24 June 2020
Cole, Wendell. “The Theatre Projects of Frank Lloyd Wright.” Educational Theatre Journal, vol. 12, no. 2, 1960, pp. 86–93.
Cole, Wendell. “The Theatre Projects of Walter Gropius.” Educational Theatre Journal, vol. 15, no. 4, 1963, pp. 311–317.
These articles are generalized surveys of the theaters designed individually by the famous and influential architects Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright. Both built and unbuilt projects are considered, most but not all in the US. Particular emphasis is given to trends representing “changeable” theater architecture that challenge the traditional proscenium arch, albeit with midcentury modern idealism, in an attempt to bring performers and audience closer together. Each article includes information on the historical importance of each architect as a practitioner, teacher and thinker. No mention is made of the types of plays intended for these theaters or the people who work in them.
How do they relate to scenography?
These articles would be useful to theatrical design students for a basic understanding of the theatrical work of Gropius and Wright and the utopian architectural ideas of the early and mid twentieth century. They are clearly written and concise. However, they are dated and do not reflect a more complex contemporary view of these buildings.