Review by Choice Review
For this unique survey of the history and development of the art and practice of Western theatrical set design, Brockett, Mitchell, and Hardberger assembled the research of numerous historians and theater practitioners and more than 450 color and black-and-white images. These materials vividly illustrate rich, diverse scenic design and painting traditions from ancient Greece to the 21st century. The authors share forgotten techniques and materials, innovations in perspective-based representation, paradigmatic transitions in aesthetic philosophy, and social conventions that affect theatrical presentation. The extensive bibliography is in itself a treasure of research sources. The book is not without its shortcomings, the chief being that covering such an extensive, diverse subject leaves only limited space to discuss each era. Some readers may find that their favorite periods or designers receive short shrift. However, this stunning book is accessible yet informative for a broad audience. Brockett is the author of numerous theater histories and textbooks, including History of the Theatre (CH, Feb'69), Perspectives on Contemporary Theatre (CH, Jul'72), and Century of Innovation, co-authored with Robert Findlay (CH, Jun'73), all of which are considered standards in theater education. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. R. A. Naversen Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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