Monday, September 14, 2009

Dracula Toy Theater

For the newly revamped Broadway production of Dracula, Edward Gorey reworked his set designs and won a Tony Award for his costume designs. The interest generated by this production put Mr. Gorey firmly in the spotlight. Up to this point in his career, he had a steadfast and loyal fan base for his books, and could pretty much get as much illustration work as he wished to take on. He was well known within many circles, but now he became...Popular!

As a direct result of his Dracula association, his work began to sell better and his public definitely wanted more "Dracula". In 1979, Edward Gorey once again redrew his set designs which were printed as Dracula, A Toy Theatre. Published by Charles Scribner's Sons as a spiral bound large format 10" x 15" book printed on heavy card stock, the Dracula Toy Theatre was presented as a book which could be cut apart and pasted together to form a facsimile of the Broadway stage set.

The highly detailed backgrounds for each of the three acts were augmented by furniture, rugs, and even small costumed actors, enabling the home impresario to stage their own production of the play. At one point early in my collecting career, Bill and I cut up a copy and constructed one of these toy theaters. Still floating about the house today is Dracula's coffin and a sofa from the set.

Dracula, A Toy Theatre is once again available, this time published by Pomegranate. This more user friendly version comes in a decorated box and has perforated stiff sheets, unlike the original version which had to be cut apart with a scissors. The size of the toy theater is slightly smaller than the original, but beautifully printed.

1 comment:

Leather Sofa said...

A performance qualifies as dramatic by creating a representational illusion. By this broad definition, theatre had existed since the dawn of man, as a result of the human tendency for storytelling. Since its inception, theatre has come to take on many forms, utilizing speech, gesture, music, dance, and spectacle, combining the other performing arts, often as well as the visual arts, into a single artistic form.