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The Magic of Theater

From corners
of the world
Click icon to add picture filled with
street art
Granada, Spain
To magnificent
Elizabethan
stages
One of the oldest
Elizabethan theatres in
North America, tucked
away in Ashland, OR
Intimate
Performance
Spaces
Possibilities for theatrical
performance are infinite.
Each one meant to serve the
unique staging aims of the
playwright.
Intimate performance spaces
are a chance for the audience to
zoom in on the actors eyes,
body language, action-filled
dialogue. Silence.
Vivid or simple staging, set
design, costumes and make-up,
enhance and heighten the
performance in a smaller space.
But be it a quirky-poetic one-
man show
Aristophanes hysterical satire
of Ancient Athens
Or Anton Chekhovs meeting of
tragedy and comedy, hiding the
secrets of the human heart
Intimate spaces, simple or
wildly creative, gift all involved
with the depths of the human
experience.
Patti and Rusty Rueff
School of Visual and
Performing Arts

Purdue University

Cool spaces like this are


black box and end stage-
inspired. With a twist!

The playwright gets to


plunge the audience into
the performance from all
sides of the stage.

Its a wonderfully
innovative form of flexible
theater, where playing
space and audience
seating can be configured
for each production. In
totally unique ways.

And when a space like this


comes alive with bright
theatrical design and tight
blocking
Scenic design by Eric Luchen

For Frank Dunlop and Jim Dales Scapino! at Purdue University

the playright gets to share every


colorful side of his play, from
costumes and make-up to the plot.
Intimate space and gorgeous-goofy
sets can create the comical effect of
exaggerated setting and characters.
And gut-bursting laughter!
Like this seaside Neopolitan caf bar-
hotel in the wonderful Scapino!, a
liberated adaptation of Moliere's Les
Fourberies de Scapin.
In terms of staging requirements,
what a freeing way to experience the
characters whims and colorful
actions so close.
Any playwright with a dose of
Commedia dellArte would likely love
this space.
If Aristophanes of Ancient Greece had
cool resources up his sleeve, he
wouldve probably adored this space.
To this day, his hysterical play on the
absurdity and truth of politics, war,
any boundaries between human
beings, come to colorful life in
modern theater, sets and spaces like
this!
Fountain Theater

Los Angeles, CA

End stage theater is a cool


and very rewarding theatrical
experience. The audience
and the actors face each
other at the same level!

Fountain Theater is only 3


sections of 4 rows and still a
hidden gem!

Its the home space to


powerful, intimate flamenco
shows, to all kinds of
workshops and of course to
theater.

As with most small end stage


theaters, the acoustics are
incredibly amplified yet
soothing, the light is intimate
and warm.

You can lose yourself in the


performance...
Tennessee
Williams
Production of Baby
Doll

Fountain Theater
no wonder it recently welcomed
one of the first productions of Baby
Doll in the country!

This black box-like space lets the


playwright create an authentic
atmosphere of a living room, library
or nothing but the actors.

When it comes to blocking, the


characters are so close together, our
focus shifts to anyone or all on stage.
As in all intimate performance
spaces, the light and sound become
priceless.

And theres the beautiful element of


contrasts. A space like this allows a
bare set and bright costumes. Or
vivid set and bare physical
appearance.

Chekhovs plays and human beings


would appreciate this space. His
characters are deceptively plain on
the outside. And so, so full of life,
grief and desires on the inside.

His clever, funny and heartbreaking


stories are made to be experienced
up close, on a stage like Fountain.
Old Church Theater

Bradfort, Vermont

Mousetrap Set

This simple, small performance


space is a total treasure, serving the
very aims of staging as the previous
spaces.

It was once a church, a basketball


court, movie theater and Odd
Fellows Hall! Since 1984, its the
home of The Old Church Community
Theater.

Athol Fugard, South-African


playwright, would find home on a
stage so intimate and simple. For
his themes, textures and actions of
outrage and humanity of the South
African experience and apartheid.

This special theatrical community


pours their love into crafting
awesome sets. It could belong to
Chekhov, to Brecht. To any
playwright whose aim is human
dialogue-action, bare of elaborate
costumes and make-up.

No wonder its a regular home to


super short and hilarious plays.
Off de La Latina

Madrid, Spain

This special space is a haven for any


experimental or intimate theatrical
performance.
It came to life from underground
cellars that date back to the 17th
century! The end stage-like space
welcomes flamenco, modern dance
and plays.
Its incredibly diverse! From the show
El Club de la Tragedia, Monologos
Para No Reir, a combination of
narration and performance, to
childrens plays.
It would serve the aims of any play
meant for small spaces and
experimental theater.
If only Federico Garcia Lorcas life
wasnt tragically cut short This
space is made for his passionate,
tragic character trio in Blood
Wedding, with dance weaved in. For
his simple props like clothes on a line.
For his recurring symbols like roses
and knives.
The atmosphere of this space is so
haunting , no special make-up or
costumes needed. Perhaps a chair.
Theatrical Costumes
A scene from Chekhovs Three Sisters

Ludger Duvernay Theatre in Montreal,


Quebec, Canadas oldest theater

The costumes are simple and


beautifully crafted to serve
the purpose of plays by
Chekhov, Brecht and Lorca

where the essence and


staging aims are real life of
real human beings and their
times. Often war-torn times.

The simple and crafty fabrics


enhance the plays everyday
life action that hides human
tragedies and wishes.

They dont take away from


the characters intimate
conversations.

Instead, they make us feel as


though were by their side. In
their reality.
Theatrical Costumes

A scene from Athol


Fugards The Blue Iris

Fountain Theater, Los Angeles

These costumes are simple


and real-life too, true to rural
life of South Africa and the
story between the grieving
farmer and his domestic and
companion.

Along with props like


scrapheap, theatrical yet
true to the atmosphere of
the burned-out farmhouse,
the audience gets to closely
experience the relationship,
memories and plot of these
two human beings.
Theatrical Costumes

A scene from
Aristophanes Lysistrata

Did folks in good old ancient


Athens openly picket to end
the war? Perhaps thats the
joke and beauty here.

The zoomed-in, deep


textures of the raggedy,
lightly satirical costumes
(and the protest signs)
make it clear for the
audience just what the
women are fighting for!

And of course, their


priceless comical-
impassioned expressions!
Made to be seen up close.

Aristophanes would likely


dig seeing his plays brave
women so funny, creatively-
costumed and definitely
standing up for their cause.
Theatrical Make-Up

This maquillage from the


1930s is vivid, but just subtle
enough for any intimate
theater stage.

Even up close to a stage,


soft, dim lighting makes this
kind of make-up look natural.

But enhances the facial


features and expressions.
And in turn the plays action.

And of course smoking on


stage is super effective and
real. Thank you A Streetcar
Named Desire!

This make-up would enhance


the passionate and lost
women in Lorcas plays.
Theatrical Make-Up
This spontaneous find was
inspired by Grays Anatomy.

Crafty and weird in a


beautiful way, it belongs in
an experimental play, in a
space like Off de La Latina.

It would accentuate any one-


man show with very simple
clothing.

After all, Off de la Latina


features Isaac Marian,
talented and super quirky
artist-clown, who turns his
shows into theatrical
experience for overjoyed
kiddos.
Theatrical Make-Up

Tim Curry as Macheath in


Bertolt Brechts The
Threepenny Opera

Theres something very


special about dark kohl-lined
eyes and black or white, bare
clothes as costume.

Thank you, Charlie Chaplin.

It just enhances any


performance in an intimate
space. The eyes take center
stage.

Tim Curry expresses so much


with nothing but his face.
The eyeliner accentuates his
despair, fear, surrender

And given that its a


production of beloved
Brecht possible dark,
satirical, crazy surprise
awaits.
Thanks to theatrical
spaces crafted from
the playwrights vision,
all involved get to
express what we cant
or wont in real life. So
called real life.

No matter the
playwrights aims,
vision

When the performers


and the audience are
so close

We get real life on the


palm of our hands.