covered or other sanitary furniture, or rattan seats, would be a great improvement.
In the stage building we often find four or five actors placed in one small, overheated, unventilated dressing room, located in the basement of the building, without outside windows, and fitted with three or four gas jets, for actors require a good light in "making up." More attention should be paid to the comfort and health of the players, more space and a better location should be given to their rooms. Every dressing room should have a window to the outer air, also a special ventilating flue. Properly trapped wash basins should be fitted up in each room. In the dressing rooms and in the corridors and stairs leading from them to the stage all draughts must be avoided, as the performers often become overheated from the excitement of the acting, and dancers in particular leave the heated stage bathed in perspiration. Sanitation, ventilation, and cleanliness are quite as necessary for this part of the stage building as for the auditorium and foyers.
It will suffice to mention that defects in the drainage and sewerage of a theater building must be avoided. The well-known requirements of house drainage should be observed in theaters as much as in other public buildings.
The removal of ashes, litter, sweepings, oily waste, and other refuse should be attended to with promptness and regularity. It is only by constant attention to properly carried out cleaning methods that such a building for the public can be kept in a proper sanitary condition. Floating air impurities, like dust and dirt, can not be removed or rendered innocuous by the most perfect ventilating scheme. Mingled with the dust floating in the auditorium or lodging in the stage scenery are numbers of bacteria or germs. Among the pathogenic germs will be those of tuberculosis, contained in the sputum discharged in coughing or expectorating. When this dries on the carpeted floor, the germs become readily detached, are inhaled by the playgoers, and thus become a prolific source of danger. It is for this reason principally that the processes of cleaning, sweeping, and dusting should in a theater be under intelligent management.
To guard against the ever-present danger of infection by germs, the sanitary floor coverings recommended should be wiped every day with a moist rag or cloth. Carpeted floors should be covered with moist tea leaves or sawdust before sweeping to prevent the usual dust-raising. The common use of the feather duster is to
- The reader will find the subject discussed and illustrated in the author's work, Sanitary Engineering of Buildings, vol. i, 1899.