All the World’s a Stage

Make-Up, Costumes and Masks for the Stage - cover
Make-Up, Costumes, and Masks for the Stage
Bruun-Rasmussen and Petersen

Not only is this book old, but it’s downright offensive too!  We have different standards of political correctness these days (thank goodness…), and some of the old books you find in libraries do not reflect that.  One more reason to keep public library collections up to date!  This, by the way, is cataloged as juvenile fiction.

How to make “falsies”:

Make-Up, Costumes and Masks for the Stage - cover

And my personal favorite, the ever-offensive “Chinese coolie” look with directions on how to make your eyes look more “Oriental” (seriously??):

Old-fashioned Chinese coolie


  1. I’m sure by now I’m the 6th person to say this, but how does a kimono fit into a costume for a Chinese person? (And, yes, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in the inappropriateness of that whole costume.)

  2. The first page isn’t so bad, the “coolie” though is definitely not likely to appear in any modern class plays.

  3. The “coolie” page reminds me of when my high school put on Little Shop of Horrors . . . apparently there were no asian boys in our school, or at least none interested in drama, so my friend Grace played the old Chinese man who sold Audrey 2, fake moustache and all.

  4. The Chinese person reminds me of the Amy Sedaris character Jerri Blank, on the 90s show
    Strangers With Candy, in the episode about racial sensitvity,when she draws the picture of
    the Chinese person and tells the boy she likes, “Me rike you, come over and I wash your shirt.”

  5. What pose is she doing! What IS that. What offensive 70s play required girls to dress up as “Chinese” people anyway?
    This is really just my favorite Awful Book in a long time. I want this book! I want to make a big plastic cup chest and pillow butt and walk around.

  6. The plastic cup idea just doesn’t seem very good. Why not just stuff a large bra? Or do whatever the heck the drag queens do. I’d read a book on that.

  7. You aren’t likely to see the stuff on the front cover anymore either. Was Marcel Marceaou involved with this?

  8. LOL! That girl still doesn’t look the tiniest bit Chinese. Some people are just plain caucasian.

  9. We actually have this. Based on the record, it’s a translated version of a Danish book. Which does explain the interest in troll costumes.

  10. Darn! Finn949 beat me to the Shields and Yarnell reference. All you young whipper-snappers who don’t know who they are will have to google the finest male-female mime team to ever have their own variety show on TV.

  11. My fairly-recently taken college-level theatrical makeup course still contained a section (which we all had to do), on how to make one’s eyes look more “Asian.” It was a lot more professional than this, but it’s still being done today and my makeup text book (published 2000) had a section on it. There are a lot of shows like The King & I and The Mikado where you end up with white people playing Asians. I don’t agree with it but I don’t see it changing anytime soon. However I would still say this is a weeder… no excuse for that… the text now is ‘less’ offensive at least… I guess?

  12. Sigh. I remember getting this book from the library and reading in when I was a kid in the early 90s.

  13. Wow. If nothing else, this book sure doesn’t mince words. 😮 And I’m digging the VGC Harry for the title—quite possibly the most ’70s font ever made.

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