Theatre Design & Technology - May 1969 - 28

the English Stage," a 2000-word article by Richard Southern
given largely to 19th Century effects; and if such obvious
items as the glass crash and thunder sheet are there, so are
roll-out and vamp trap. The "ceiling" entry perhaps summarizes the limited technical and considerable British focus:
"a canvas stretch, battened-out and suspended flat over the
lOp of a box-set. Ceilings were often 'booked' transversely
to enable them to be the more easily flown." But the entry
on "flat" is surprising in another way since its 2000 words,
mostly on how to build a flat, might have come out of an
American text on stagecraft. Many of the articles include
brief bibliographies, especially of the older literature.
The characteristics of the Companion suggest at least three
kinds of information which should be collected in one or
more volumes. The first is a full treatment in dictionary fashion of the language of technical theatre, Warren Lounsbury's
Theatre Backstage from A to Z (see TD&T i~o. 14) being a
fine start on this. The second is a dictionary of theatre
buildings from a technician's point of view, for which both
the Theatre Survey and Ned Bowman's "Recent Publications
on Theatre Architecture" in TD& T would be important
sources. No doubt least needed would be a biographical
dictionary of designers, technicians, and other backstage
theatre people and organizations. Some of all of this can be
found in the Companion but a general work, even of over a
million words, cannot hope to deal adequately with all forms
of special ized material. Both the virtues and the weaknesses
of the Oxford book should prod us, however.
Joel Trap/do
University of Hawaii
MAJOR BERLIN THEA TRE (Grosses Berliner Theater), by
Karl Heinrich Ruppel, published by Friedrich Verlag in Velber
bei Hannover, Germany, 1962. $8.00.
The book is a collection of reviews written in Berlin by Herr
Ruppel for the Koelnische Zeitung (Cologne News) between
1935 and 1942. The collection was publ ished in 1943 in
Berlin and Vienna by Paul Neff Verlag, and included a number of plays considered important to German audiences in
the early 40's. However, the new book also contains an excellent array of photographic material. The major contributors were the University Institute of Theatre Science at
Cologne (Collection Niessen), the Ullstein press service and
three professional theatre photographers: Rosemarie Clausen,
Willy Saeger and John Willot. The book ends with an excellent documentation of the work of the directors, actors,
set designers, etc., including an index of their names.
The title Major Berlin Theatre refers to the prominent Berlin
theatres active during the Nazi regime. They were Deutsches
Theater (General director: Heinz Hilpert, under the political
protection of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels), the
Staatstheater (General director: Gustav Gruendgens, political
protector: Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering). the Schiller
Theater (General director: Heinrich George) and the Volksbuehne (General director: Eugen Klopfer).
The author, considered today to be one of Germany's most
astute theatre and music critics, consistently sni Hs out the
seeds of discontent in the performances in these theatres
and conveys them to his readers. Frequently he draws an
analogy with such clarity that it is surprising to find it in
print. In one review he refers to Buckingham in Richard 11/
as the propaganda specialist of the future king, a man ruined
by his own ambition. The analogy to Goebbels is all too
clear, even today.

form in theatre. The Director's Theatre made clear to the
public that a particular production was only one of a number of possible interpretations of a play. It made the play
relevant to an audience in the broadest sense of the term.
Hopefully Ruppel's book, a very important collection of docuĀ·
ments, will serve to open the discussion of German theatre
during this era to a wider audience. Such a discussion is
long overdue. It is probable that the German theatre of today
has been influenced, even negatively, by this era. Inasmuch
as it is the only book of its kind in print today, it is a must
for the theatre historian and those concerned with production of modern German drama.
Richard Harris
Berlin Germany

New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1965; pp. 5-95.
$7 95.
The study of color is a complex one. It not only involves an
understanding of color principles and phenomena but also
requires the student to train his eye. Eye training is probably
the most negl ected aspect in the study of color, yet, for
the beginning artist or designer, it is easily one of the most
This book is particularly valuable because it employs a
method which causes the student to see color correctly and
to understand what he is seeing. The author employs a
method which was in general use in the public school systems of this country over seventy years ago. "Colored papers were used because it was bel ieved that a practical
study of color demanded an economical material that would
impose the study of theory before a student was allowed
to work freely with art materials." Hence, the author, guided
by the premise that color exists only as a sensation, has organized a book on color which requires the employment of
colored papers. These silk-screened colorec papers, consisting of 192 chromatic colors and an 18-step set of grey papers must be purchased separately from the Color-aid Company, New York. The student is required to fill diagrams in
the book ill ustrating color phenomena with shapes of colored
paper as required. The organization of the Color-aid paper is
based on the Ostwald color solid and the pigments of the
papers correspond to the wave lengths of the visible spectrum.
Basic theory is present in five chapters, the first dealing
with color structure and organization. The grey scale, simultaneous contrast and value keys are then presented. Surface color, film color and volume color are treated next,
followed by visual alterations such as vibrations, optical illusions and after-image. The last two chapters deal with additive and subtractive color mixing and using the Maxwell
Although the author indicates that an average class at the
college level should be able to cover the contents in two
semesters, the book is surprisingly brief. It depends heavily
on many excellent illustrations of color phenomena and on
experimentation with the colored paper samples. The book is
intended for a basic course in color; in this it succeeds
without being overly technical.
David R. Batcheller
University of North Carolina
at Greensboro

From this standpoint, the book is a commendable example of
civil courage. However, it has an even greater significance
historically. Shortly before the turn of the century, a new
trend of staging began to arise in Germany, when the theatre became dominated by the director. Jessner was one of
the earliest advocates of the director's preeminence, and
Max Reinhardt was one of its most famous practitioners. In
a particular sense their styles were a precursor of the epic



MAY, 1969


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