The Man who married a dumb wife

The Man who married a dumb wife
   This one-act French play by Anatole France is important in American theatre, because its 1915 production as a curtain-raiser to George Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the Lion at Wallack's Theatre in New York is regarded as having launched the New Stagecraft in American scene design. Although one can see the influence of Joseph Urban's act 2 setting for Madame Butterfly at the Boston Opera in 1912 (which was in turn influenced by a kimono that singer Alice Nielsen brought back from Japan, as well as Viennese Werkstatte style), Robert Edmond Jones's set design simplified the geometric elements and had a more revolutionary impact, as Aronson notes, because of the greater visibility of a Broadway production. Against the grey, white, and black of the exterior of the judge's house, the stained-glass colors of the late medieval costumes took on special vibrancy.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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