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Designer Stewart Chaney working with a dancer from the American... News  Photo - Getty ImagesStewart Chaney ( Kansas City , June 23, 1905 - New York , November 9, 1969 ) was an American production designer. Stage designer Stewart Chaney, who learned design basics doing window displays for Lord & Taylor, was no architect, but he did design an entire house on the stage for Broadway's "The 49th Cousin". Chaney was one of the stage's leading set designers; like his early film cousins, he also did costumes. Like them, too, he was gay, as were most of the theater's great scenic designers.

He was born in Kansas City, Missouri.

Chaney graduated from Yale University , where he attended the lessons of George D. Baker , [1] after a short internship in the provinces he moved to New York where he soon achieved success as one of the most prepared and imaginative technicians, with the scenographic set of The Old Man by Zoë Akins and a memorable edition of Hamlet.[2] Refining his skills thanks to a living in Europe, he set designed Life with Father by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, Wuthering Heights by Carter, The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca and numerous others.[2]

In 1937 he was scenic and costume designer for the ballet, "Apollo," in an American Ballet company production at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City with Lew Christensen (Apollo); Elise Reiman (Muse); Holly Howard (Muse) and Daphne Vane (Muse) in the cast. Igor Stravinsky was composer and writer.

In 1944 he worked on Laffing Room Only (1944). Musical comedy/revue. Music by Burton Lane. Lyrics by Burton Lane. Book by Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson and Eugene Conrad. Always in 1944 he was art director for Up in Arms, starring Danny Kaye. In 1946 he was again art director for The Kid from Brooklyn, again with Danny Kaye.

In 1947 he did Scenic Design and Lighting Design on The Druid Circle. Written by John Van Druten. Directed by John Van Druten. Morosco Theatre.

Interesting are the happy spectacular solutions he proposed for ballets, among which Apollon Musagete of George Balanchine; Vienna 1814 by Léonide Massine, as well as for musical comedies. [2]

He died in Easthampton, Long Island, New York.


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