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(theater), part of the equipment of a stage or of a theatrical production. The curtain that closes off the stage from the auditorium between scenes, before the beginning and after the end of a performance, and during intervals between acts is called the entr’acte curtain. The curtain that closes off part of the stage during the performance of an interlude on the proscenium is called the interlude curtain. Theater curtains may be parted, raised and lowered, or lit (the light being provided by lighting units). A fireproof curtain is designed to hermetically seal off the stage from the auditorium.
A curtain that dropped into a recess in front of the stage was first used in classical times in Greek and Roman theaters. During the Renaissance, when stages were equipped with gridirons, a raised curtain began to be used. It was usually painted, often by famous artists, with mythological or allegorical themes and harmonized with the decorative scheme of the auditorium. Many theaters built in the 19th and 20th centuries have curtains of this type. In 20th-century theaters a curtain is frequently part of the staging of a play and is made for a specific production. Thus, for example, in 1917 the artist A. la. Golovin painted ten curtains (one for each scene) for M. lu. Lermontov’s The Masquerade performed at the Aleksandrinskii Theater. In the contemporary theater curtains are sometimes dispensed with, according to the director’s intent.
G. V. SHEVELEV
a section of a fortress wall, usually rectilinear, that connects the facing parts of two neighboring bastions and, with them, forms the bastioned front.