The book “Stagecraft Fundamentals by Rita Kogler Carver” recently landed on my desk to review. The author is an Emmy Award winner. It is a weighty tome that will in fact be a valuable and useful tool for those contemplating getting into the back stage arena or as a simple reference for amateur and professionals alike. The range of topics covered is large, but the information presented in an easy to read manner. It starts with a brief history of theatre which I believe all practitioners should have some knowledge. . Just a quick look through the list of contents shows you the wide range of topics covered. No area is skimped, there is plenty of information available in the book. The areas that are covered are:
- History and Art
- Safety and Scenery
- Rigging and Lighting
- Costumes and Make up
- Sound and Special Effects
- Stage management and Careers
So as you can see from above no topic misses out. The information is presented in a concise manner and is detailed enough so the reader is not left floundering and having to find my info elsewhere. The author has gone to a great deal of work to assemble the information and even though technology is changing this text will be relevant for many years. The basic information needed is all there and is beautiful illustrated colour examples, there are step-by-step procedures and examples of the finished product. This is the second edition and there is even more information on a whole range of topics such as; stage management, drafting (both by hand and CAD), lanterns, and special effects.There are plenty of diagrams that illustrate concepts, and a load of information on standards and practises used on the Euopean side of the Atlantic. There is also an accompanying website, www.stagecraftfundamentals.com which is filled with a range of additional information, links.
I highly recommend this book to everybody, but don’t leave it on your bookshelf to look good. There is so much useful information in here that it should be on your work table as a great reference. So this book will be a great aid to those already working, amateurs and students.