Bauhaus scenography

Authored by: Melissa Trimingham

The Routledge Companion to Scenography

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138917804
eBook ISBN: 9781315688817
Adobe ISBN:


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“Since there was the urge to perform, a stage was available from the first day of the existence of the Bauhaus” (Neumann 1993: 155). 1 Are we still as surprised, I wonder, to hear this, as Tut Schlemmer’s 1950s audiences were, when she lectured on the work of her late husband and Bauhaus stage director Oskar Schlemmer? Today the existence of the stage work is at least better known. Yet there still seems confusion about its importance in theatre history with some extravagant claims on the one hand: “Schlemmer’s influence from this period has had such an enormous impact on the theatre of Western Europe and North America that it continues to be experienced in the theatre of today” (McKinney and Butterworth 2009: 25), and near total neglect on the other. Schlemmer and the Bauhaus stage receive scant attention, for example, in Collins and Nesbitt’s reader in scenography (2010: 236). Why was there an active stage at the best-known experimental art school of the early twentieth century in Germany?

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