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Contracts With Authors
AUTHORS in America have had little assistance from any organization in establishing equitable contracts, although their agents have done much; yet there has come about a sort of acknowledged standard to which reputable firms are not loath to subscribe.
Troubles of dramatists, for instance, would seem no affair of a producer; yet his connection with their work frequently involves him in their broils, and compels him to resort to certain measures for personal protection. Prominent among these difficulties is dramatic plagiarism.
Play Doctors
To characterization, dialogue, and business, play doctors frequently devote the greater part of their time; but they are always incidental issues, and therefore I am not detailing them.
The Director Takes Charge
THE play has been accepted; the scenic artist has received his commission, and time of production draws near. The producer must cast his play with actors.
Actors Contracts
IN the outer office of a well-known firm of producers in New York there is a little sign which reads, - Artists are not to consider themselves engaged until contracts are signed.
Stage Directors
Almost all great American stage directors have passed through this embarrassing time in professional life; and I venture to say, with little fear of contradiction, that they have become better craftsmen in consequence.
The Stage Is Made Ready
Most beginners at playwriting believe that acquaintance with the means of creating stage thunder and lightning will help them materially. As a matter of fact, stage terms in the minds of new playwrights are about as dangerous as loaded firearms in the hands of children.
General Stage Divisions
It may seem that the proper entrance for the uninformed is the stage door. But no. Even if the investigator comes in that way, he will still be compelled to learn the close relationship of stage and audience first for clear understanding.
General Terms Applied To The Set Scene
A SCENE is said to be set when it is arranged for exhibition to an audience. The word is used in this connection both as a noun and as a verb. The action contrary to the latter sense, to take the scene apart, is to strike it.
Entrances And Stage Positions
When a play goes into rehearsal, the stage director tells each actor just where to stand at certain moments during his occupancy of the scene, where to enter, and where to exit.
Scene Shifting Devices
CHANGING scenes in the dark, with the curtain up, has long been a familiar practice; and the necessity for keeping the spectators' attention during the shift, was early recognized.
Scenery, Decoration, And Costumes Prepared
THE floor of the stage is a part that few persons in an audience notice. Yet it is prepared with as much care as any other portion of the scene.
Set Exteriors
PROBABLY the greatest difficulty confronting the scenic artist is to design—although not to execute—the outdoor setting. The interior is merely a false approximation of a man-made spot; the exterior is an artificial semblance of a further removed, natural place.
How Scenery Is Made
QUITE as individual as the way in which a scenic artist works is the manner in which he receives his commission.
The Picture Frame
FROM time to time in the past thirty years or more, the. stage picture has emerged upon an extended apron from the frame in which it had been set with so much difficulty. Upon this apron actors came forward in much the old manner, and discussed their affairs.
The Stage Picture
WITH all this harping on the old problem of the stage picture—which has not been without its beneficent effect—have come a few true variations on the leit motif. One of these developed in Germany within the decade, at the Künstlertheater at Munich.
Function Of The Setting
In the criticism of art, questions of fitness are constantly to the fore. Is the easel picture in scale? Is the mural painting part and parcel of the wall in which it is embedded ? Does the facade of a building exactly express the inner organic purpose of the structure.
Union Of The Arts
THERE is more than character to be considered in the stage scene—the emotional tone of first the act and then of the play as a whole, to be incorporated in the setting.
Painting With Lights
FROM the pigments that must be permanent, the natural progression in following the ever-changing, kaleidoscopic stage design, is for the artist to find lights that may be changed in hue and position at will, on a permanent ground.
Stage Direction
THAT stage atmosphere, in the matter of decoration of the scene, readily may be provided by an upholsterer, is a fallacy that has put into practise these many years.
Costumes were once devised for most managers by ordinary dressmakers; but now recourse must be had to the expert costumer—even to the couturier, setter of modes.
Lighting And Effects Are Worked By The Stage Crew
For Edison's invention of the electric light, Brander Matthews holds him responsible for not only the withdrawal of the apron and the making of the picture-frame stage, but for the banishment of the soliloquy.
Uses Of Stage Illumination
Probably no American stage director understands the subject of lighting better than Hugh Ford, who long produced plays for the Liebler Company. His method is generally to determine the big scene of each act, and light the rest of the act in sympathy with it.
Mechanical Illusions
THE showing-up of stage tricks is probably more destructive of stage illusion than revelation of any other mysteries behind the curtain. But, as they are necessary to illusion in many cases, a book of this kind would not be complete without some reference to them.
Mechanical Departments
THERE is no organization more smooth running than that which operates behind the curtain in a first-class theater. The idea of a place for everything and everything in its place is exemplified in such a house to a remarkable degree.
Managers Begin Their Activities
IT is paradoxical that managers, the most undeniably commercial persons in the theater, generally conclude their worldly obligations as poor men, while stage artists, upon retirement, often rank as nabobs.
General Managers
THE number of workers employed in a theater is deter-mined mainly by one or another or all of three considerations : finances, size of the institution, and nature of production. Members of the personnel tend to specialize only when all other things are in due proportion.
IN regarding the country at large with a view to estimating its theatergoing propensities, the manager goes hot and cold, now with hope and again with fear, that his attraction will meet with changed reception from place to place.
Stock Leasing And Stock Companies
THE great old stock companies, like Daly's and Wallack's, have few surviving prototypes; and stock now commonly means the cheap companies, generally changing their bills every week.
Piracy And Copyright
To discuss the matter of play piracy nowadays, is like reopening on old wound, for the offense has dwindled mightily within the decade. Still, with substantial modifications, it does continue.
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