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Klingelhoefer’s first book talks scenic design in theatre

Robert Klingelhoefer

A West Virginia University professor has helped fill the gap in scene design literature.

“The Craft and Art of Scenic Design: Strategies, Concepts, and Resources” is the first book written by Robert Klingelhoefer, director of WVU’s design and technology program and associate professor of scene design. 

“The idea grew out of materials prepared for my scene design class because there is a real void in textbooks for the field,” Klingelhoefer said. “Most combine a little design in with scenery construction or are on the work of a certain designer with no explanation of their process. I wanted a book that dealt with the design process as a craft and the art it would create, with a designer's explanation of why the decisions were made.”

The book explores how to design stage scenery from practical and conceptual perspectives. Discussion of conceptualizing the design through script analysis and research is followed by a comprehensive overview of execution including collaboration with directors and other designers, working with spaces, developing an effective design process and the aesthetics of stage design.

Case studies, key words, tip boxes, definitions and chapter exercises are featured in the book. Additionally, it provides advice on portfolio and career development, contracts and working with a union.

Klingelhoefer has more than 35 years of professional experience and knowledge in scenic design. He has been the resident designer at Fulton Theatre, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival and the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. His work has been seen nationwide for companies including the Walnut Street Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, the Asolo Theatre, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble and the New York State Theatre Institute among many others. Internationally, Klingelhoefer has had productions performed at the International Festival of Experimental Theatre in Cairo, Egypt, and the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Publication date: January 2017

ISBN: 978-1-138-93765-9, hardback; 978-1-93764-2, paperback.