By Charles T. Jackson
In the spring of 2009, excited from my success with the Oz Head and Emerald City background, I approached the Youth Theatre directors with a simple question…”what’s next?”. I was given a short list of sets that needed to be done for the spring production of “Pocahontas. Really exited by the prospect of using my new Kreg Jig to make sturdier sets, I went ahead and threw together a design for the whole set that was immediately approved.
I made these two flats, and dropped at the house of a very talented “theatre mom” who made them look just like a hut that would have traditionally been used in Pocahantas’s time.
I used three toggles on the six foot flat, and was fairly pleased with the result.
The joints were nice and sturdy, and were visually less messy that the traditional joinery. It also left the profile of the flat 1/4″ slimmer making storage that much easier. Even with the luan covering, there was still a bit of twist in the flat that I did not anticipate, but overall it was better than the Canvas flats. I chose the luan for these due to the shaped nature of the hut, and at this point hadn’t really considered it as a standard covering due to the light weight aspect of the canvas flats.
One thing that I noticed that was going to be a problem was the amount of cracking, and breakage as I screwed together the frame. This weakness left the joint weaker than anticipated, but again, still faster and easier that the traditional alternative. The luan itself on these flats is what really held them together, and stabilized them. Again overall, I liked the outcome, but realized there was something amiss. I also realized at this point that in my excitement to get the set together, I had inadvertently stepped on the toes of some of the other theatre parents, and as a result was thrust into the wacky world a theatre politics full force!! In my next submission I’ll investigate and address the joint weakness issue, and discuss how one can get totally in over ones head with “ideas”.
A hide drying rack also made for Pocahontas.
Our stump initially built for Pocahontas, has been in at least three or more shows a year since it was made!!
Campfire for Pocahantas. Lighted with celophane flames and a fan to make them move. Painted foam footballs as stones!! Very belivable campfire in low light. We did get some comments about having real fire in the school. That’s always great!!