Our theater group is getting geared up to do LaMancha next spring and I'm researching descending stairs. We will probably construct a platform with stairs mounted to it that will be hauled up using some type of mechanical winch, then tied-off against the underside of the proscenium (conveniently out of sight.) The platform would have hidden access so the audience only sees guards and prisoners come out then down the stairs.
I'm interested in looking at any pictures or hearing any ideas about the stairs and how to rig them for manual winching. I'm envisioning some type of classic looking rope with ratcheting mechanism but we're starting with a blank piece of paper. Any and all thoughts, comments, etc. appreciated! Safety is of course paramount.
Thank you folks.