Reuse is coded into our theatrical DNA; since the Greeks, we've been repainting old periaktoi
, storing props and costumes, and making magic out of scraps.
Newcomer describes what "A Midsummer Night's Dream" playgoers will find there as "a great setting with shade tentings, live musical accompaniment, two spectacularly designed and artistically fashioned periaktoi
for our set, all the splendors of nature and the fairy world ...
Of particular interest is the Periaktoi
, a revolving prism that could depict three different scenes.
, or scenes painted on triangular frames, were used to change the backdrop for plays, introducing the idea of scenery against which a story could be told.
The second, Ajax Flagellifer, certainly was performed before King James at Oxford in 1605, in a Serlian theater built within Christ Church Hall, and equipped with changing scenery painted on revolving periaktoi
, a classicized theater which didn't bear much resemblance to the Athenian theater of Dionysus but was otherwise au courant, and in relation to the contemporary London stage distinctly spectacular.
This involves mirrored periaktoi
awkwardly spinning in the hands of overworked actors as stage crew--not musical stager Patti Colombo's finest hour, though she does keep her troupe moving elsewhere.
They reintroduce the classical periaktoi
: The side scenes are but three, and are on triangular frames, which revolve.
dimensional painted scenery 3 dimensional props carry used on 3 sided periaktoi
and locational information, e.g., pinakes, an early form of Midsummer Night's Dream, flats.
And just as, in the classical drama, the function of the messenger could be supplemented with tableaux 'displayed on a wheeled platform' (25)--precursor of the Tudor 'discovery space'--so too Tudor scenic placards paralleled the Athenian periaktoi
, 'triangular prisms which could be rotated to indicate symbolically a change of scene by means of a painted tree, a column, or waves' (A Concise History of the Theatre, p.