Accommodating the Lively Arts: An Architect's View

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9781575251288: Accommodating the Lively Arts: An Architect's View
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Architect Martin Bloom has written Accommodating the Lively Arts to encourage the building and preservation of spaces that can nurture live performance in an age increasingly threatened by the steady encroachment of simulated electronic entertainments. This book is essential reading for anyone who might ever be involved in making decisions about the design or renovation of performance facilities -- architects, designers, students, theatre professionals (actors, directors, producers, technicians) and all those who might find themselves on committees charged with deciding on the location, financingm and shape such facilities may take.

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"It is one of the theatre's greatest ironies," playwright and critic Charles Marowitz says in introducing Bloom's fine book, "that those who design its stages and auditoria . . . are very often baboons when it comes to creating a space in which actors and audience can happily cohabit." Architect Bloom hopes to rectify that sad state of affairs by focusing on all aspects of theater design: types of stages, ways of arranging the audience, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. He also provides, with plenty of accompanying illustrations, an interesting history of performance spaces from the theater's earliest times, when a smooth, flat surface was enough, to the magnificent palaces built in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Written in a spare, dry style clearly not appealing to just any reader, Bloom's effort is yet, for anyone interested in theater design or who is planning to renovate or build an auditorium, a vital source of information. Jack Helbig

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..essential reading for anyone who might ever be involved in making decisions about the design or renovation of performance facilities. -- The Midwest Book Review, October 1998

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