- Modernist techniques of theatrical production derived from European innovations in scene design and stagecraft came to America through the pioneering work of Viennese designer Joseph Urban. His stage decors at the Boston Opera, theMetropolitan Opera, and for the Ziegfeld Follies led the way to a new emphasis on controlled line, mass, and color, as opposed to the old box sets and painted literalism associated with realism. The New Stagecraft gained momentum when Robert Edmond Jones and Kenneth Macgowan published their book Continental Stagecraft in 1922. The move to simplified or stylized impressionistic settings in the tradition of Adolphe Appia and Edward Gordon Craig coincided nicely with the little theatre movement, as those small ventures found the new approach more accommodating to their limited means.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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