Exhibition Documents Life of Influential Theatrical Designer, Edward Gordon Craig
Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966).
The son of the famous English actress Ellen Terry, Craig grew up in the theatre as an actor and creator of sets and costumes. He used abstract scenic elements and lighting to create striking, dramatic effects from simple objects, in contrast to the realistic backdrops common to the theatre of his day. He employed movable elements and screens that could be placed on the stage in a variety of configurations. The exhibition includes an elaborate set of fretted wooden model screens that Craig cut to instruct students attending his short-lived School for the Art of the Theatre, as well as a model stage with modular blocks to demonstrate the versatility of his stage design concepts.
Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966). "Fragment: Tall Columns and Small Figure," woodcut engraving for the Cranach Press edition of Hamlet, 1930. Harvard Theatre Collection.
Throughout Craig’s career he returned to Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Hamlet again and again, reworking staging ideas and the meaning of the text. The Harvard Theatre Collection documents his fixation with these texts and includes model screens and scenic elements, woodcut engravings, and documents that relate to several productions and publications of Hamlet by Craig. In addition, a notebook on Macbeth, which Craig annotated and illustrated over a period of sixty-five years, incorporates drawings, diagrams, stage directions, and comments about his own evolving interpretations of the play.
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