By Charles T. Jackson
For our Summer 2012 production of “Into the Woods”, our director wanted to be able to do all of the scenes in Jacks house, the Bakers house Cinderella’s house, Rapunzel’s tower and Mother Somebody or Other’s tree. But due to limited space on the available staging in our summer venue, whatever we put on the stage had to be small while in use, and as they could not be removed from the staging, had to be hide-able while not in use. Our answer to this dilemma was small two sided sets that spun in place for use, and dressed on the back side similarly to the background so that they blended in while not in use.
We were fortunate to have recovered a large drop that was being retired prior to it being thrown away, and were able to remove four and a half feet from an edge to dress the backs of these flats on 2′ x 4′ dollies. As you can see the back of the Baker’s house blends extremely well with the background, and in the lower light scenes can barely be scene at all.
The baker’s house had this neat little baking oven.
Cinderella’s house felt nice and cozy with this little fireplace in it. And Jacks House was equipped with a trash picked chair, and painted widow that was cut out of Rapunzel’s tower.
Both Rapunzal’s tower and the tree were handled the same way with 16 feet of flats with a small opening for an actor to deliver lines through.
I had been using industry standard triangles for securing these flats, but I was never really into their clunky appearance. For this show I made what I now fondly refer to as “hockey sticks”
They pretty much do the exact same thing that the triangles do, but with a bit more adjustability, and some added stability in that they’re much taller.
This is the only picture I could find that shows the support in use. I’ll try and find an even better picture, but I have to say that I was very happy with the added stability, and the cleaner look of the hockey stick support as compared to the triangle. Fortunately, I didn’t have to make Milky White for this show, but I was assigned the task of building some way for her to get on and off of the front of the stage.
These ramps and platforms allowed for Milky White to get on and off of the stage, as well as the actors and actresses, but didn’t take up a whole lot of space in front of the stage. Here they are all blacked out and in place.
Of course, before I painted them black, I had to set it up in a way that was hilarious for a Facebook post. In my next post, as I stated in my last post, I will be getting to some of the re-purposing I did for the Youth Theatre’s Spring production of Pinocchio, as well as their Summer production of “A Rocking Tale of Snow White.” Thanks as always for stopping by!!