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Louise Glück, “Jeanne d’Arc”


It was in the fields. The trees grew still,
a light passed through the leaves speaking
of Christ’s great grace: I heard.
My body hardened into armor.

Since the guards
gave me over to darkness, I have prayed to God
and now the voices answer I must be
transformed to fire, for God’s purpose,
and have bid me kneel
to bless my King, and thank
the enemy to whom I own my life.


Today marks the 7th anniversary of the dedication of Gerhard Richter’s “Cathedral Window” in Cologne, comprised of 11,500 squares of glass in 72 colors.

Love color? Show us for a chance to WIN $1,000 at Saatchi Art.



With a strong basis in expressionism, atmospheric sets focus on elements that create a pervading tone, mood, romance, mystery or nostalgia.  There are numerous ways to do this, but atmospheric elements found in theater have included (but are not limited to) rain, snow, glitter, bubbles, confetti, streamers, fog, foam, haze and confetti. No matter what the set is “the space in which the story must unfold. The element employed may have a metaphorical effect, but also has to prove itself within the given bounds.”

Radical German scenic designer Katrin Brack has mastered atmospheric set design.  She describes her work as what “fits as a gesture, without shamming through decoration”. 

Her groundbreaking design for “Ivanov” was made entirely of “a fog controlled by a draught across the stage as a moving sculpture in “Ivanov”. As simple as it was total.” Characters entered thru a thick wall of fog at the back of the stage, disappearing and appearing out of thin air with little to no real “scenery” (we’ll work on a definition of scenery at another time). 

The production and her design looks stunning and audience members have told me it’s unlike anything we’ve seen here in the States.  But in Europe her design has sparked a debate on what scenic design is and on a more core level- what scenic design can be.  Some people say Katrin’s set isn’t set design.  Others say it’s crossed into a new phase of design, taping into something a standard piece of “scenery” (again we’ll define this later) can’t express. 

Can atmosphere be scenic design?  Comment below and let me know what you think and send me some of your favorite atmospheric sets.

"Ivanov" - Katrin Brack

"Moliere" - Katrin Brack

"Tartuffe" - Katrin Brack

Prinz Friedrich von Homburg" - Katrin Brack

"Das grosse Fressen" - Katrin Brack


King Lear (State Theatre of South Australia)

Design by Victoria Lamb 

Ps. The Wall Explodes during the Storm:  Watch Here

This is the way we love. She said,
if there were more than one moon I wouldn’t know
what to do or where to begin.

If the fog never lifts, the city’s still
there. She said, some things only know

one way to hide. This is the way we love,

she said, with a shotgun
under the bed. Under your skin the bone is setting.

And her hand smoothed the skin.
And her hand set the bone.

-Brian Russell, “Shotgun Under The Bed” (via oofpoetry)


Stunning portraits by photographer Phil Knott, from The New York Times: Lens article Afropunks, Come As You Are by Whitney Richardson.

Beautiful. Remarkable.  

Don’t be superior. Everyone drinks blood. Blood is a word that means alive. You can do without almost anything: arms, legs, teeth, hope. But you can’t do without blood. Lose even a little and you grow slow and stupid and not yourself at all. We are all of us beautiful and complicated vessels for carrying blood the way a bottle carries wine. I suppose you think there’s no blood in your roast beef? Life eats life. Blood makes you move, makes you blush, makes the pulse pound in your brow when you see your love walking across a street toward you, makes your very thoughts fly through your brain. Blood is everything and everything is blood.
-The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, Catherynne Valente (via aprilwitching)


When the Princess Becomes a Prophet by Jeannine Hall Gailey