Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 15

Several stages in the development of the set for the touring company of The Miracle Worker. ABOVE LEFT: Initial concept with
simple, stark set employing tower. BELOW LEFT: Revised concept in which tower has been abandoned and some detail has
been restored. ABOVE: Another concept employing the plan of the more detailed scheme combined with the starkness noted
in above left, with stylized diminutive tower. (The set as finally realized is shown on page 10.)

was too cold for the play, another attempt was too
fussy with Victorian details. Jenkins tried almost
complete houses and then open, suggestive structures. After adding a Victorian tower, Jenkins felt
he was approaching what he wanted. He finally
arrived at a compromise that pleased everyone.

point of reference, a yardstick for the action it
housed.
After the acceptance of the thirteenth set
sketch, the process of rendering and drawi ng started
again.

I n addition to being a symbol of prestige that
reflected the social position of the Keller family,
the tower served in this open scheme as a tiring
house and as masking for the eye lights, stripmounted vertically on the rear of the structure,
that gave a halo effect to the set.

But by this time there was the experience of
the Broadway actors to draw on. In one instance,
the decision to play the garden house in an open
space was arrived at only after Patty Duke proved
that she could have a wild tantrum and yet keep
all the toys she was throwing within a very small
area.

With the pivotal movement eliminated, specific
rooms and places were simplified into suggestions
of architecture and open, useful spaces. The set
became a symbol of an era and a type of house.
Jenkins considered it superior to his Broadway design. Certainly this set played a more active role
in the production. Rather than an environment in
which actors became elements of an involved
stage picture, the touring set was an anchored

What seems important in this series of sketches
is not that the designer's personality was submerged, but rather that the success of a production
partially relied on the ability of the designer to
limit his own conceit. The Miracle Worker had two
production schemes, each of which was successful
in its own way. Both concepts worked because
neither imposed upon the production the weight of
an unnecessary personality. 0

~

THEATER DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

MAY,1971

15



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971

Contents
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 1
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 2
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 3
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - Contents
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 5
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 6
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 7
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 8
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 9
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 10
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 11
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 12
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 13
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 14
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 15
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 16
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 17
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 18
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 19
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 20
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 21
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 22
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 23
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 24
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 25
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 26
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 27
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 28
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 29
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 30
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 31
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 32
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 33
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 34
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 35
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Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 37
Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 38
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Theatre Design & Technology - May 1971 - 40
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