Lighting the Shakespearean Stage, 1567-1642
By: R.B. Graves (author)Hardback
1 - 2 weeks availability
An examination of the lighting of early modern English drama from both historical and aesthetic perspectives. It traces the contrasting traditions of sunlit amphitheatres and candlelit hall playhouses, describes the different lighting techniques, and estimates the effect of these techniques, both indoors and outdoors. Robert B. Graves demonstrates that the conventions of indoor and outdoor illumination are remarkably similar. In addition to providing new evidence, Graves makes use of experiments conducted at the "new" Globe in Southwark, London, and in various Tudor halls. Graves discusses the importance of stage lighting in determining the dramatic effect, even in cases where the manipulation of light was not under the direct control of the theatre artists. He devotes a chapter to the early modern lighting equipment available to English Renaissance actors and surveys theatrical lighting before the construction of permanent playhouses in London. Elizabethan stage lighting, he argues, drew on both classical and mediaeval precedents.
The book analyzes the effect of the weather on theatre lighting in open air theatres, examines the natural lighting of indoor private playhouses, and considers the placement and manipulation of lighting instruments in professional indoor hall playhouses. He concludes by focusing on the overall visual effect in a scene from Webster's "Duchess of Malfi".
R. B. Graves is an associate professor and director of the Ph.D. program in theater at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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- ID: 9780809322756
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