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Jean Rosenthal

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by

Rebekah Garvin

on 7 October 2014

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Transcript of Jean Rosenthal

Jean Rosenthal
is most well known for:
"Through the course of her career, Jean Rosenthal made the
LIGHTING DESIGNER
a crucial member of the production team."


MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT MISS ROSENTHAL
Her Romanian-Jewish background

Born in my birthday month, March

She designed the lighting for one of my most favorite movies:
The Sound of Music
and
Fiddler on the Roof


Called her crew of electricians
“darling” and “honey.”
AN "IN-DEMAND"
REVOLUTIONARY
BROADWAY
CREDITS INCLUDE
MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE THEATER:
A pioneer of theatrical lighting design
Jean Rosenthal
1912-1969
"LIGHTING DESIGNER"
establishing a
new position in theater called:
Her use of light revolutionized the art of theatrical lighting. Because she was able to "create an atmosphere unique to each show" she was one of the most in-demand Broadway lighting designers of her time.

- Mary Callahan Boone -
Born in New York City on March 16, 1912 as Eugenia Rosenthal

Parents were Drs. Pauline and Maurice Rosenthal

From Romanian-Jewish descent

Died on May 1, 1969 from cancer at the age of 57
SHORT BIOGRAPHY
Rebekah Garvin
Raquel Davis; Stage Lighting, BSU
Sept. 2014
Ethical Culture School in the Bronx
Manumit School in Pawling, NY
Learned how to open a chicken
coop door w/o scaring the chickens
(important in theater).
Friends Seminary in Manhattan
Had "difficulty fitting in" and barely
graduated at 16
.
Neighborhood Playhouse studying acting and dance
Grades too low for regular college so enrolled at NP
Became technical director for Martha Graham during the 1929-1930 academic year
Designed the lighting for 53 dances (1936-1969)
Yale University School of Drama from 1931-1934
EDUCATION
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives (sca.gmu.edu/finding_aids/ftpphoto.html

www3.northern.edu/wild/jr.jpg
www.thefreelibrary.com
www.manumitschool.com
Jewish Women's Archive:
jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/rosenthal-jean

New York Times, Oct. 17, 2013

JEAN ROSENTHAL PICTURES
gaiasocial.org.br/novo/wp-content/uploads/jean-rosenthal-i18.jpeg

media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/31/eb/71/31eb712182b2616536ea78a3820a65fc.jpg

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Vandamm Theatrical Photograph Collection, Billy Rose Theatre Division (http://hyperallergic.com/85662/stunning-photographs-of-early-20th-century-theater-in-new-york/)


SOURCES
FEDERAL THEATRES, NY
1933-1936 Technical Assistant

MERCURY THEATRE, NY
1937-1941 Production Manager
[ It's thought that she designed the lighting for
eight of their productions ]

THEATER EMPLOYMENT
THEATRE PRODUCTION SERVICE, INC. (TPS)
1941; theatrical supply house (mail-order catalog)

JEAN ROSENTHAL ASSOCIATES
1958; theatrical consulting firm
[ Involved in nearly 30 architectural projects (Guthrie Theatre, American Shakespeare Festival, Julliard School of Music etc.) ]




ENTREPRENEUR
Started in late 1950's, but written during her long hospital stays during 1968

Published in 1972 (3 years after her death)

Currently out of print. First Edition selling on Amazon for over $235
AUTHOR
The Magic of Light
Rosenthal became
"the first professional stage lighting designer"
during her time working with the well-known Orson Wells in both the Federal and Mercury Theater's.
She designed the lighting for
over 300 productions.
West Side Story 1957
The Sound of Music, 1959
Fiddler on the Roof, 1964
Hello Dolly! 1964
Hamlet, 1964
Cabaret, 1966
Fiddler on the Roof opened in 1964 as a blockbuster success

Initial production played 3,242 times ending in 1972

Last Broadway show to credit Jean Rosenthal with Lighting Design.
Her goal was to "'make the actor appear "jewel-like.'"

She sought to produce light and shade with no shadows.
Elimination of shadows

Dramatic side light to sculpt dancers bodies

Expanded the designer's vocabulary

Organized approach to lighting

POINT OF INTEREST I DISCOVERED
One of President Roosevelt's New Deal Programs

Employment for artists, writers, and performers during the Great Depression

Only federally sponsored and subsidized theater program in the United States

FEDERAL THEATRES 1935-1939
New York City Ballet (1948-1957)
Martha Graham Dance Company ('34-'69)
American Ballet Theatre (1960-1968)
New York City Opera (1950-1954)
Dallas Civic Opera
American Shakespeare Festival ('55-'59)
"INSTITUTIONAL" THEATER
She thought her best work was done for the Dance, Opera and Drama institutions because she had more time to create.
inventive ~ imaginative ~ experimental ~ unconventional
Errand into the Maze (1947)
Stage crew portrait for “Macbeth” (1941)
Jean Rosenthal, Lighting Designer
photographed by
Carl Van Vechten
photographed by
Carl Van Vechten
West Side Story
Full transcript