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The Theater of the Bauhaus
Walter Gropius, ed.; Arthur S. Wensinger, ed.; Oskar Schlemmer, contrib.; Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, contrib.; Farkas Molnar, contrib.

1971 • 110 pp. 78 b&w illus. 6 x 9"
Theater & Performing Arts

$17.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6020-9
$13.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7541-8

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Classic essays about theater design from Bauhaus masters

Few creative movements have been more influential than the Bauhaus, under the leadership of Walter Gropius. The art of the theater commanded special attention. The text in this volume is a loose collection of essays by Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Farkas Molnár (who in an illustrated essay shares his vision of a total theatre space), with an introduction by Bauhaus leader Walter Gropius. Originally published in German in 1924, Die Bühne im Bauhaus was translated by A. S. Wensinger and published by Wesleyan in 1961. It was prepared with the full cooperation of Walter Gropius and his introduction was written specially for this edition.

From Bauhaus experiments there emerged a new aesthetic of stage design and presentation, a new concept of “total theater.” Its principles and practices, revolutionary in their time and far in advance of all but the most experimental stagecraft today, were largely the work of Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and their students. Profusely illustrated and startling in its typography (the work of Moholy-Nagy), the 1924 volume quickly became a collector’s item and is now virtually unobtainable. Those interested in the stage, the modern visual arts, or in the bold steps of the men of genius who broadened the horizons of aesthetic experience will appreciate that this translation is available again.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

From the Book:

“The history of the theater is the history of the transfiguration of the human form… The materials involved in this transfiguration are form and color, the materials of the painter and sculptor. The arena of this transfiguration is found in the constructive fusion of space and building, the realm of the architect. Through the manipulation of these materials the role of the artist, the synthesizer of these elements, is determined.”
—Oskar Schlemmer

“While during the Middle Ages (and even today) the center of gravity in theater production lay in the representation of various types (hero, harlequin, peasant, etc.), it is the task of the FUTURE ACTOR to discover and activate that which is common to all men. . . . We envision TOTAL STAGE ACTION as a great dynamic-rhythmic process, which can compress the greatest clashing masses and accumulations of media—as qualitative and quantitative tensions—into elemental form. . . . Our task will always remain the creative understanding of the true, and not the imagined, needs.”
—Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

WALTER GROPIUS (1883–1969) was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School. ARTHUR S. WENSINGER is the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature and Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, at Wesleyan University.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:20:58 -0500