Theatre of the Fraternity: Staging the Ritual Space of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 1896-1929

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9780878059478: Theatre of the Fraternity: Staging the Ritual Space of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 1896-1929
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Affording a glimpse into a bygone era, this catalog of theatrical memorabilia and artifacts gives an understanding of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry's great appeal during the twentieth century. Vintage photographs, scenic backdrops, rare programs, costumes, objects, and sketches reveal how Freemasonry was intrinsic to American popular culture. Scottish Rite, a segment of the larger Masonic movement, used theatrical productions as an essential part of its ritual and ceremony. Its continued success today, as evidenced by the many large extant temples, is owed, in part, to the important element of theatricality that is the focus of this book.Scenery created for Scottish Rite performances included exotic images adapted from Broadway and Vaudeville. Such innovative technology as electricity enhanced this rich stagecraft In the spirit of the new century's prosperity, commercial theatre was stimulated to attract ever larger audiences and the Scottish Rite fraternity was spurred to swell its membership.Because the public appetite for novelty and spectacle was insatiable and changing, sets created for theatrical stages were regarded almost always as disposable or subject to upgrading. However, most Scottish Rite scenery, lighting, and stage effects remained intact. In the fraternity's elaborate auditoriums, in its masonic decor, and in the fantastic regalia worn by its members the rich aesthetic heritage documented in this engaging book is preserved.

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A collection of evocative icons and stage designs used by a fraternal order of freemasonry

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Published by University Press of Mississipp (1996)
ISBN 10: 0878059474 ISBN 13: 9780878059478
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Published by University Press of Mississippi (1996)
ISBN 10: 0878059474 ISBN 13: 9780878059478
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