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Die ausgewählten Artikel stammen aus der RCA Firmen-Zeitung vom May 1962 - Die Einführung beginnt hier.



By - SOL CORNBERG (siehe auch Editorial-Bericht über den Autor)

This is the story of the "automatic theatre" and, since it is made possible by means of closed-circuit television, broadcasters will doubtless find interest therein. Further, many of the recommended techniques for flying scenery, handling props, and moving electrical fixtures are uniquely pertinent for the broadcaster .......

The author, Sol Cornberg, is remembered as Director of Studio and Plant Planning for NBC. Now heading his own company, Sol Cornberg Associates, he is applying his expertise to the design of tv studios and plants for educators, the military, and broadcasters.

Die Veränderungen in der Theater-Welt

Chaos, happenstance, hair breath-Harry, Joe McGee and luck should not be the precursor of performance. In theatres built at the turn of the century, now in use and commanding extraordinary expenditure in production and patron costs, this is more often than not the case.

We are in sympathy with one half of William Saroyan's statement "the formal theatre is dead and all our forms forever obsolete."

With too few exceptions, the designers and architects who are charged with bringing new theatres into being succeed in creating modern replicas of traditional theatre structures - structures whose very shape, machinery and operation is conditioned on and by archaic, sentimental theatre practice.

New: enlightened theatre practice

It is not enough to produce traditional structure and practice, which impose parameters on the playwright and are contributing factors to the stultifying and uninspiring current theatre art. New structure must permit - more, must cause - enlightened theatre practice.

A mere handful of people, the playwright, director and show designer are prerequisite to setting the mood and the quality, i.e., the requirements, of a given production. Of the myriad number who will additionally be involved, only the actor and audience should be privileged to impose their emotional well-being on the specific performance.

Extraordinary costs of theatre construction and operation demand (erfordern) that the theatre building lend itself to the well-being of any type of production to the fullest, so that true theatre - the interaction of performer and audience - maybe best served.

The proprietor, designer and architect must, as in flying at 700 miles per hour or using an automatic elevator, come to terms with the machine, take cognizance of new materials, as well as new techniques and tools, in handling old materials.

In accepting the best of new technology available, and that yet to come, a fine structure can be built, space controlled, so that the theatre may literally materialize, about the thought, and need of the specific production - may materialize the shape, size, color, decor, and smell (if desired), of the production's requirements.

Über das Theater-Gebäude

A theatre plant as sophisticated as that envisioned will not, perhaps, be won in a revolutionary manner. However, considering the many - and some exciting - approaches made on the campuses of America in the past ten years as segue, the theatre in its need for new plant, may well evolve into the space-controlled theatre plant.

The great new theatre would be that one which the proprietor and designer dare to leave unfinished, though operable, and which may in time accept equipment and operating disciplines wh!ch budgetary consideration and technology provide.

Operating personnel in front of the house and backstage must be upgraded to, or, by attrition, replaced, with those who are capable of dealing with the space-controlled theatre.

We submit that, in transition, known and proven technology introduced into theatres now in use, would deter "the erection of replicas." We further submit that proper and efficient communication between operating personnel would remove their unnecessary emotional well-being from the true "act of theatre," the intercourse between performer and audience.

Der Einsatz von cctv Systemen

By introducing closed circuit (intcr-com) television into the procedure (as has been done at the St. James Theatre, New York City, among others), operating personnel may for the first time see the show as the audience sees it.

All cues: sight, sound and physical, would have reaction time reduced, causing a more desirable blend of all effects, and the consequent heightening of the "act".

Closed circuit television camera and microphone mounted in a fixed-focus, fixed position, in the front of the house. The camera is self-contained and requires no operator. Sight and sound are distributed by wire.

The stage manager sees the show, for the first time, as the audience he is serving, sees it - not, a sliver of stage, through a peep hole in the set or between two flats, but the entire stage. He is now able to "stage manage" the entire effect as direcied.

The electrician whose cue comes by audio inter-com or hand signal can now see and hear the stage and actor he is lighting, and in so doing, is in a better position to enhance the values of the actor, rather than to effect a lighting display.

The performer in the dressing room is "in touch" with the stage even when changing costume or makeup, and is better able to maintain the mood, and less likely to miss the cue.

The fly man works in the blind, his cue a shout and a holler, or a series of flashing lights. With scenery moving in and out in view of the audience, creating some excitement to offset weak script or performance, the holler is, as a rule, subdued. With a view of the stage he is less likely to crotch-catch with scenery foot irons, or create a new cleavage in unsuspecting craniums.

Management at all levels, being in "sight and sound" touch with the performance, may better serve performer and public. Tn educational environs the actual performance, performer and public, are the living textbook.

Vorausschau ist möglich

With some precedent and further consideration, the technical operations of the carpenter, fly men and electrician may be mechanized. With brute force no longer a requirement, we may expect more sensitive operators.

Switchboards which by tradition arc placed down stage right or left, on stage floor or a balcony off the stage floor, may be installed in a basement space on the base floor slab, close to prime electrical feeders. This saves countless dollars in heavy copper feeds as well as footings and steel cost.

Fly galleries, pin rails, loading rails and curtain lines may be eliminated, with hoisting equipment in flux to meet show requirements. Draperies and Hats may be handled as space dividers on horizontal and vertical tracks.

Operators and machines are moved to less critical space, the effect of their efforts being watched by closed circuit television cameras, strategically placed.

Carpenter, fly men and electrician make their contribution, complete and important, without becoming part of the traflic flow at stage level.

The auditorium itself may he shaped, and color corrected, from the lobby to the stage (as has been done at the "American Broadcasting Company" (ABC), Studio 2, New York City). The audience being emotionally tempered, from the moment of entry into the building, may more readily shed the outside work-a-day world, for the fullest participation in the theatre experience.

Audience sealing, in numbers and conformation may be achieved at will, to meet the physical, as well as the economic, requirements of the specific production.

The property man, with his props stored closest to their point of use, may perform his all-important task with the minimum of friction with other stage operating departments.

The stage floor is clear, property rooms and dressing rooms arc as close to the playing area as possible. Chorus and mob who change costumes most often, for greatest effect, may do so in dressing rooms at the stage level.



Seated before the simulation device, creative directorial and design personnel (there are so few qualified or needed), may shape the physical theatre to the production requirements. Then having tried and erred and tried again, they will feed into the tape or computer playback all cues of the play, knowing that they will be reproduced faithfully, unemotionally, ad infinitum, in quantity, quality and tempo.

During the performance creative operational personnel at Central Control will monitor the machine, over-riding it when necessary to accommodate the varying pace, as of the ever varying reaction between performer and audience.
We approach the desirable, the stage floor belongs to the property man and the performer.
Thus the classical effect from the most sophisticated tool. THE ULTIMATE ENCHANTMENT,



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