Claude Bragdon Annotated Bibliography (In Progress)

Annotated Bibliography by Karen Taylor



Atkinson, J. Brooks.  "The Play: Walter Hampden Reviving 'Hamlet.'"  New York Times.  January 5, 1928, 33

            This is a review printed in the New York Times during the second run of Hamlet.  It is helpful in giving a contemporary critic's view of the staging of the production.

Bragdon Family Papers.  University of Rochester, Rare Books and Special Collections.

The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, architectural drawings, costume and set designs, drawings, and scrapbooks.  Though I plan to use individual letters in particular, one of which is listed below, I hope to utilize the materials in this collection, especially the costume and set designs, for obvious reasons.

Bragdon, Claude.  Letter to Francis Bacon, February 24, 1923.  Bragdon Family Papers, Box 1:  General Correspondence, 1894-1929.

            This is a letter I have catalogued already.  Though short, I found it to be extremely insightful in terms of the importance Bragdon placed on certain aspects of the production of Macbeth.  He mentions in particular the Birnam Wood scene and lighting effects for ghosts.

---. "The Artist-in-the-Theatre."  The American Magazine of Art.  20, no. 10:  October 1929:  547-549.

            In this article, Bragdon himself describes his role in the "new stagecraft" movement.  He makes connections between himself and his contemporaries and also between his work and the Elizabethan stage.  This is important for placing him in the context of history.

---.  Merely Players.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1929.

This book is a personal account, by Bragdon himself, of his life and work in the world of theater.  As he states in his introduction, there is "no theorizing, little philosophizing, but an account of people known and things seen or experienced."  I hope that this book will give insight to Bragdon's work through his own eyes as well as some background information such as names and places.  The fact that he was actively writing during the time the plays were actually in production is unique and gives an authentic perspective on his own work.

---. More Lives Than One: Autobiography of Claude Bragdon.  Claude Bragdon:  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1938.

            Bragdon's autobiography has been extremely helpful in my research so far.  The book puts his life events in context and also contains a very helpful index of names, places and productions.  Bragdon's personal insight is invaluable in evaluating his life philosophy as well as the importance he places on his own works.

---.  Claude Bragdon. "Producing Shakespeare:  As Illustrated by Walter Hampden's Production of Othello"  The Architectural Record, vol. 57, no. 2, March 1925.

            Bragdon's conception of Shakespeare and the way it should translate to the modern stage is nicely summarized in this article.  Though it relates directly to Macbeth, the article is useful in looking at the way Bragdon thought about Shakespeare's stage.


---. "The Scenery for Walter Hampden's Hamlet." Theatre Arts Magazine. July 1919, 193.

            Though short, this article is a summary of the techniques employed by Bragdon in designing and implementing the sets for his first production of Hamlet.


---.  "Towards a New Theatre."  The Architectural Record. 52: September 1922:  170-182.

            This article, also written by Bragdon, should be helpful in learning about the actual stage design described by Bragdon as the "new theatre."  This article includes drawings and analysis of theatres designed by Norman-Bel Geddes, a contemporary of Bragdon and a man with whom Bragdon shared a philosophy of staging.

Brown, Frank Chouteau.  "Shakespeare, Hampden and Bragdon."  The Drama. 11: March 1921: 197-199.

            This article describes the new art of stage with such terms as "simple," "direct."  With scenery serving as merely a background, the actors were free to focus on the text.  Though the article mainly discusses Hamlet, I feel it will be a valuable resource for information on staging techniques and philosophy and also on costuming.

Costa, Erville.  "Claude F. Bragdon, Architect, Stage Designer, and Mystic."  Rochester History.  29:  October 1967:  1-20.

            This article gives a local perspective on the life of Claude Bragdon and the way he contributed to Rochester history.  It gives biographical information as well as an analysis of the impact of his works.

Fuchs, Theodore.  Stage Lighting.  Boston:  Little, Brown and Company, 1929; reprinted., New York:  Benjamin Blom, Inc., 1957.

            This book contains a more technical description of lighting techniques employed throughout theatrical history, including Bragdon's time.  Bragdon himself is specifically included in an appendix with a description of materials used, techniques employed, etc.

Meyers, Carole.  Wake Up and Dream!: Claude Bragdon's Idea of Theatre.  Undergraduate dissertation, University of Rochester class of 1988.  Department of English, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 1987.

            This dissertation was extremely helpful in terms of its bibliography and also contains a more in-depth discussion of Bragdon's work for Cyrano, which will be helpful in framing my discussion of Macbeth.  Consulting Meyers' bibliography will be a good place to find useful sources.

"The New Way of Staging Hamlet."  Literary Digest.  76:  January 13, 1923:  27-28.

            This article does not focus on Bragdon, but does give a good perspective of the movement of which he was a part.

Oenslager, Donald.  Stage Design, Four Centuries of Scenic Invention.  New York:  The Viking Press, 1975.

            Oenslager discusses Bragdon's architectural background and the impact it had on his stage designs, a type of "dynamic symmetry."  His book places Bragdon in an historical context with the mention of contemporary producers, writers, and plays.  I think this will be helpful in describing the broader movement of which Bragdon was a part.

Siegfried, David Allen.  Claude Bragdon, Artist-in-the-Theatre.  PhD thesis submitted at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Urbana, Illinois, 1979.

            Siegfried's thesis is also helpful in its discussion of theatricality.  It contains an in-depth explanation of Bragdon's philosophy relating to stage design and theosophy in general.  The bibliography is again a good resource for finding citations.





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