Izenour, George Charles 1912-2007

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Izenour, George Charles 1912-2007


See index for CA sketch: Born July 24, 1912, in New Brighton, PA; died March 24, 2007, in Philadelphia, PA. Designer, educator, and author. An innovator in theater design, Izenour invented automated lighting and mechanical systems that are used in television studios and for live theater. An alumnus of Wittenberg College, he earned a B.A. in 1934 and an M.A. in physics in 1936. His master's thesis work led to his Izenour system of automated lighting. Hired by Yale University as director of the Electromechanical Laboratory for the School of Drama in 1939, he completed his lighting system in 1947. It allowed one stagehand rather than two or three people to control lighting. Initially used in television studios, it was later adapted for use in live theater, as well. The lighting system was followed by an automated winch system, and in the 1950s Izenour developed a way to convert proscenium stages into thrust stages in just fifteen minutes. What this did is turn a traditional stage into a stage that was surrounded on three sides by the audience. Now known as Izenour theaters, this automated stage system is used around the world, with the notable exception of Broadway. Izenour continued to work for Yale through 1977, including as professor of theatre design and technology for the last seventeen years of his tenure. Afterwards, he became a theater design consultant and founded George C. Izenour Associates. He was the author of Theater Technology (1988) and Roofed Theaters of Classical Antiquity (1992).



New York Times, March 30, 2007, p. C9.