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The Stage and Proscenium.
sentation, require, for their proper performance, a stage, with proscenium and curtains. The stage is simply an elevated platform, twelve feet or more long, by eight or more wide, the size depending upon that of the audience-room. A short distance back on the stage the proscenium is erected, affording support to the curtain, and concealing the preparations of actors from the gaze of spectators. The proscenium consists of a light, strong, wooden frame,
forming, with the plane of the floor, an area nearly square, and of a size to correspond with the dimensions of the stage. The space between the sides of the proscenium and the walls of the audience-room is generally draped with muslin, of a rich marooncolor, gathered in vertical folds. So also is the
space between the top of the proscenium and the ceiling of the room.
The proscenium may be ornamented according to taste, either by gilding, painting; papering; or by the use of chains and festoons of evergreen; flags; and wreaths of flowers. The surface of the stage should be carpeted, or else painted green. The space in front, between the foot-lights and the floor, should be rendered sightly with paint, or hangings of some kind. Excessive decoration is to be avoided, since it defeats the true purpose of all adornment–the gratification of good taste.
The proper material for a stage curtain is green baize. There are two methods of working the ordinary drop-curtain : first, by means of a roller and cords after the manner of an awning, or a windowshade; and, second, as illustrated in the accompanying diagram. Several rows of small brass rings are sewed to strips of tape fastened to the back of the curtain. Cords, tied to a weight-pole at the bottom of the curtain, run through the rings to the top, and passing over pulleys, descend to one side of the stage, and afford a convenient means of lifting and
lowering the curtain. Of course the curtain must be made fast to the top of the proscenium frame.
The common draw-curtain, consisting of two pieces, is suspended by rings sliding on a smooth rod or wire, and is easily worked from one side with strong cords, as represented in the cut. The draw
curtain is very graceful when well managed, but requires rather more material in the making than the drop, as it should hang in ample folds.
Scenery. Behind the proscenium and curtain is the acting stage with its scenery and appointments. On either side of the stage are the entrances-spaces from two