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Setting the Stage
What We Do, How We Do It, and Why
David Hays

2017 • 192 pp. 6 illus. 6 x 9"
Biography - Entertainment & Performing Arts / Performing Arts

$26.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7721-4

$21.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7722-1

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“In his charming combination memoir and anecdotal set design textbook-cum-life primer, all laced with sly humor and the occasional witty barb, Hays opens our eyes to the magic and thought processes behind taking a bare stage and mystically converting it into just about anything.”—Cathy Ritchie, Theater Jones

The life and work of a stage designer who worked with Kazan and Balanchine

David Hays, elected to the Theater Hall of Fame in 2014, created an exciting and successful career designing scenery and lighting for plays and musicals on Broadway, in London, and in Japan. Told with passion and wit, this book takes readers behind the scenes of the theater world to show how a stage designer collaborates with directors and producers to create great works of theater and dance. A designer who collaborated with the great directors of his time—Arthur Penn, Garson Kanin, Tyrone Guthrie, Elia Kazan, Jose Quintero, and Joe Layton—shares anecdotes that integrate technical insight with life lessons. He designed sets for the Metropolitan Opera, for Lincoln Center, for Martha Graham, and thirty ballets for George Balanchine. This colorful account of theater life is for scholars, practitioners, and theatregoers interested in how it all works.

Publication of this book is funded by the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Anyone, and I do mean anyone—actors, designers, writers, people in love with the art form—will find so much in this accessible, smart, and delightful book about the ‘magic’ of the theatre.” —Joel Grey

“Thank God for David Hays. A true gentleman of the arts—and boy, is he funny in this book. He opens up the vault of his brilliant mind and heart and allows us to share with him great memories of the Golden Age of the arts. This book is full of his fascinating life and great contributions to scenic designs; his stories have great wit, style, and his heart and soul touched mine.” —Chita Rivera

“Rejoice, theater, opera, and ballet fans! As you read this indefatigable ‘Theater Hall of Famer’s’ wonder-full memories, you will be eavesdropping on giants of twentieth-century theater for whom the ‘Envision and Design Award’–winning sets earn accolades. You will also marvel at the fact that for fifty years, the only sleep he ever needed was one short nap on top of a stepladder.” —Peter Walker

“David Hays goes well beyond the measures of set design and straight into the inherent drama of theatrical life — the part not meant to be seen by audiences. This book, written for everyone interested in the work of the stage, offers the full promise of the phrase, ‘Behind the scenes.’” —Lary Bloom

DAVID HAYS has taught at New York University, Columbia, Boston University, and Harvard. He then directed the National Theatre of the Deaf for thirty years. He is the author of Today I Am a Boy and coauthor with his son, Daniel, of the New York Times bestseller My Old Man and the Sea. He lives in Chester, Connecticut.

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 12:04:51 -0500