Simonson refused to comment specifically about his philosophy of scene design and, in particular, his use of color, and since all of the designs excej t The ILine C^old v-ere produced before the development of quality color photography, the matter of color can not be given extended consideration in the analysis v.hich follov/s» The Adding: r-lachine Elmer Rice's The ..dding I'-achine v.'as the first completely expressionistic play to be v«ritten by an American playvTight, Produced by The Theatre juild and designed by Simonson, its appearance on the theatrical scene was a triumph* According to newspaper ciitics the production's success was due to the collaboration of 9 writer, director, designer, and actors. This statement could be made about any successful production today, but, in 1921, the idea of collaboration in the theatre was ^York, pp. 2d3-28g.

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139 very new. In his autobiography Pice says the "play was written in the stylized, intensified form loosely known as expressionism, though I Lad hardly heard the term at the time. It vas a cOi^.pound of con.edy, raelodrania, fantasy, satire and polecdcs," That the play is expressionittic is evident from the script. VJhile the dialogue uses colloquial F: "' ypical of the realistic style, its effect is obliterated by the play*s many long speeches, two of Vv'hich are soliloquies and the only speeches in their respective scenes. Other portions of the dialo<^ue offer very short, terse speeches obviously v^/ritten for fast delivery and a staccato effect, in addition to its dialogue thex .. _i other eleaients vvhich 2 e veal "uhe playv«ri^ht*s esseniiially unr-ealistic approach. The mui-der of his eiuployeiby the leading character is unrealistically inaicated thiough use of sound and light. Later, the scene shifts to a gi-aveyard in which corpses mOve ar-ound and talk, and the final disposition of the hero is supernatural in nature. In writinji of his efforts at achieving or keeping unity in this unusual play. Lice says. It was not easy, foi exaiiple, to know to what extent the acting and staging siiould be stylized. The actors V/eie not sure about the ini»erpretation of their paxts. At the request of Dudley Digges (who played Zero) I i-repared a long liiemoxandum. ... v.hat we must convey ... is a subjective picture of a man who is at once an individual and a type. ... In the ^"Slmer face, ixinoritv Report: An Autobiography (i\iew York, I963), p. 191.

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140 realistic play, \ie look at the character from the outside* e see hira in terms of action and of actuality. But in the expressionistic play vre subordinate and even discard objective reality and se«;k '-0 exi^ress tue chai'acter in tez'iiis of his o-wn inner life.'' The favorable reception of this expressionistic production included pointed references to the fact that the settings showed the designer's use of imagination, V»riting in The Nation . Ludv.-ig Lewisohn said, "all have been designed by an imagination, packed with clear thinking, profoundly akin to the imagination that shaped the play itself."'^ In his autobiography, Rice calls Simonson "one of America's ablest stage designers" '^ and notes that his settings for The Adding F^chine were striking. In Rice's words, In the courtroom scene everything was askew. The immobile Judge, porcned up xiigh, wore a coldly cruel mask. In the final scene, the infernal adding macaine ^nich ^ero operates nearly filled the stage; the keys were as big as bar stools, ^^ The settings served as a kind of living atmosphere which altered with the changing emotions of the script. In the murder scene the turntable on v/hich Zero stooa began to revolve slowly, picking up speed as his brain storm swept over him, while a jumble 11lbi£., pp. 195, 19d, 199. 12(^uoted in lork, p. 266, ^^xice, p. 194. ^ ^Ibid .. p. 196.

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HI of niiiaerals rotated on a projection screen and soimd effects mounted to a crescendo."^ 5 This successful conception and execution did not com* about without stress and strain. In recalling his relationship with Simonson, Rice says he "was agressively egotistical, contentious and sonietimes dowr^right rude. 1 had several clashes v/ith him during rehearscils but ve always respected each other^ and still do*'* The general approval of the designs for The Addin^: i^^achine and the disapproval of Jones* expressionistic designs for Macbeth (produced tv/o years earlier, as indicated in Chapter II) may be due to the degree of expressionism each .contained* For example, the courtroom pictured in Plate 12 resembli^s the common image of a courtroom. Simonson has merely distorted it in the manner and degree necessary to indicate the state of mind of 'yir. Zero. Thus, the degree of abstraction v;hich it contains is significantly less than that ujied by Jones in his banquet scene for ^>acbeth . Before an analysis can be aiade of Simonson* s setting for the foui'th scene of The Adding I-achine ^ "A /lace of Justice," it is necessary to revievj briefly the plot and the dramatic situation. According to Rice,' It was the case history of one of the slave souls who are both the raw mateiial and the product of a mechanized society. In eight scenes it told the ^5ibid, ^^Ibid., p. 194.

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142 Plate 12 Lee Simonson, The Adding T-ia chine . Ticene 4) "A Place of Justice," 1923

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U3 story of >ir, ^ero, a white-collar v.'orker tied to a monotonous job and a shrewish wife, f.eplaced by a machine, he aiXirders his boss in an excess of resentment and panic, and he is condemned to die by a jury of his peers. His fears and frustrations make him reject an eternity of happiness and self-expression; he returns to earth to begin another treaamill .„ existence, sustained only by the mirage of hope. ' In the fourth scene of The Adding I-^chine . for which the setting shown in Plate 12 was intended, Zero makes his appeal for his life to the unseen jurors. The entire scene consists of his long monologue which is finally interrupted with the voices of the jurors who shout, in xinison, "Suilty,** Line. — As could be expected from the discussion of Simonson*s approach to scene design, a study of the photograph of the courtroom scene for The Adding ytachine reveals line to be the dominate element. The long, straight, eighteen foot verticals ^ive a feeling of nobility which is appropriate to the atmosphere of a courtrocan. Since the couit is unreal, its unreality is coramunicated by the decided slant of the verticals towards the right. This slant is given added accent or emphasis through the use of the railing in vdiich the vertical members are slanted in the opposite direction, towards tue left. In contrast to the high noble line of justice there is the slight stature of the man, wr. Zero, tioreover, he stands close to the rail unit, a construction wl^iich. ^^ibid., pp. 190, 191.

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H4 becauce of its tv.o relatively hesvy horizontal members, produces a contrasting sense of earthiness. The feeling as I-'Ir, ::ero harangues the unseen jury is one of great e^i-citement. The line pattern \/ith its diagonals, and the variety of angles created as the vertical lines intersect or connect v.ith horizontal lines, are appropriate to the melodraiuatic spirit of the scene. The use of curving lines would have been out of place. Consequently, there are no slow curves of any sort in the setting, and there are no sharp curves except the heads of the judge and of i'^r. Zero. The photograph also indicates that the basic body position of each of these figures was angular. The total line pattern achieves a marked degree of harmony inasmuch as the diagonals which rise vertically exert a directional thrust to the right which dorninates, in pleasing proportions, the short verticals moving left. Moreover, the harmony achieved is not monotonous since there is siifficient variety in the three types of line involved. Kass . -Examination shows the masses in tne setting to consist of the rail unit, the walls, the floor, and the low platform which forms the base of the judge's bench at the rear. The lack of other iuasses in this realistically inspired setting may have been due to the limited space offered by the stage iUself. >^ince this

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145 play reqiiired a different setting for each of its scenes, Simonson used a revolving platform in the center of the stage, ^^.hile this allowed the scene changes to take place vvithout lout^ wtits, it limited the amount of depth in the setting. In this instance the lack of depth was not a limiting factor to the design since this particular scene involves a monologue and requires no stage properties. It should be noted that the design of this scene is an exaiaple of a designer not follov/ing the written instructions of the playwright, hice's inanuscript called for Three bare white walls without door or windows except for a single door in the right wall. At the right is a jury-box in which are seated Messrs, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six, and their respective wives. On either side of the jury-box stands a uniforii-.ed officer. Opposite the jury-box is a long, bare oak table piled high with law books. Behind the books Zero is seated, his face buried in his hands, ^^ In view of these instructions, it would appear Kice envisioned a locale in which there were nuiaerous mass unii-t.. iis the preceding paragraph indicates, 5ia.onson limited that ingredient in his design. An examination of the setting indicates, however, that the masses envisioned by Rice were not needed to capture the spirit of the scene, While relatively few masses are included in the ^ ^The Theatre Guild Anthology {New York, 1936), p, 248*

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146 setting, the tensions v.'hich they create via their relationships is particularly strong. This is especially evident in the rear v.'all where the tv/o lar^e vertical masses are sharply etched against the white masses sxirrounding, or adjacent to, them. This technique or manner of definition and contrast is reminiscent of Kline's treatment of masses in his '^Painting l^o, ?•" The starkness created by their clear definition and the force of their directional thrust is suggestive of techniques frequently e.iiployed in modern art. Further study of the setting reveals Simonson's control of the "fundamental" third-dimension (depth). wLile the actual depth of the setting appears to have been approximately twelve feet, Simonson created an illusion of greater depth through the use of specific devices. First, he kept the stage space uncluttered, thus enhancing or creating the feeling of depth. Secondly, he included a series of parallel planes one in front of the rail, one behind the rail, and one behind the judge's box. Since these receded froii. the spectator's view, they also served to create a sense of depth. Finally, he imaginatively created space by showing only a pare of "A Place of Justice." This forced or invited the spectator to join the actor in envisioning its co. plete dimension, one which could be in excess of the dimensions of the stage itself.

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147 lithin this limited physical space Simonson arranged the masses in synurietricel balance. The units on each side of the stage are exactly the same. Some variet]?is given to the appearance of these symnetrical ir.asses, however, by the non-symnetrical nature of the patterns cast upon them by light. It seems appropriate for the balance of the masses to be static since the main feature of the design is its violent line pattern, A more dynamic use of iiass v/ould surely detract from the emotional impact created through this use of line. It is also the use of line v;hich gives a functional decorative element to the masses. This, it should be noted, is typical of the modern artist *s search for intrinsic decorative eleruents v.ithin his materials. External decoration on the masses is non-existent, i'or instance, there are no panels on the walls and no carvings on the v;indovra, although decorations such as these are frequently found on the interiors of actiial courtrooms. Since the setting in question is realistically oriented, it could have had such decoration. This, hovvever, would probably have modified the dynamic effect of the violent line pattern. Since Simonson did not use the motifs, it is obvious that he felt the line pattern gave the setting sufficient decoration. Lii;ht and shade . — Since the setting represents an exprcssionistic conception, the lighting could have

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US been used to give visibility and define form without reference to the use of light in nature. Simonson, however, chooses to use or employ light in a manner which approaches realism. The three distorted windows and the doorway have light behind them just as a realistic setting would. The main acting area is illuminated for the complete visibility of Mr. Zero as it would be in a realistic setting. The other areas contain varying degrees of shade and, in some cases, some heavy, lurking shadows which are presentational in nature. Over-all, the use of light and shade can be said to be highly artistic since it defines the critical forms and suppresses those which are unimportant. I'oreover, by having the edges of the setting disappear into shadow, an illusion of additional space is created. The total effect . — It should be noted that this experimental production came near the beginning of Simonson* s long career in scene design, and it testifies to his early fascination with new scenery styles. Since this expressionistic design did not distort the scenic units to the extent that they lost their basic realistic form, it also shovrs that he could respect tradition without being a slave to it. The result was a design which not only fitted the meaning and style of the playvo-ighting, but which also was meaningful to an audience not yet familiar with the new expressionistic

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149 style of scenery design. Finally, this design for The Adding i^Iachine shows forcefully that the designer is needed for proper visualization of the play. Since ijimonson*s design differs rB'-irkedly fro/a Rice's insti*uctions concerning the setting, this project stands as positive proof that a designer, rather than being limited to the provisions which the author calls for, can and should exaxnine the dialogue and determine exactly what visual elements the production needs in order to communicate the play»E situation and mood to the audience. jLiynamo Eugene O'Neill's Dynamo was a failure when produced by The Theatre Guild on Febxniary 11, 1929. In referring to it, Barrett H, Clark observed, "It takes far more time to enumerate the faults than the virtues, "19 Although the play failed, Simonson's settings v^ere appropriate and startling to audiences, and Clark appears to concede their merit in his recollections of the organic unity of the play, oince Simonson used constructivism in styling the production's scenery, his design continues to be interesting and merits analysis. The tragic hero of the script is Ruben Light whose chief aim in life is 'to belong," The plot demonstrates this action by showing hovi Ruben, the son of a "^ ^Barrett H. Clark, Eug:ene O'Neill, the Man and his Plays (2d ed. rev.; New fork, 1947) i p. 122,

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150 fundamentalist minister, falls in Icve with the neighbor's daughter. The neighbor is an atheist who is employed at the local electrical power plant. Much to the displeasure of his father, PwUben not only secures a job at the plant but also switches his devotion fro:a fundamentalism to atheism. He then becomes so entranced with the power of electricity that he begins to v/orship it. He finally declares complete devotion to his new god, electricity, even to the point of taking a vow of chastity. As he is showing the neighbor's daughter the mysterious sounds and rhythms of the switching galleries and the generator, however, he is overcome with love for her and violates the vow of chastity. The play ends as he kills the girl, grabs the brushes of the dynamo, and dies, electrocuted, with ^& moan that is a mingling of pain and loving consummation. . • ,"20 In his suggestions for settings for the play, the playwright called for extensive realistic detail. For the first act O'Neill envisioned The exterior of the homes of the Lights and the Fifes in a small town in Connecticut. These houses stand side by side, facing front, on the street. They are separated by narrow strips of lawn, with a lilac hedge at center marking the 'o'^undary-liue between the two properties, and a row of tall maples in the background behind the yards and the two houses. The Fife house, a small brownishtinted modern stucco bungalov, type, recently built, is at left; the Light home, a little old New England 20Eugene O'lleill, Dynamo (Uew York, 1929), p. 15^.

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151 Plate 13 Lee Simonson, Dynamo . Act III, "The Dynamo," 1929

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152 white frame cottage vdth green shutters, at ri|ht. Only the half sections of the two houses are visible v;hich are neaiest to each other-, the one containing the Fife sitting room, with Ramsay *s and i'-ary*s bedrooui diiectly above it, and the section of the Light *s hoiae in v;hich are their sitting room and ileuben*s bedr-oom on the floor above. As separate scenes require, the front walls of these roOiiiS aie reiuoved to show the different interiors. All these rooms are small, the ones in the Li^ht home particularly so, ' For the other scenes, 0»Keill called for a power plant v;ith dynamo room and decks of switch ^jalleries, double busses, and other transmission equipment. In his design Simonson not only incorporated the script *s emphasis on modern science and technolOa,y, but exploited it in an imaginative manner, Although the playwright didn't call for it, Simonson devised light poles and wires v;hich hung symbolically over the two houses, ..oreover, he used constructivism, a style of scene design which reduces objects to a structural basis, As a coiisequence, the houses soood "stripped of their walls, looking like skeletons of wooden framework, hideous and bare."^^ The consoructivistic style of Simonson revealed the liglit plant, Plate 13, not in the natui-alistic manner called for by O^Neill, but as a series or group of skeletal masses. In their combination, the round bulk of the dynamo contrasted strongly ^'' ibid ,-. p, vii, 22ciark, p. 120,

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153 vd.th the high, scaffold-like gallery and its maze of electrical appurtenances. Line, — The skeletal style of the statement which Simonson chose for the light plant scene in Dynamo made line the most important element in his setting. The lines of the svdtching galleiy are predoaiinately short horizontals. As these are tied together by verticals, diagonals, and a few long horizontals, variety is achieved in the aesthetic eifect. Not only is a rhytiimic pattern achieved in the repetition of the short horizontals, but as these elements join, countless angles are formed. These serve to point up the extremely melodramatic nature of this scene. The lines of the dynamo are predominately long horizontals which serve to hold it down to earth. The spaces beuween the lines are regularly placed and angular in keeping with the scene's melodramatic na-ure. This is, likewise, in keeping with the follov/ing terse, static dialogue which indicates that Euben has foimd his God on earth: It's like a great dark idol... like the old stone statues of gods people prayed to... only it's living and they were dead... that part on top is like a head... with eyes that see you without seeing you..* and belov/ it is like a body... not a man's... round like a woman's... as if it had breasts... but not like a girl... not like .da... no, like a waoan... like her mother... or mine... a great, dark mother I ... that's Wi.at the dynamo is. . • . ttxat's what life isl23 23o'Neill, Dynamo , p. 126.

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154 i--ass . — A study of '&he settiii^g for the scene in question reveals tvvo major xuasses the long, compact, horizontal niass on the left, and the tall, diffused mass on the right. A third, though less apparent, mass is created by the high rear wall which extends across the vfidth of the setting. Both of the main masses resemble their counterpaits in nature. Of these two, the most interesting is the one on the right since its shape derives functionally from the manner in which the designer has placed together its many individual scenic constructions or units. There are platforms, supports for these platforms, stairs, and many switches, busses, resistors, and other electrical appurtenances. The manner in which Simonson has diffused these items in space to form the mass of the gallery is aesthetically satisfying. V.hile the lower half of the gallery seems to be firmly anchored to earth, the top half, with its projecting units thrusting out at all angles, seems to be releasing invisible electric charges into space. This structure serves as an ideal acting space for the melodranriatic scenes wuich take place on it since the linear nature of the component parts of the tower blend so well with the linear nature of the figures on it. This fusion of scenery and actors serves as a visual parallel to tne fact that in the play the hero has become a slave to tnis modern miracle, electricity.

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155 Although the mass to the ri^ht of center is extremely tall, approxiiuately forty feet, it does not preclude a sense of balance in the setting. Rather, balance is achieved asynicietrically, as a result of the vertical unit bein^ offset by the weight or solidity of the dynamo unit on the left. The diverse units of which the two main masses consist have smooth surfaces. .:^xamination of the hlghli^ited portions of the setting gives the impression that all surfaces aie of hard metal. The use of such a uniform texture is not only appropriate to this castle of technology, but it brings a pleasing harmony to these diverse masses. Light ana shade . — This design serves as an excellent example of the manner in which liglit and shade can be employed to rev-al form. In a setting which has a visual element as con.plicated as the gallejry structure of the power station, che actors and the objects to which they momentarily relate would be lost in its maze. Simons on avoids this hazard through the careful control of the chirascuro. H© provides highlight in the areas which will be Irequent^ed by the actors, and as a result they are clearly distinguishable from the electrical apparatus of the gallezT". fcoreovei-, the distribution of highlight, shadow, and shade is such that the viewer is aware of the complete or total form of the setting.

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156 Control of the chirascuro is also an inportant factor in controlling the. asymmetrical balance of the masses. Ilacing the mass of the back wall in heavy shadow makes it barely distinguishable as a form and, hence, neutral, it does not contribute weight to the right or left of the center axis of balance. The control of highlight, shade, and shadow on portions of the dyxiamo on the left and the gallery on the right determines exactly hovj much of each v?ill be visible to the audience. Thus, balance is achieved betv^een the compact form on the left and the diffused form on the right. In revealing the forms of the masses, ijimonson uses highlight, shade, and shadow in such a way that it gives the illusion of much more mass than the setting actually contains. i>ince oiily portions of these masses are revealed sharply, with other sections fading away into shade, they appear to have dimensions greater than those pennitted by the actual size of the stage. This teclmique, it should be noted, was previously used by Simonson in the courtroom setting for The Adding I-.a chine . VJhile considering Simonson' s use of illiimination, the shadows cast by the masses should be pointed out. These not only tend to increase the illusion of the units* solidity, but also serve to complicate and add variety to the line pattern. For example, one inuaediately notes how the shadows cast upon the brightly Illuminated front

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157 section of the dynaino break up the regularity of the rectangular spaces and add aesthetic interest to the unit. The total effect . — In the moment pictured in Plate 13, the script calls for two characters to be engulfed by a maze of electrical equipment which takes on supernatural qualities. ..hile the playv/right called for this to be done in a lealistic manner, Siiaonson elected to present the locale in a constiuctivistic style. This, it might be noted, not only served to give added impact to the playwright's meanings, but it also provided a means of working within the practical limitations of the proscenium arch stage. It is significant to note that the setting captures the atmosphere of a dynamo room without necesaitating the construction of units which would be impractical to shift or to accommodate on the relatively limited space which existed behind the proscenium arch. In examining the use of the design elements for this scene in Dynaiito . two factors stand out. One is Simonson*s ability to use line and mass in the constructivistic style. The other is his use of li^ht to articulate and control both the forms and the actor's relationship to those forms. Am phitryon 3B The critics and public liked S. N. Behrman's

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15^ Plate H Lee Simonson, Amphitryon ^g ^ Act I, "Amphitryon's Palace," 1936

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159 adaptation of Jean Giraudoiix*s Amphitryon 3^ as produced by The T'e Guild in 1937 vrith scenery designed by Lee Sinonson. '^-ven author Oiraudoux fe. .: Nev; York producu.. -i -c.; vored the spirit o. iv..^.. ^xi-^inal as produced by Jouvet an self • ^ In this high co . which concerns highjin]; tween go-'i earthlings in classical Greece, Giraudoux -odern aan*s attitudes tov/ards life. The story follows the legend of .Iniphitryon who married Alkmena and fathered her sc , "^ deles. Jupiter, the master of the gods, was entranced by Alkaena and .. xis supernatural powers in oi'dsr to spenc'. " -^-^ -" " with her and to father 1 ;Cond son, Heracles, xn the lege.;', Iphicx^ -id iieracles were born twins, Girau version of the story is concerned with Jupiter's difficulties in getting Alkmena who is much in love \;ith her husband, /unphitryon, to let hixTi make love to her. Jupiter succeeds in his quest only by iinpersonating /unphitryon. Such a solution, of course, invites high spirited cooiplica^ ^ almost constant co:;" 1 " ' ' I.'./. Plate 14 shows Simonson's setting for the first act of the comedy i^c : .-.^-..jAiiiphitryon's 2%iorton Eustis, "Jean Giraudoux," Theatre Arts Monthly (February, 193iJ), p. 131.

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160 palace in Thebes. "^^ ^rj^e moment caught in the pictvire is the one in which Jupiter, impersonating Amphitryon, pretends to have forsaken the battle in order to return home for the evening v/ith Alkmena. The mood of the scene is fanciful and gay, and its comments concerning modern man are universal. ' hile Simonson*s design captures the spirit of the Greek scene, it does so in a style which is modern, and which speaks universally rather than nationally, 'hen one reads the script, he forgets that Girauaoux^s characters are gods and nobles, and even sees himself miri-ored in their troubles. Similarly, v;hile Sinionson^s design provides an environment suitable for Greek gods, it is one in which modern man could also reside. Thus, the design stateii^ent is consistent v.ith the characters in the script. Line . ~ An examination of the design shows that its line pattern is dominated by Idgh verticals. The palace is even set at an angle to the proscenium arch in order to emphasize the high corners of its oiasses. These corners, et>pecially the tv;o main ones near waicn Alkmena and Jupiter are standing, seem to thrust upward. Tae lines established by the angular placement of this ualx. are capable of adding a greater eraphasis to the noble character of the setting than those whicii could be '^^Jean Giraudoux, Amphitryon 33 ^ trans. S, N. Behraian (New lork, 1938), ?• 25.

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161 created by having the unit parallel to the proscenium opening. The tall trees in silhouette in the background also contain a multiplicity of gracefully curved vertical lines. Interestingly, there are only a few horizontals the terrace and steps to contrast with the doininate verticals. This, of coxirse, serves to point up the basically vertical line pattern. There are, in addition, a few diagonals on the long mass in front of the porch and on the roof tops v.'hich add visual interest to the contrasting horizontal and vertical lines. In combination, the features of this line pattern make a visual statement appropriate to the nobility and sophistication inherent in the play. The regular recurrence of these vertical lines generates a feeling of rhythm as tne eye scans the setting. Its purpose is to lead the eye to the focal point of the design, the porch of the palace. No matter from what side of the design the eye enters the photograph, it finds a series of vertical lines which lead it to the horizontal mass of the porch upon which the major incidents of the scene may be expected to take place. Por instance, if the eye enters the picture from the left, it travels rhythmically from one tree to another tree until it reaches the columns and the left comer of the building, finally coming to rest on Alkmena. If the eye enters the picture from the lower left side, the shadows of the

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162 ureas wuich point toward Alkmena lead it directly to wieie she s&ands» LiKeuise, if tiie eye enters the pictuie iroiii tue ix^xio, the verticals of the gate and the trees in the background set. up a rhythm wnicn leads it to the spot on which Jupiter stands, oimonson has carefully executed this rhythmic pattern of veiticals by control of both their number and variety. For example, the shadow trees ana tiie shadows cast by the coluflins aaa an element of variety whicn frees nira to introduce the aaditional verticals which will establish this sti-ong rhytiuflic pattern, Lue to the unique caaracter of the shadow lines, he can add the neceasary number of verticals without running the risk of creating monoTiony by tne use of too many similar verticals, Furtiier examination of i^'late 14 reveals that line is usea uo aevelop the major decorative features of the aesi^i. The plant at the feet of uupiter is frankly two-dimensional, as is all the greenery, Xhis, of course, tends to emphasize its line, and one is immediately conscious of the interaction betv/een the graceful, sophisticatea, slow curves on the shrubbery tops and tiie sharp, comic curves of its underside. The decorative character of the terrace roof is achieved wiui two horizontal bands which axe distorted into diagonals by the false perspective of the top of the mass. The three bands decorating the front of tne higher mass directly

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163 behind the terrace roof are si.Tiilarly distorted* Furthermore, all of this decoration is distinctly universal and in the modern manner* The only decoration on the setting reminiscent of ancient Greece is the one at the very top of the terrace roof* iimonson-s desire to keep the aecoration universal rather than national in feelin^ is further deiiionstx ated by the lack of Jreek deoail on the coluQins • hass. — As may be e:q)ected froxn one vrho declares the third-aiaiension to be the most important part of scene design, the significance of wimonson's use of mass in the design for iuaphitrvon 3t lies in the manner in which he has distributed it in space* Since, like Craig and Appia, Simonson has the conviction that actors look best in relation to three-dimensional scenic urxits, rather tnan to units with a painted third-dimension, he has organized a stage full of structural masses* Moreover, as he has created these in their full dimension, he has established angular relationsliips wnich are pictorialiy fascixiatixig* The factor determining tixe actual distribution of these masses is suggested by his own. statement to the effect that, "Actors live, and, living, move in space* It is the pattern of their movement that determines the pattern of design*"^® The source ^"Siffionson, Fart of a Lifetime , p. 47*

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164 o£ the movement pattern to waich he refers is, of course, the sci'ipt as interpreted by the director. In the scene in quostion, Jiraudotu. called for one area leading to a gate, and another, on the far side of the gate, Vkihicii would lead to the terrace and the door of the palace. I'.ith no more than three characters on stage at any one time, and v.dth these characters always in the process of going to or from the palace, the space needed by the actors was relatively siuall. Once the director decided where this traffic would occur, the designer was free to use the remaining space foxatmospheric purposes. In tliis instance, aliuost twothirds of the stage space is at the disposal of the designer. By placirxg the uiajor uiasses in a series of receding planes vvhich, with one excepx;ion, run diagonally fiom the left front edge of the picture to the upper right of the picture, Simonson v/as able to create that feeling of vast space appropriate to the D^ture of the script. In all, this arrangement creates at least nine different planes, moreover, the eye travels in a circuitous route as it moves from the front plane through the middle planes, to the last planes at the far right of the setting. Tne effect of this visual raovement serves to make the space seem even larger. An examination of Flate 14 provides ample evidence of Simonson's belief that, "Qncv he has found • , . the

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165 ground plan that directs living, . . . the designer's facades, interior and exterior, can be relevant decoration that enhance the kind of activity that takes place Vvithin them. "2 ' The masses represented by the palace structure, by virtue of their height and slender columns, have a kind of artificial majesty entirely suited to the comedy vhich is inherent in the situation and social status of its characters* Like^vise, the spaciousness and the luxuriousness of the desi^jn are in keeping ;\ath the activity which takes place. In his decoration of this space, Siraonson sculptured the stage floor. This provides added visual stimulation or interest and, at the same time, increases the settinges ability to serve the needs of the script. With respect to this way of treating the stage floor, Simonson says, . . . flat stages, with their inflexible, barn-like floors, are bad, not only because they make staging coiiiposition flat, costly or cumbersome, but primarily because they are constantly litniting the movement of people from rij;ht to left on. the sacie plane, so tnat we can get out of the groupings of our actors very little more than what I call the card catalogue or shuttle movements, v/hereas one of the most valuable uiovements in staging is the movement of people, ... up and down. It is one of t .e most valuable assets in space coi.iposition, one of the things which av/akens emotional responses ^ in an audience that can be touched in no other way.^° ^ ^Ibid .. p. 4^, *-"Lee Simonson. "Down to the Cellar," Theatre Arts L^onthlv (.vpril, 1922^ p. 125.

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166 The location of the door for Amphitryon 3^ atop the flight of steps at the end of the traffic pattern • buggeats the decree to which he endeavored to aake the setting functional, hecuii&e of ita. location the door serves as a symbol of the end of Jupiter *s quest. He not only has to travel a lon^ circuitous route, past the obstacle of a gate, but he iuust mount a series of steps in order to achieve it. In his decorative treatment of the masses which he iias placed in space, Siiuonson relied heavily on the effects of texture. The stone masses of the palace, for exaiiiple, are given a lou^ih surface treatmexit or texture v^hich unifies the juany shapes v/hich form the palace unit, xn contrast, scenic eieuients such as the trees and the gate aie unified through the use of very smooth surfaces • Simoxison distributed these decorative raasses in space in a manner which X'osulted ixx asyioaietrical balance. The local point of the setting is the porch of the palace, locatea Just left of center, The other masses are distributed around io. As the eye of the viewer looks at the design, it is apparent that oixese liiasses of secondary importance have been arranged in order to enhance the front of the palace unit. Uf particular iiiiportauce in this respect is zhe lop-sided pyramidal snapea mass directly in front of the palace, Not only

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167 does it exert a diagonal thrust upvardc and tov/ards the right, but since the three shadov.s which are cast on it reseii;ble giant fingers pointing tov;ards the porch, they serve to enhance that effect. The thrust of this mass is, then, delicately counterbalanced by the downward pressure of the roof section cf the porch. Thus, the roof tends to deflect the u^ajor portion of the upward thrust. The iiuportance of the interactionji of these masses lies in the vitality which they seemingly give to the central acting area of the setting. It liiakes the porch the iviost interesting and exciting visual element in the design and a suitable place for the playing of the major scenes of the situation. Li;:iht and shade , — In addition to the use of texture to tie together the setting's coiiiplex disposition of Kiasses, Simonson also relies on the careful control of highlight, shade, and shadow. The units formed by these masses become the aiajor sections of the composition. For instance, the center palace unit consists of several individual masses v^hich, as a result of the control of light and texture, blend into one solid construction. This construction, it might be added, serves as a perfect foil for the solid body of the actor. Further examination indicates that the shadows cast by the separate masses of the palace unit are also a factor in tying it together as a total uiiit, x'jaother of the setting's major units

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16S is that formed by the section of trees and ^i-ound row on the left, Vhile the sizes and shapes of these elements vary, they ultia.ately are blended into an artistic whole through the use of li^ht, uy virtue of selective and carefully controlled illuiiaination soiue appear to be far away vbile others, such as the seeiuin^ily twisting raass near the left palace coluion, appear close at hand. This setting also serves as a unique example of the degree to which the proper coxxtrol of light can determine emphasis anu enhance the effect of distance* The brightest spot on stage is the center terrace unit where Alkmena stands. As the eye travels away from the center and toward the edges of the composition, the amount of illumination decreases, i'his, with its accompanying effect on the aiasses and spaces, creates an ixiipression of vast distance. The selective ana controlled use of light in this setting of Amphitryon 3B is responsible for one particularly unique effect • the creation of mass through projected shadows. The shadows of the four trees v/hich fall on the unio wiiich forms the base of the porch adds to the strength of the upward thrust of that mass, '•.ithout the diagonal, pointed shadows, the thrust of the mass would not be nearly so pov;erful. These shadows also add considerable visual interest to a mass that vrotuLd

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169 otherv.dse be ver-' ordinary In appearance. The total effect . — It is evident from the discussion above that the design for " Amphitryon *s Palace" is highly appropriate to the situation in the play. From an aesthetic point of viev, the design is especially significant because of its masterful deployment of mass in space. This use of mass in space also reflects the artistic orientation of this designer; he is admittedly interested in the third-dimensional aspects of scene design. The forms used in the setting are many, large, and diversely shaped, but they are given unity through texture and the use of li^ht and shade. The result is a theatricalized style which delights the eye, enhances the values of the script, and reflects the particular creativity of Simonson, The Rhine Gold The last stronghold of the easel painting approach to stage design has been opera. Perhaps this is due to the fact that in the production of opera primary attention is given to the music. Another possibility is that opera companies traditionally operate in full repertory, thus causing the scenery for a particular production to be used so infrequently that it lasts for many years. In 19A-6 the condition of The Metropolitan Opera Association's nineteenth century scenery for The Ring of the Nibelun^; . which had been designed and built in Vienna in 1914, v.as

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170 such that no fiirthcr productions of I i chard VJagner^s xaasterpiece could be scheduled. At that point, Simonson was coQunissioned to design tv:elve new settings for the opera. These v/ere for the prelude. The Thine Gold , and the trilogy, Tlie Valkyrie . Si&.3:fried . and The Dusk of the Crods . The new production, under the stage direction of Herbert Graf, opened in January, 194S. York discusses in detail the peculiar limitations Simonson v.-as forced to work under on the projcct.^^ It is appropriate to mention the iTiaJor ones briefly here since they are ones not usually found in the legitimate coaimercial theatre. The first involves the role of tradition in staging opera, Aliaost every opera has its traditional manner of being staged, Generally, the movement of the actors in all productions of a particular opera follows the same pattern; all productions use the same number of scenic elements and, normally, these units are located at identical positions on the stage. This makes it possible for an opera star to sing a role in a production of The r-hine Gold with a minimum of rehearsal whether it be in liilan, Londoxi, or iJew York, No othei' theatre medium is as tradition bound as opera, indeed, in its scenic practice, opexa tends to be diametrically opposed to Simonson' s dicta which declares. ^^York, pp. 413-424.

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171 "There are as many ways of setting a play as there are effective ways of acting it."^^ The second limitation which Simons on encountered in his work vath I'he Ring was inherent in the architecture of the Metropolitan Opera iiouse. As a theatre, the Metropolitan not only lacks backstage and storage space, but its provisions for positioning lighting instruments is extremely limited. At the Metropolitan, it is customary to stack scenery for heavy productions outside the theatre, because there is not enough room in the off-stage space for it. In addition, it has no projection booth and scarcely any provision in the auditorium for mounting spotlights and scenic projection equipment* Since Simonson had established a considerable reputation in the legitimate theatre over a span of thirty years, his new settings were eagerly av.aited. These v.ere received with mixed feelings. Ilany felt the l-agnerian tradition, as established by the original production at Bayreuth in I876, v;as noo maintained and, hence, rejected the new production. There were others who expected a level of technical efficiency in the stage lighting equivalent to that found in the legitimate theatre; they also were disappointed. In spite of this, hovjever, there were many who liked the new production. 30 Simonson, The Stage Is Set , p. lOi^i

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172 They felt that the scenery was exciting, and that it fulfilled the requiieiuents of the four operas. in terfliS of 3ifiionson*s effort and attitude towards the pioduction, iork says ne ^'lifiYez jt^ut peiicil to paper over a period oi two luonths auiin^ which tiae he v.'a5 in consiiant collaboration with the stage director t.r. viraf •'*-'' oefore aesigning the scenery, he waited until uraf's movement haa been carefully planned. Simonson and Graf also worked carefully witii Uie cos turner, iiaiy ireicy iichencK. i>ince opera proauccion at the Metropolitan had never been characterized by a unity of conception, collaboration such as this was rare, irior to this time it had been cusi,oraary for \;he iietropolitan's stars to supply their own costumes, and frequenXrly a iead^s costvme clashed with other costuiues* before the SiutOiisonGraf production, in fact, nelen Traubel^s costuiues for i'he i^ing had been especially designed for her by ...drain* in discussing his approach to the conception and execuT^ion of the design, ^ixaouson noted that, with respect CO the libretto, his chief pioblem was to "invest" V.agner's "moments of hackneyed stage effect with the poetic aura of the score''^^ vmich is considered masterful by music critics. i:'or exaniple, Lawrence viilman, loruer ^hork, p. 449. ^ Lee oimonson, "From a V.agnorian r.ockpile," Theatre Arts (January, 1"'v8), p. 40.

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173 music critic of The New York Herald Tribune , declares This cosraic drama of the musical nind, this I-ing of v,agner*s, is not only the hughest thing that was ever attempted by the creative vill; ±z is also, in the ultimate sense of the Mord, the greatest. Only the ^-ivina --:.,j..icdia ana -yet he's I'aust and some of the vireek plays can be compared with it. And for range and power of expression, '.a^ner^s Tetralogy stands alone. •^-' While the conception and execution of the music is masterful, the libretto leaves much to be desired as a piece of dramatic literature. Drawing his plot from the fifth centuiy Teutonic folk legends of Scandinavia and (Jermany, Wagner filled the opera with supernatural characters, supernatural regions, and a plethora of magical and melodramatic stage effects. In addition to a toad, dragons, giants, and instantaneous appearances and disappearances, there is a constant "succession of tempests, thunder and lightning to accompany tragic or climatic moments. "^^ According to Simonson, "It was rarely fair weather when the i«lbelungs got together ."^5 The Lhine siold . which is the prelude to the trilogy, calls for three different settings for its four scenes. Although it is the prelude, the opera takes a full evening in performance. Simonson's setting for the first scene, ^^Lavrr-encG -iilman, \.a.izner^ a Operas (l^ew York and Toronto, 1937), p. 76. ^^Simonson, "From a V.agnerian Kockpile," p. 40. 35ibid.

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174 Plate 15 Lee Simonson, The Rhine Gold . Scene 1, "The Bottom of the Khine," 194B

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175 "The Bottom of the Rhine," is jjictured in Plate 15» In this section of the sa^a, the audience leai-ns how the magical j^old of the Rhiiic Ils stolen and of the curse placed upon anyone who holds it. The plot of The Rhine .o;^.d be.^ins Kith Alberich, a dvarf Mibelungian, being rejected in his romantic pursuit of tae lovely Lhine-I-laidens. He then steals the magic gold of the Rhine from its location in a jagged rock at the bottoci of the river. The first scene of the opera ends as he disappears with the gold into the depths of the fchine while the llhine-I-^dens bemoan his action. V.ith the magical powers of the gold, Alberich iuakes slaves of his fellow i^ibelungs, and he makes plaxis to conquer the v.oila. In a parallel plot, Freia, goddess of love and youth, is being held by tv;o giants, Fasolt and Fafner, as payment for their labors in building a new palace for .^otan and zhe other gods and goddesces* kotan must lansom Freia, because the lives of the gods and goddesses depend upon the pO'.ver of Freia* s golden apples x,o give x.h,em eiiernai youth, hs tne plot develops, it is ..otan who finally unwarts the plans of Albericii. While the dwarf demonstrates his magical ability to wotan and the other gods, Ue becomes careless aiid makes the mistake of tiorning himself into a frog. ..'hen he does txij-t, ;votan captures him and liakes the magic gold wiiich iilberich has made into a ring for his finger.

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176 Wotan also takes the riches it has brou^jbt to Alberich, As he leaves, the dv/arf places a curse upon anyone who has the ring in his possession, ''.'otan seeks out the giants, Fasolt and Fafner, and ransoms Freia. They insist on all of Alberich's gold as well as the ring, VJotan is warned of the ring*s curse hy !^rda, the wise mothergoddess of the earth, and parts vjith the ring. Fasolt and Fafner fight over it, and Fasolt is killed. As the storm clouds clear, a rainbow appears as a bridge to the new home of wotan, Freia, and the other gods and goddesses. As they cross the rainbov/ bridge Fafner leaves with his hoard of gold and the magical ring, not realizing that there is a cxirse upon its ovmer, and that it is only a matter of tiiae before fate Viill catch up with him. Line . — To accommodate the melodramatic situations which take place at "The Bottom of the Rhine," oimonson visualized a watery domain full of sharp edged rocks. In it, angular lines, most of which run vertically, predominate. These shax'p, angular units provide the "steep rocky peaks" which ^.agner requested: peaks which jut "up everywhere from the depths," enclosing "the entire stage. "^° l:.ven the most casual examination of the sexiting reveals oimonson took careful note of lagner's insistence ^°f.i chard VJagner, The rin>< of the ^jiblunia: , trans. Margaret Armour liJew York, 1911), p» 3,

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177 that the domain beneath the rivor should be "a wild confusion of jagged rocks, no part of it being qxiite level, and on every side deeper fissures • • • i.idicated by a still denser glooui,'*^' He has also taken into consideration the fact that there must be both the effect of the clear v;ater in which the filmy Rhine-tiaidens svdm, and the mysterious and dark lower areas fzom wliich the ugly dwarf, Alberich, appears. In the case of the latter effect, Simonson has made extensive use of clashing lines to create, visually, i;he intense exciteuient which tne scene demands* The intensity of the design's sharp angles and diagonals is slightly relieved, however, by the thickening of so^ie of the lines. This treatment creates an appearance somewhat akin to that produced when water wears away the edges of rocks, i-iore important, iiowever, is the face that as this treatment is repeated in varying degrees on separate portions of the setting, it performs a practical visual and scenic function, as the lines broaden in successive planes to their niaximum limit in the rear diagonal rocks, an appreciable effect of distance is created. Mass . -ir.xarai nation of the design for scene one of The Rhine Gold shows that the masses which fill the 37ib id.

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17-1 stage space ate arranged vrith inodificd syairaetry around a large central niass. It might be uoted, at this point, that, this central mass i'igures most proiainently in the situation since, as a set piece, it j^iovidts a place wiiere the Lhine gold can be kept, i-.oreover, at the end of the scene, when Alberich has stoleji the gold, he disappears iixto its dark crevaces* i'he otner luasses have suifaccs v^hich serve as the avenues which Alberich uses as ne chases the swiirufdng ];hine-*^iaidbns« it is clear, therefore, that the arrangeiuent of the iuasses has oeea governed partially by the fact that provision had to be taade for uhe iuoveiuent of the actors* With respect to the masses' size, shape, and position in space, ^iO\t^ev&x^, tiie choices obviously grow out of the need to depict the Lhiae in an artistic loanner* The artistic problem involved v«as that of deployirig the masses in space in order to create a feeiiiig of vastness* Simonson accomplished this through the use of two techniques. First, he used dia^^^^hals to extend the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the stage picture, i'or example, tne diagonal masses arching out on each siue create the effect of vast amounts of water beyond the framed limits of the soage picouie. while theie is the distinct impression that cne rocks in the center denote the absolute bottom of the river, the deep fissures in the side rocks cxeate ancl/or suggest endless underwater

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179 canyons and caves. Secondly, the masses in question have been broken into many planes. This gives the impression that there is an endless succession of rocks which reaches as far as the eye can see. Such an effect, of course, serves to extend the apparent depth of the stage picture. The impression of space which £iraonson*s deployment of the masses creates is made more significant when it is realized that he created this setting using only twenty feet of stage depth.^ This was necessary, because the opera necessitated a rapid shift (diiring a blackout) from this setting to the succeeding one, ai. open space on a mountain height near the Iihine. Due to the lack of stage space at the -Metropolitan, Simonson solved this practical problem by designing the masses in the first setting so that they could be flov.-n. This made it possible for the subsequent setting to be mounted on wagons and rolled into place as "The Bottom of the Rhine" was being lifted into the fly gallery. ifficient as this solution may have been, it drastically reduced the depth of the stage space available for the setting under consideration. Since Simonson had so little actual depth, he was forced to create an illusion of it through the placement, interplay, and treatment of mass. ^%imonson. The Art of Scenic Design , p. 155.

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1^0 The interplay of the raas&es in "The Bottom of the Rhine" is cviuent as one scans the scene and observes the placeiaent of the rocks in space, As the eye moves' across the design, the repetition of the many jagged ed^es establishes an irregular rhythiaic pattern. As a result tne aide masses appear to pluxi^^e downward sharply, while the center mass tfiX'usts up'.^arci. The rhytiiaiic movement of these masses and the coxitrasos in their directional foice or tarust is given stability by the inclusion of the rocks at tne bottom which cousuitute a third section of masses. These masses sex've as a base for the basic rhythmic movement and the thrust and counterthrust of the center and side masses. Aestnetically the effects which this rhytiimic pattern create provide an exciting center of interest for the design. iiOreover, since lihe basic xhytiimic pattern involves the high side masses, and since their jagged edges and diagonal placement create an angle which has its apex in the setting *s hugh central mass, the eye moves rhytiimically and directly to that portion of tne setting at v/hich tne climactic action of the scene (the stealing of the gold) must occur. Color . — Color is anotxisr factor v.hich contributes to the feeling of contrast beuir.een txxe side and center mass units. This is achieved by the use of ligxit bluegreens on the vertical side masses and dark purple and black on the center mass. Thus, color heightens the

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1^1 av;iarcness of the form element being repeated and, in so doing, the basic rhythmic pattern of the design is made more decisive or explicit. Essentially, the principal role of color in the setting is to serve mass. It ie true, of coiirse, that the lush hues of the analogous colors green and blue help establish the fact that the scene occurs at the bottom of the river, and the many values and intensities x%'hich Simonson has used do have a decided decorative value. Nevertheless, the prime purpose of color in this design is to serve mass, Since, in the design, the primary function of mass is to create a feeling of infinite space, it is appropriate to examine the role color has played in achieving the effect. Simonson has used the technique of contrasting values, light against dark, on the successive planes created by the rocks in order to enhance the feeling of great space. This technique, which Kandinsky described as the principle of expanding and receding color, may be observed by examining the rock formations in the first two planes of the design. The light blue-gray of the front rocks tends to make them project or thrust forvrard towards the audience. The ones immediately behind these, however, are painted in dark purple-black an'% as a consequence, they seem to recede. As the two planes vrork in opposition to each other, they produce the effect of greater space or depth than that which the stage of the Metropolitan could provide.

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132 The same technique was employed in the treatment of the tall, massive rock located in the center of the setting. The middle section of it is painted in a lighter value than the top, with the result that it appears to be larger than it actually is. Thus, not only was the sense of stage dimunsions exaggerated, but the proportions of the masses were magnified. LiiJiht and shade . — Since tne style used by Simonson in the design of the first scene in The i-hine jold is 2 epresentational, it v/as essential to have the light and shade emanate from, or be motivated by, natural sources. As a consequence, the lightest areas are to be found at the top of the composition, vvhile the darkest areas are employed at the bottom, as they would be fuiuid in the depths of an actual river. In the setting, however, light End shade also serve to reveal tiie forms of the iaasses. I'hxough the control or application of light, some masses take on more definite shapes than others, while tne peculiar combination or balance of highlight ana shadow serves to tie the various masses and spaces together. The setting's generally eerie atmosphere is created by keeping the intensity of the illumination at a low level, one just capable of revealing all of the major ioasses. Uithin this low level of illumination, however, there is a considerable variety of highlight, shade, and shadow.

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1S3 Upon examination it also becomes apparent that this variety adds to the impression of space. For example, masses seen in the foreground on the ri^ht and left receive considerable light, even to the point of having their top sections highlighted.. In turn, the masses immediately behind these are very dark. Although this darkness is due primarily to a matter of pigment, it must be remembered that light determines the extent to which their shapes and colors are revealed. In achieving the effect of distance in the deeper half of the design, Simonson used a scrim with carefully controlled li^iht in front of it and behind it. As a result, the vertical plane v;hich it created could assume varying de^jrees of opaqueness. For example, by using a low level of illumination behind the scrim a de^ee of opaqueness could be established v/hich v/ould make the shapes of the masses upstage appear vague and distant. Simonson is known to have used this technique as early as 1921, In that yeai , he designed a setting for Liliom in which the trees in a park were painted on scrim aiiu placed "no more than fouior five feet apart. Nothing but the balance of light-planes gave them depth and distance and kept them in place so that they seemed hundreds of feet av/ay,"39 By using light in this manner Simonson provides 39 iiimonson. The Stage Is Set ^ p, 371,

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1D4 a practical demonstration or application of his belief that "Space i& no longer absolute, distance, am far as the eye of the spectator is concerned, can be created as effectively by the different intenbitiesi of intersecting voluiues of light as by actual spacing laeasured in feet."^ Since, by eniiancing or affecting niass, color plays a significant role in the creation of space in The Rliine Jold design, attention should be called to the maimer in which that color is controlled by lighting, while it is iiupossible to know iiow much control the color of the light had over the color in the pigiuent, one fact shoulu be noted: the three dimensions of color hue, value, brilliance were used very subtly by .^imonson. It is doubtful whether he coula nave secured the subtlety of color evident in the photograph by washing the painted surfaces with white light. A'^oreover, bimonson says that the "designer is today more dependent on the electric filament than he ever was on the brush. "^ Certainly the effect of colored light upon tne painted surfaces of a setting serves to produce an endless variety in the color dimensions of those surfaces. The result, in this instance, is a cou^plicated series of optical stioiuli ^Q jbid .. p. 370. ^^ Ibid .. p. 371.

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1"5 v-'hiciri serves go firsone aescnetic sexisibiiities oi' tiie vievisr. The total efiecL * — iXiib desi^jfi for zhe prelude of The .. xxi-..e jold is iiriportar.u "co this study siiice it choi.s, o-iCe a^iaia, hov« trie ti/eiitietii. centuiy scene debi^jiier re5^ ects tae limitations -laced UnOU hiiu by his iiiediuoi. i.oi-eovcj. , it offers prouf of ais btru^^^ie oo tur-n GiiOse liaiita Dions to aie advaucci^e thi'Owt^h aew aiid/or ii7iproVG-L 'cechniqaes. In ais coricep"oxoa of the scene in question, Sij:iOaEon retui-nea to itiaeteenta cenouiy naturalisiii aiiu tae ;;in^ anu arop L.ype of sex^uing, out oy updating tae ola suyle anu type v/ith aew techniquce, he ;£;ave si^nificaiice «o ooch. iiy treatiu,^ tiie Viing and drop setting in such a plastic laannei', ^imoasoii fuii.'ilxed the demaua tnaz. .aoaer-ii scenery be tni-ee-uiia^nsioiial in ox'der to serve as a proper foil for the fully dimensioned livini5 actor. hile the actual dimensions of that setting aie very liiiiiteu, its aruistic Qiiaensions are iuiLiense. Just as ne nas co.ubined acx:ual and artistic t;.L...— .. i-on, so nas oiiaonson combinea fiat scenery v.ith plastic sta^ge units, wince tne v.-nole Mas xaosu carefully conceived and exec'^^ , tae oot..'. *; rot of the setx-ing is one of actuaj. liaird-diniensioa, xn cxaiHining the use oi tae desi,^?! elements in "The bottoiu of the I.aine," '-cular atte ' ' i given to the dominate role assigned , . .jiruonson's basic

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156 problem as a designer was to create an impression of vast space. In achieving this Simonson made line, color, and, li^^ht and shade serve niass. This process exploited the rhythmic potential of the recurring diagonal lines on the edges of the masses, vriLth the reeiilt that rhythm became a source of artistic harmony among the diverse scenic elements. As contributing factors in the development of this rhythm, Simonson relied on the analogous color scheme and the careful use of highlii^iit, shade, and shadow. The total effect of the design on the viewer is one of high artistry. Simonson* s success is made more startling v.hen one realizes chat he used an actual space only forty-five feet wide, twenty-four feet high, and twenty feet deep. Summary Simonson' s designs demonstrate his ability to use imagination to rise above the limitations which physical and tecimical considerations placed upon him. In spite of the playwright's stylistic demands in Dvnamo . the extremely limited number of characters in Amphitryon 36 . the demand for fanciful and infinite space in The r>.hine Gro3„d y or the numerous and rapidly changing locations in The Adding Machine ^ Simonson was able to conceive and execute designs which turned the limitai^ions of the ^ oimonson, Xhe .'vrt of .^canic i>esip:n . p, 155*

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1S7 medium and uhe script t,o e^^pressive advantage, '.liile any designer may cope v/ith such limitations, the solution is apt to be valueless unless he has the imaginative pover to capture tne spixit of the scene and impaxt to the design what Siruonson would call ''visual eloquence,"^^ The preceding analysis of his designs clearly reveals Simoiison^s ability to meet those conceptual and e^cpressive criteria* his designs not ouly ofi'er proof of his pre-eminence among living scene designers, but they possess those qualities which will make them both a model and a staudaid for scene designers of the future. ''•^Simonson, The Stage is 6et . p, 94»

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CHAPTER IV CONCLUSION In analyzing the settings of Robert Edmond Jones and Lee ^imonson, the artistic product has always been evalxiated in terms of the play. It can never be otherwise since, as Arthur Hopkins expressed it, The Stage setting of an artist never seeks to be a complete thing. It is part of something infinite that trails on the ground, but the part that trails opens v/ithin the beholders* vistas glorious, grotesque, breathless vistas that eye has never beheld and these are the vistas wherein the artist has found the essence, and if the artist and beholder are blessed, the beholder finds it too»' To paraphrase Groce, the beholders may never be as gifted as a Jones or a Simonson, but by viewing these designers* works with deep penetration, they may understand the concept behind the designs and obtain some insight into their capacity to illuminate the ideas of the playwright* Were students and audiences to make a regular practice of design analysis, perhaps in the manner developed and examplified in this study, they rai^ht reasonably expect an increased understanding and appreciation of the art of the theatre. Arthur Hopkins, "Introduction," in Robert tidmond Jones, L>rav>ings for the Theatre (iMew York, 1925). p. 13« IcJfJ

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id9 A Comparison of Jones' and Simonson's Use of the ijesign Elements The capacity of line, mass, color, and, light and shade to capture the mood of the playwright's situation, to provide a living atmosphere for the play's characters, and to reveal the designer's artistry has been shown in the analyses of the scene designs of Jones and Simonson. There are, hov/ever, certain conclusions and comparisons which appropriately may be made here, and which will serve to illustrate further the value of design analysis to students and audiences of the theatre. For instance, Jones' design for "The Coronation of Anne" in Henry vIII reveals hovj a monochromatic color scheme may be varied tlirough the use of textures and light and dark values* Furthermore, when tne above setting is compared with the one which Jones designed for A Touch of the Poet , it becomes apparent that identical color schemes may be used for two widely different plays, providing they are accompanied by the proper use of the other design elements* Certainly, the situations in question are as different as two situations can be. Yet, the psychological values contributed by the particular use of line and mass makes a monochromatic color scheme appropriate in both settings. Moreover, the skilled control of light serves to heighten the connotative properties of those lines and masses and to enable them to make distinctive statements in each inst^ance.

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190 Light was seen to have performed a similar function in the violent, expressionistic design for "The Banquet" in iiacbeth . The difference was, of coiarse, that the basic style of the production permitted a more obvious and exaggerated use of light and sliade. There was, for example, the highly saturated red light which was focused on the dress of Lady I'iacbeth to symbolize her deeds, and which produced so striking a visual image that Stark Young recalled it vividly thirty-six years later. There were also the clearly visible cones of light which Jones employed to create illusory mass a technique useful to a designer beset v.ith the problem of rapidly sJiifting from one location to another. The problem of making a rapid change to a new location was also a part of the design problem in the case of Henry VIII . Significantly, hovvever, it was solved in an entirely different manner. Although many settings were needed for Henry VIII and x^:acbeth . the festive element inherent within the fornier script necessitated larger and more highly decorative iaasses. As a consequence, Jones devised a production scheme in which he was free to use the design elements to create the granaiose settings appropriate to such a kaleidoscopic historical narrative, while there v:as a basic harmony in the artistic treatment of the settings for i.enrv VIII due to the repeated use of the Tudor arches

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191 and coat 3-of -arms, the design scheme, generally, had such varied appeals that any possibility of monotony v;as avoided, l^^ot only does a comx>arison of the use of mass and line in "Buckingham's Farewell" and "The Christening of Elizabeth" call attention to the wide range of effects demanded by the nature of the production, but more significant, it indicates Jones' masterly control of the power of the design elements. In the former very large, powerful, planear masses were incorporated in the house fronts which mirrored the toppling world of Buckingham, The melodraraatic feeling of those masses was enhanced by the angular line pattern of their half-timbered surfaces* In the christening scene large masses were also employed, but in this instance they became delicate, even feather light as a result of the unique manner in which they were constituted or handled. In both settings, of course, color contributed to the effectiveness of line and mass. For example, the striking gradations in the infinite number of values of orange-yellow in the setting for "Buckingham's Farewell" pioduce a melodramatic effect, while the delicate combination of pale blue and white in "The Christening of Elizabeth" gives the scene a decidedly fragile quality. In considering the designs of Jones, one immediately becomes aware of his unique use of color. Interestingly, this fact also figures prominently in the

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192 comments of those v.'ho nave vditnessed his productions. Not only did the critic Stark loung call attention to this use of color, but, in his recollections of the Macbeth production, Edv.ard F, Kook noted that the color was symbolic and violent. Also, v.hile the writer was discussing this study v;ith Jones* lifelong friend, I^iary Hall Fxurber, it was recomoiended that the settings of Henry YIII should be used for analysis since they illustrate Jones* use of "gorgeous color." l.hile it is apparent from the discussion of Chapter II, and the points reiterated above, that Jones used all of the design elements in an expressive manner, he seems to have had extraordinary skill in handling color. It Siiould not be thought, however, that the province of color was one in which Jones alone excelled. Simonson's use oi color could also be striking. The blues, greens, and piirples of his setting for The Lhine ^old . for exaiiiple, constitute a myriad of values and brilliances. An examination of that design not only offers proof of Simonson*s control of color and liis consciousness of its syiubolic potential, but it suggests its relationship to line and mass and tiie role it can play in the formation of rhythmic patterns. While the writer has uncovered no evidence that Jones '^i.'elephone incerview, March 5, 1962.

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193 himself preferred the potential of color over that of the other design elements, Siinonson clearly stated fortyseven years ago that he v^as interested primarily in a single design ingredient. This, it will be remembered, was the matter of the third-dimension, While he has masterful control over color, it is in the use of mass in space that Simonson is unique. Admittedly, in settings such as the ones for "The Coronation of Anne'' and "Katharine's Trial," Jones evidences a concern for, and control of, the distribution of mass in space and its revelation by light, shade, and shadow. It is Simonson, hovvever, who was consistently entranced by the possibilities inherent in the depth of the picture plane. Consequently, it is in his designs that one finds these possibilities the most completely realized. It was pointed out in Chapter III that the most salient feature of the design for "The Bottom of the Rhine" is Simonson 's use of mass in space. ''Jith a minimum amount of stage space, particularly depth, he crested an illusion of an endless river bottom, iloreover, this illusion was desigtied realistically, rather than in a theatrical manner, actually, the theatrical mode with its presentational stage forms would have made the task simpler since it would have made possible the use of more fragmentary masses and lines. Since he chose to work in the romanticized realistic manner called for by V^agner, Simonson was

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194 forced to use complete lines and masses. In adapting these to the limited dimensions of the Metropolitan's stage, Sifflonson took advantage of the graphic artists* technique of introducing and/or repeating successive planear masses. In order to complete the optical effect and give the impression of endless space, he brought into use Kandinsky^s theory of the advancing and receding characteristics of color. These he carefully controlled througii use of value and brilliancy. The whole was carefully illuminated through several semi-transparent gauzes which served to further control the effect of distance in the third-dimension. Another interesting use of mass in space, especially insofar as the third-dimension is concerned, is Simonson's setting for "Amphitryon* s Palace" in Amphitryon 3^ « A comparison of it with the one for "The Bottom of the Rhine'' shows that the distribution of the masses in space is very different. This, of course, clearly reveals how the use of mass in space can create very different atmospheres for dramatic action. Vhile the masses are articulated in a modified symmetrical manner in "The Bottom of the Rhine," Simouson chose to use asymmetry with "Amphitryon's Palace." In the latter, the informality characteristic of asymmetrical balance was particularly helpful in providing the modern touch with which he sought to point up the timelessness of the script's theme.

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195 Unlike the masses in "The Bottom of the Rhine,'' which served as hiding places for the Rhine-I-faidens and the d;>?arf, Alberich, the masses in the setting for "Amphitryon* s Palace" served primarily decorative functions. A further difference is brought about by the fact that in the latter production Simonson was not nearly as limited in the amount of depth available on the stage. In order to give harmony to the many masses which he articulated in this large stage space, he used rough textures on all the stone forms and smooth textures on all the foliage forms. In addition, these units were bound together by light, shade, and shadow, I'loreover, as light controlled the revelation of form, Simonson v^as able to further enhance the feeling of great distance. While there are these two major differences in their approach to scene design, the work of Jones and Simonson has many similarities. They both work well with all of the design elements and temper the use of line, mass, color, and, light and shade through the application of the principles of harmony, rhythm, and proportion. Their decorative use of line, for instance, is readily apparent in Henry VIII and Amphitryon 3c? . They are alike in their use of light and shade to reveal form and to give unity to the masses distributed in space. Furthermore, they both possess the imaginative pov;er necessary to express themselves as artists through their designs. Of extreme

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196 importance, of course, is their common belief in the importance of simplicity in design. The settings previously examined reveal a characteristically modern economy in the use of the design elements. This tradition of simplicity to vrtiich Jones and Simonson adhere bears out the fact that there is little connection between quantity and quality in scenic art. V'hile it is true that, in a multi-set production such as Amphitryon 3^ « Simonson used a quantity of scenic units, his control of the design elements insures that none appears extraneous. T'oreover, most of his work, like that of Jones, is characterized by extreme simplicity. Even Jones* elaborate, grandiose settings for Henry VIII are executed with a minimum number of scenic units. It should be clear from the preceding summary of the v/ork of Jones and Simonson that it contains more similarities than differences. Moreover, the major differences Jones' use of color, and Simorison*s fascination with mass in space reflect the subjective aspect of scenic art. As differences they are important only in that they contribute to the development of individual artistic styles for the tvro artists. This viewer, however, found it impossible to determine that any distinctive and clearly defined artistic style was developed by Jones or Simonson, Furthermore, its development or existence is unimportant. As this chapter made clear in its

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197 opening statement, stage designs have no life except that connected with the plays. It is not important that a viewer look at a design and say, '*That is a Jones design," or even, "That design is for *The Banquet » in Kacbeth ." Because of the varying interpretations possible with every production of every play, it is quite impractical to play guessiiig games with settings and to try to associate various ones with particular designers and/or scripts. As Siiaonson has said, "There are as many ways of setting a play as there are effective ways of acting it,"^ It is for these reasons that no discussion of the "style" of Jones and Siraonson has been attempted, 3ecause of the peculiar nature of scene design, their work can only be discussed insofar as it is relative to a particular production and to the process of design. Values of the Design Process and Scene Analysis Since the design process as developed and illustrated in this study can be applied to the work of any designer and any scene design project, it should be of value to theatre students and audiences wanting to increase their appreciation of theatre. Furthermore, since the parts of the design process consist of units which are immune to changing social conditions, the method of analysis developed in this study will not become dated. 3siraonson, The Stag:e Is Set , p, 10^.

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193 As a consequence, it can be employed for the analysis, understanding, and appreciation of the settings for the plays of the futiure. Regardless of the physical shape which that theatre may assume, or the various audienceactor relationships which it may foster, the designer will be forced to rely upon the power of line, mass, color, and, light and shade and respect the principles of harmony, rhytlim, and balance if he is to bring oirder to the content of his decorative, visual expression. Vihile the structure of the design process will probably never change, in the application of its specific details it will surely be broadened. For instance, while the design elements, line, mass, color, and, light and shade, may remain inviolate as a part of the design process, their dimensions will surely grow. This century has seen the development of many different man-made materials which have effected the use, and heightened the potential, of mass on the stage. Also, today the designer is free to increase the number and size of the masses in his design due to the advent of stage rigging systems which make possible the electronic shifting of scenery according to pre-set cues. This century has also seen major developments v/hich have made possible the meticulous control of an infinite number of degrees of highlight, shade, and shadow. The designer now has far greater control over his placement of highlight, shade, and shadow than he has

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199 had in any time in the past. Moreover, the electronic lighting systems of today also give him very careful remote control over color, focus, and direction of light. VJith the changing shapes of theatres and stages the designer has also acquired a tremendous advance in backstage efficiency. These are a few examples of the increased opportunities which the designer has to express the artistic concepts which he desires to communicate to the viewer. One v;ould hope, however, that a designer confronted for the first time by these electronic possibilities would be aware of the over-all value of simplicity in scene design, and that he would be able to resist the temptation to use scenic units simply as display pieces. Indeed, v/ith the failure of every spectacular Broadv/ay musical comedy, audiences continue to demonstrate that they vfill not watch a production v^hich contains only exciting scenic aspects. If designers are to provide appropriate settings for plays, and if audiences are to properly appreciate the contributions of good scenery to the total success of a play, information relative to the work of good designers is needed. It is hoped that this study will contribute some measure of that information. It is ironic that Robert Edmond Jones died and that Lee Simonson had unofficially retired before anyone attempted to make a detailed analysis of any of their work. Serious study

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200 of dramatic production was late developing in our educational system, but it has been a v;ell established part of many colleges and universities for over thirty years. Perhaps the procedure and illustrations used in this study will demonstrate the value of scene design analysis and that more will be forthcoming. It is significant to note that one of the country* s leading professional designers, Peter Larkin, concurs with that viewpoint.^ Larkin also pointed out several difficulties which will need to be overcome before serious analysis of the work of current scene designers can be undertaken. Unlike easel painters, most designers look upon their color renderings of settings as visualizations designed to serve the artists who are preparing a particular production. They do not value the renderings once the production opens, and they do not usually save them. It is rare to find a designer such as Jones who values his renderings and who re-touches them following the opening of a production in oirder to make them look more like the effect actually achieved on stage. Because of this attitude on the part of most designers, renderings of their stage settings will not be readily available for analysis. Furthermore, it would appear that, although ^Interview with Peter Larkin in Greensboro, N, C, October 15, 1963. Mr, Larkin has seirved as designer for four Broadway productions during the current season.

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201 excellent color photography is available today, only occasionally will it be employed to preserve the work of contemporary scene designers. Larkin pointed out that color photographs of settings are expensive to make because of the wages demanded by the stage and light technicians v;ho must be employed while production photographs are being made. During photographing sessions, union regulations require the employment of the entire lighting and scenery crows. This, of course, makes the cost of production photographs prohibitive and, as a result, few visual records of productions will be kept. In terms of the contemporary theatre, the design tradition established by Jones and Simonson has been perpetuated by men such as Boris Aronson, Lemuel Ayers, Ben Edv/ards, Eldon Elder, Kordecai Gorelik, Leo Kerz, Peter Larkin, Jo Ilielziner, Donald Oenslager, and Raymond Sovey, The designs and photographs of these artists, if they exist, need to be kept, analyzed, and appreciated by theatre students and audiences. Some of these, at least, are being saved. In 1955 the Carnegie Corporation of New York included one hundred three representative scene designs in its publication'' which resulted from its study of the arts of the United States, This project insures 5William H, Pierson, Jr,, and Martha Davidson (eds,), Arts of the United States (Kew York, I960), pp. 93-101, 356-46^.

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202 the availability of at least a portion of the best work of the artists listed above. It is hoped that, with the existence of these materials, additional projects in design analysis will be conducted, and that their results will lead the way to a deeper appreciation of the theatre's visual dimension. Certainly it may be expected that with such analysis v;ill come a much better understanding of the artistry of these scene designers and their contribution to the promise of a finer theatre for today and for tomorrow.

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BIBLIOGaAPHY BOOKS Aldrich, Richard, The Ring of the Nibelung . Boston: Oliver Uitson Go,, 1904. Baldinger, v.allace S. The Visual Arts . New York: Holt, liinehart and Winston, I960, Barnes, Albert C, The rt in Painting . 3rd ed. revised. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1937. Butcher, S, H, Aristotle *s Theory of Poetry and Fine Art . vdith a Critical Text and Translation of the Poetics . 4th ed. New i'ork: Dover Publications, 1951. Cheney, Sheldon, Sxpressionism in i\rt . Revised ed, Nevj York: Liveright i^blishint; Corp., 194^. Clark, Barrett H, Eugene O'Neill, the I!an and his Plays . 2d ed. revised, Kew York: Dover Publications, 1947* Craig, Gordon, On the Art of the Theatre . London: V, Heinemann, 1912. Craig, Gordon. Towards a Hev; Theatre . London and Toronto: J. i"!. Dent and oons, Ltd,, 1913. Croce, Benedetto. Astlietic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic . Trans. Douglas Ainslie. London: i^acittillan and Co., Ltd., 1909. Dumont, Henri. Gauguin . New York: Crown Publishers, n, d. Fergusson, Francis. The Idea of a Theatre . Princeton, 1^. J.: Princeton University Press, 1949. Freedley, George, and Reeves, John A. A History of the Theatre . New York: Crown Publishers, 1941. 203

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204 Fuchs, Theodore. Stage LiaJitin.':: , iioston: Little, iirov'/n, and Co., 1929» Fuerst, i.alter R., a..d Hume, Samuel. Twentieth Century ^ta-::e iJecoration . London: iU.freaArKno]ph7lV28. Gassner, John, a Treasury of the Theatre . New York: Simon and ii^chuGtei-, 1i;^!>Q. Gassner, John. Producinii!: the Plav . Nev York: Dryden Press, 1941. uilman, Lawrence. '.a-j:ner*s Operas . New York: i'arrar and Einehart, 1937» airaudoux, Jean. i^jimonson, Lee. Settings and Cost limes of the ..odern Stage . London: The Studio, Ltd., 1933. Leverton, Sarrett H. The Production of Later nineteenth Century Aiiierican Uraraa . hew iork: Columbia Univeraity Iresa, 193C. Macgowan, Kenneth, and Jones, J. obert Edmond. Continental Stagecraft . Kew York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922.

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205 i-.acsowari, Kenneth, and .-.elnita, V.illiam. irxe Livina: Stage , i^ev. iork: Frontice-ilall, 1955. iccCutchau, -J. ..ilson. ia-cbeth. a Complete C-uide to the r-lciv . lAevi York: barnes and r.-oble, 19o3. Koderwell, hiram Kelley. The Theatre of i'o-Day . Kew York: Dodd, i-.ead and Co., 1927. i'iOses, ioritroi , .J. i-'ro-.n, John :^ . The American Theatre as .^een oy its »^iitics 1752-1934 . liev; York: i.orton, 1934. hicoll, Allarayce. .I'he uevelocjfient of tue Theatre . 3rd ed, i.e\ ;: harcouit, brace and Co., 1947. 0*Keill, -.ugene. A Touci. of the t'oet . wew Haven, Jonn. : Yale University Press, 1957. U* Weill, Iu£,ene, bynaiLO . hew Tork: h, Liveright, 1929. Parker, ., Gren, aiii _. ^ith, Harve3r K, Scene D3si,-:ri ar.d ^ta^:;e Lig;htir:.^ . I'ev: York: ^'olt, -inenart ana inston, 1963. Pendletox., I-alph (ed.) The Theatre of i-obert Ld.-iond Jones , i-iddletov/n, Gonn. : . esleyan univeisicy Irosi:, r^5c, Fierson, ' illia/u h., Jr., ana ^avidson, r-artua (eds.) .^rts of the ^>nitea ^>&ates . i-evv lork: i.c.irav^-r.ill hook Co., 1900. F.asfiiusen, nenry N. .>rt structure . Hev; York: liCarawhill Look Co., I75O. Kice, Liier. ^-inority ueport: an i^utobiographv . wev/ York: -^iiuon and ochuster, 19o3. Fcichards, I, A. r.i:irxciv:.les of Liter ax y Jrioic^...
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206 Eoss, Denman «• A Theory of Pure Desjyn i. New York: Feter inuith, I933. l?irst puolisned 1907: Houghton, f'iifflin and Co., Boston and uew York.) Eoss, Denruan \., On Drawing: and Fainting; , boston and liew York: Houghton, Mfflin and Co., 1912. Santayana, George. Interpretations of Poetry and ivelii^ion . iNew York: Jharles Scribner's Sons, 1>'05. Sedgwick, Jotin F., Jr» Art Appreciation liade Simple . New York: iiade Simple Books, 1v55'« Shakespeare, '..illiam. Kacbeth. Ed. Joseph Quincy Adams, boston: Houghton, i-ifflin and Co., 1931« Simonsoa, Lee. i'art of a Lifetime . Mew York: Duell, Lloan and Pearce, |y43» Simonson, Lee. The Art of ocenic iJesi^n . I'j'ew York: Harper, 1950. Simonson, Lee. -he ~-ta>^e xs Set , i^iev; York: Har court, brace and Co., 1932. Smith, Janet K. A lianuel of Jcsigin . New York: Eeinhold, 1950. Smith, i'.iiton. Plav :. roduction . New York: D, AppletonCentury Co., 1948. Sullivan, idmund J. Line . London: Chapman and Hall, 1922. StanislavsKi, Constantin* i-ly Life in Art . Trans. Elizabeth K. napgood. New York: Tiieatre Arts Books, 1946. The i.odern headers Shakespeare . Lew York: Society of Shakesperian Lditors, 1909. The Tzieatre Guild Antholog y. New York: Fv.andom House, 1936» Theatre Arts Antholoiiy . Ed. Rosarr.ond Gilder, et al . New York: Tiisatre Arts Looks, 1950. Upjohn, r::vcrard i'l., \. insert, Paul S,, and liahler, Jane G, history of '.or Id Art . New York: Oxford University Press, 1949.

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207 lAiagner, itichard. The Ring of the Miblung; . Trans. Margaret Az*iaour, Garden City, N. Y,: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1911. Webster* s New Collegiate iJictionary , ^th ed. Springfield, Mass.: G. and C. Merriam Co., 1953. Williams, R. G. Li.g;htin , e; for Color and ?orm . London: Sir Issac Pitman and Sons, Ltd. , 1954. ARTICLES AND PERIODICALS Albright, H. Darkea. "Appia Fifty Tears After: II," iilducational Theatre Journal . I (October, 1949), 297-303. Appia, Adolphe. "The Elements of a Work of Living Art," Theatre Arts i'ionthly . trans. Rosamond Gilder, XVI (August, 1932;, 671-674. Appia, Adolphe. "The Future of Production," Theatre Arts iJonthly . trans. Ralph Roeder, IVI (August, 1932 J, 665, 656. Craig, Gordon. "The Living Scene," English Review . Mill (June 31, 1921), 527. Craig, Gordon, "The Painter in the Theatre," Mask, V (July, 1912), 37-43. Eustis, ilorton, "Jean Giraudoux," Theatre Arts Monthly . XXIi (February, 193^), 130-132. Gorelik, Mordecai. "Life with Bobbv," Theatre Arts . Bail vJune, 1955), 30-32. Jones, Robert Edmond. "Light and Shadow," Theatre Arts Monthly . XIV (February, 1941), 131-139. Krutch, Joseph .«ood. "The O'Neill's On Stage Once nore," Theatre Arts XLII (October, 195^), 71. Mannes, M. "The Painter in the Theatre," Creative art . VII (December, 1930), 450, 451. McCandless, Stanley. "Lighting for the Audience," Theatre Arts XXXVIII (Februiiry, 1954), 76, 77, 95.

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20S Mercier, Jean, "Adolphe Appia, the Re-birth of Dramatic Art," Theatre Arts Monthly . XVI (August, 1932), 619. Moore, Ulric. "Drama as VJagner Saw It: Universal Art," Quarterly Journal of Speech . XV (February, 1929), Muller, Ingnude. "Theatre Design in Germany," lorld Theatre . Ill (Winter, 1953), 19^^. Nevr York Theatre Critic ^s Reviews. 1946 . VII (November 13, m^rr^Tum: "On Broadway," Theatre Arts . XLII (December, 195^), 10. "Ring Without Steam," Newsweek . XXXI (January 19, 194^), Simonson, Lee. "Appia »s Contribution to the Modern Stage," Theatre Arts Monthly . XVI (August, 1932), 631-644. Simonson, Lee. "Down to the Cellar," Theatre Arts Monthly . XXVI (April, 1922), 119-12^. Simonson, Lee. "From A VJagnerian Rockpile," Theatre Arts . XXXII (January, 1948), 39-42. Simonson, Lee. "Lesson in Stagecraft," Drama . XIV (January, 1924), 133-135. Simonson, Lee. "Scenery and the Drama," Atlantic Ilonthlv t CXLIII (I4ay, 1929), 639-645. Simonson, Lee. "The Palette Knife," Creative Art . Ill (July, 1928), xxi, xxii. Springer, Nelson J. "The Art of Lee Simonson," Creative Art, II (May, 1928), 335-339. West, Anthony. "This Month: Theatre," Show . Ill (February, 1963), 26. ••What^s l/rong with Opera A Dialogue v.dth Leopold Stokowski," Opera News . XXVI (February 24, 1962), 12.

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209 UNPUBLISHED MATERIAL Albright, H, Darkes. " The lork of Living Art , a translation of Adolphe Appia*s L'Oeuvre D^Art Vivant ." v;ith an introduction and notes, unpublished il. A. thesis, Cornell University, 193 I* Black, Eugene hobert, "Robert Sdmond Jones: Poetic Artist of the New Stagecraft," Ph, D. dissertation. University of V.'isconsin, 1955. Farley, Howard, "Edward Gordon Craig: Theories of Drama," unpublished K. A, thesis, Oliio State University, 1940. Felton, John u,, Jr. "Optimum Level of Illumination for i'-iaximiim Visual Efficiency in the Theatre," unpublished M, A, thesis. State University of Iowa, 1938. Huntley, Stirling L, "Preferences of a Theatre Audience with Regard to background Color," unpublished M, S, thesis, University of California, 1949. Jones, Robert Sdmond. "Macbeth Light Plot." Eighteen pages of diagrams given to Edward F, Kook, longtime associate of i'lr. Jones. Klopot, Henry Adams. "The Distribution and Form of Light in Space," unpublished M, F. A. thesis, Yale University, 1941. Lewis, John Colby. "A Correlation of the Theatre v;ith the Graphic Arts," Ph. D, dissertation, Cornell University, 1940. Moore, Ulric. " Music and the 'Scene .* a translation of Adolphe Appia*s Die iiusik Und iJie Inscenieruna ." unpublished M. A, thesis, Cornell University, 1929. Mortensen, A, Laurence, "Gordon Craig* s Theories of Dramatic Production," unpublished M, A, thesis. State University of Iowa, 1930. Mew York Public Library. Personal collection of Lee Simonson. York, Zack Lee. "Lee simonson, Artist-Craftsman of the Theatre," Ph. D. dissertation. University of Wisconsin, 1950.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Herman David Middleton was born March 24, 1925, at Sanford, Florida. He graduated from Seminole High School, Sanford in June, 1942. His undergraduate work at Rollins College was interrupted by three years service in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946. Following discharge, he resumed his education at Columbia University receiving the degrees of Bachelor of Science in 194^ and Master of Arts in 1949. In the fall of 1949 he began teaching drama and speech at Maryville College, Tennessee. He moved to the University of Delaware in 1950 and continued his teaching. He remained there until 1955 when he became a graduate assistant in the Department of Speech at the University of Florida, and pursued his work for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Since 1956 he has been teaching drama and speech at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he holds the rank of associate professor and where he is Head of the Department of Drama and Speech. Herman David Middleton is married to the former Amelia Maxy Eggart and is the father of two children. He is a member of the American Association of University Professors, American Educational Theatre Association, and Speech Association of America. 210

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This dissertation was prepared under the direction of the chairman of the candidate's supervisory committee and has been approved by all members of that committee. It was submitted to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was approved as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, August S, 1964 u a^ *\5l^)— Dean, College df Arts and Sciences Dean, Graduate School Supejrvisory Committee: /r-c-

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I( ^J ^6 ^