A backdrop can be used as a painted curtain that hangs in the back of the stage that may indicate scenery. Theatrical scenery is what is used as a setting for a theatrical production. Scenery may be just about anything, from a single chair to a street way or building complex. This technique is used greatly because it helps the audience better understand the circumstances or setting of a scene. In example, a production of Alice in Wonderland would most likely have a bright high color contrasted paint forest to help portray the reality of Alice no longer being in the real world. Some negative effect of a backdrop range from factor such as the following; something too flashy could possibly pull your audience out of the drama or rising actions of the production.
The concept of backdrop originated during the time of the Italian Renaissance during the Greek, Roman, Medieval and Elizabethan periods. Around the year of 1415 Filippo Brunelleschi discovered the secret of linear perspective which is a mathematical system for creating the illusion of space and distance on a flat surface. In 1435 Leon Alberti published the first treatise on the geometric principles of linear perspective revealing the secrets of Brunelleschi's concept. It goes as far the year 1638 Nicola Sabbattini when he published a manual for constructing theatrical scenes and machines which was the first practical stage craft manual.
Three Major Scenic Trends
These were special scenic trends during the 19th century especially in Europe are:
- Historically Accurate Scenery
- The development of the realistic box set
- A revolt against the two dimensional world of painted canvas