At the beginning of the modernist era, wing-and-drop settings were still common, as was the use of stock scenery. The rise of the combination system meant that many companies traveled with their own scenery specific to the show, usually realistic box sets with practical elements. For transport by railroad, scenic units had to fit through the door of a boxcar, and all professional designers knew that 5'9" measurement. Claude Bragdon, art director (set and costume design) for Walter Hampden during the 1920s, observed in his memoir More Lives Than One (1938, 200-201) that even an elaborate production would have no more than six weeks from conception to opening, and that the schedule was relentless: "The scenery must go direct from the builder to the scene-painter, and from him to the theatre. It must neither lag nor hasten at any point in the journey, on account of lack of storage space." Major developments in scenery occurred with the rise of the New Stagecraft in the 1910s, as more impressionistic European designs pioneered by Robert Edmond Jones, Lee Simonson, Jo Mielziner, Donald Oenslager, and others dominated the era between the two world wars.
   See also lighting.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .


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