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Fuchs, Theodore


Biographical History

Theodore Fuchs was a theatrical lighting designer, engineer and consultant, as well as a professor of theater at Northwestern University.

Born in 1904, Theodore Fuchs graduated from high school at age 15, and graduated from college with degrees in both chemical and electrical engineering by age 19. After graduating, Fuchs joined the staff at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he worked as a professor of theater. He collaborated with other professors on on experiments with engineering and the aesthetics of lighting that developed the technology, system, and vocabulary of the stage.

In 1929, Fuchs published "Stage Lighting," one of the earliest theatrical lighting texts. In 1970, 42 years after taking the position at Northwestern University, Fuchs retired. At the Kansas City Conference in 1980, he was presented with the USITT award for his contributions to the theatre.

Fuchs passed away some time later.


Northern State University, via WWW, 11 November 2015 (Theodore Fuchs published a book, "Stage Lighting," in 1929)

"The Cambridge History of American Theatre," via WWW, 11 November 2015 (Theodore Fuchs taught at Northwestern University; collaborated on experiments with engineering and the aesthetics of lighting that led to the shrinking of the size of the switchboard and the establishment of a system and vocabulary for the stage)

University of Campinas, via WWW, 11 November 2015 (Theodore Fuchs, an author, teacher, and theatre consultant, graduated from high school at the age of 15; earned a bachelor's degree in both Chemical and Electrical Engineering by the time he was 19; lighting design student of Stanley McCandless; joined the staff of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; Retired after 42 years at the end of 1970 academic year; published on eof the earliest theatrical lighting texts; was presented the USITT Award for his contributions at the 1980 Kansas City Conference)

Found in 13 Collections and/or Records:

Theodore Fuchs papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 125
Scope and Contents Contains holographs, typescripts, drawings, and printed materials. Includes correspondence, manuscripts of published and unpublished studies of stage lighting, records of completed stage lighting projects, engineering drawings, teaching materials, theater workshop records, and various personal materials. Dates from between 1921 and 1978.
Dates: 1921-1978

Theodore Fuchs photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS P 157
Scope and Contents Collection includes photographs taken and collected by Fuchs between 1921 and 1978. Includes images related to his professional work, both at Northwestern University and as a consultant.
Dates: 1921-1978

Theodore Fuchs correspondence, 1929-1976

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 125 Series 1
Scope and Contents Contains Theodore Fuchs' personal correspondence to and from friends, business associates, and former students, all predominantly theatre-oriented. Correspondence after 1951 reflects his deeper involvement in engineering-consulting subsequent to his resignation as Director of the Northwestern University Theatre that year. Especially covered in the latter years are letters from past students needing information and guidance in their encounters with poorly-equipped stages. The business...
Dates: 1929-1976

Theodore Fuchs engineering drawings, sketches, and blueprints, 1934-1978

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 125 Series 4
Scope and Contents Contains sketches and blueprints theatre and stage lighting designed by Theodore Fuchs. Materials dated 1934-1978.
Dates: 1934-1978

Theodore Fuchs papers on lighting design, 1928-1937

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 125 Series 6
Scope and Contents Contains notes on stage productions with lighting designed by Theodore Fuchs, including "The Light of Asia" and "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch." Also includes two lightbulbs used in stage productions. Materials dated 1928-1937.
Dates: 1928-1937

Theodore Fuchs papers on Northwestern University, 1927-1967

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 125 Series 7
Scope and Contents Contains materials related to Fuchs' teaching career at Northwestern University. Includes student papers, course work, personal materials, and university-related materials. Materials dated 1927-1967.
Dates: 1927-1967

Theodore Fuchs papers on productions, 1931-1959

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 125 Series 9
Scope and Contents Contains the programs and other materials from productions that Fuchs designed, worked with, or was associated with. Materials dated 1931-1959.
Dates: 1931-1959

Theodore Fuchs papers on professional organizations, 1950-1974

 Series — Box: 18
Identifier: MSS 125 Series 5
Scope and Contents Contains materials related to the professional organizations Fuchs was involved with. Also includes Fuchs' proposed revisions and drawings for the Illuminating Engineering Society (I.E.S.) Handbook in 1955 and again in 1965. Materials dated 1950-1974.
Dates: 1950-1974

Theodore Fuchs papers on the Northwestern Theatre Workshop, approximately 1950-1960

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 125 Series 8
Scope and Contents Contains materials related to Fuchs' time as the director of the Northwestern Theatre Workshop. Includes newspaper clippings, awards, and various forms, manuals, and financial papers. Materials dated approximately 1950-1960.
Dates: approximately 1950-1960

Theodore Fuchs papers on theater engineering and consulting, 1934-1977

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 125 Series 3
Scope and Contents Contains materials related to Fuchs' professional work in theatre and stage lighting. Includes meeting notes, booklets, contracts, bids, recommendations, drawings of details, and correspondence. Materials dated 1934-1977.
Dates: 1934-1977