Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Norman Bel Geddes Database

Job 126, Marionette Stage, 1927-1930

Summary: The Marionette Theatre was designed by Bel Geddes for a tour of Harry Burnett's Marionettes (formerly the Yale Puppeteers) through the northeastern United States from 1928 to 1930. The small theater was designed so that it and four people could all be transported by a one ton truck or -- if possible -- one half-ton truck for ease of traveling. It could be set up on either an existing stage or upon any level floor. In the case that the theater was set up on an existing stage, the puppet stage would rise 2' above the original stage's surface, but if the theater was set up on a level floor the stage would sit 4' above the floor. The theater was also fitted with a cyclorama to create a backdrop to the stage.

Geddes designed the puppets and sets for two shows to be staged in the theater, Bluebeard and Hansel and Gretel, about which the flier for the show proclaimed that "the unusual beauty of Mr. Geddes's decor for these two productions places them on an artistic level never before achieved with marionettes in America" (Harry Burnett's Marionettes, flier, 1928, Norman Bel Geddes Papers, Harry Ransom Center).

Hunter Code: TH 21
Hunter Guide: page 181

Box/Location Folder Description
theater box 159 e 1 Preliminary Sketches --- 11 Plans and elevations w/ ms. notes.
flat file f 1-5 Drawings --- Plans and elevations, details, lighting.

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