This website is part of The New York Public Library's Online Exhibition Archive. For current classes, programs, and exhibitions, please visit nypl.org.

 


 Theatrical Device
 Creative Process
 Close-up
 
 Location / Hours
 Acknowledgments

  The staff of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts invites our visitors to examine transformations inherent to the audience experience and to the creative process. The exhibit highlights the vast range of treasures in the Library's collections in an exploration of the many different ways that music, dance, theatre, film, the broadcast media, and recorded sound are fashioned by creative and diverse artists, and how these fields intersect, influence and re-shape one another. These artifacts remind us that art is about making magic, changing the mundane into the unique, and transforming the ordinary into the exceptional.

In theatre, transformations are major changes that happen in full view of the audience. Statues come to life, volcanoes erupt, actors become animals -- all "right before your very eyes." Transformations appear in plots that have been told and re-told, depicted and performed over centuries; theatrical devices that are as familiar to us as they were to our ancestors, whatever their language and culture. We also use the word "transformation" to describe the invisible creative process. The exhibit affords a view into the private world of creative artists and how they approach the process of transforming their resources.

The range and diversity of artifacts can prompt visitors to make their own connections among the disparate materials on display. The exhibit, like the Library for the Performing Arts, promotes this cross-pollination of ideas, which will encourage visitors to become active participants by intensifying their responses to art, cultures, and the world around them. The Library for the Performing Arts re-emerges from its own transformation as a singular state-of-the-art facility ready to meet the needs of both the New York and global arts communities of the 21st century.

 
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