Though Romantic elements in stage design are often thought to have ended with the advent of the Victorian era, they in fact persisted into the second half of the nineteenth century. Romantic stages were used in the productions of many of the most prominent actor-managers of the period, including Madame Vestris, Charles Kean, Wilson Barrett, Henry Irving and Herbert Beerbohm Tree. This work shows how the emphasis placed on the visual elements of Victorian productions - the spectacular romantic settings and historically accurate costumes - revolutionized the position that stage designers held. They emerged from anonymity, becoming recognized and highly-praised collaborators in the creative process.
Alicia Finkel has designed sets and costumes for film, television and opera. She taught stage design and costume history at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Connecticut. Currently she is a trustee at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. She lives in Leland, North Carolina.