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Theater Planning by Gene Leitermann

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Foreword

William L. Rawn FAIA

Theaters have a long history, perhaps as long a history as any building type in our culture. The Greeks and Romans built large, beautiful and remarkably effective theaters. These were important buildings, representing the ambitions of those cultures—and the ambitions of the powerful people in those cultures.

In the Middle Ages, public theater moved to the streets. The structure was a wagon or a simple platform, perhaps raised, a canvas backdrop—all utterly temporary and moveable. Over time religious pageants gave way to secular dramas. Political and social subjects became an essential part of the theater’s role—and its broader appeal.

Of course, by the seventeenth century in London, The Globe Theatre presented Shakespeare’s ...

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