Recent content by Leo Mauler

1. Is there a Generic Set good for any show?

Oooh, a giant center staircase sounds good. But seriously, all the ideas are good ones. I'm so used to doing what the director and the choreographer require that I didn't remember most plays have a very similar set: backdrops of some sort, a bit of furniture, and possibly a rug. Now off to...
2. Is there a Generic Set good for any show?

I am taking a class in Contemporary Theatre, and the final project is a group project, a theatre company proposing a season of a play, a musical, and an "original play" to investors. Our group is five members, and four of them pick the musical and the play, and have to act out a scene from the...
3. Frying pan fire on stage

The hot plate and the lighting effect for the stove had to be run off the same dimmer, so the hot plate had no heat control. The joys of discovering some of your dimmer packs had burnt out with no time to get replacements.
4. Frying pan fire on stage

Once I built a remote controlled electric hotplate into an antique cast iron gas stove, for a production of August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean", because the director wanted the bean soup to be hot onstage. Unfortunately, the actress working with the stove had a lot of activities away from the...

A blind person who can listen to cues from the Stage Manager can run a pre-programmed show on a light board, provided there are no mid show complications. Community theatre often results in such odd choices for the control booth techs. In this particular case the blind lighting tech had worked...
6. Medieval/Renaissance Banners

A more conventional source for these types of banners would be blankets which have these designs printed on them. Basically nerd fantasy blanket sellers. Thrift stores which handle blankets may have blankets with these designs on them as well. Cut the blanket to fit the need, and hem the...
7. Realistic LED birthday cake candles... with a remote control??

My director nixed those candles from the start. There aren't that many sources for on-stage LED candles that look realistic, especially as you get to the smaller types of candles, so building the prop tends to be the solution for smaller candle systems.

11. Lighting with a Low ceiling

My first thought was that mirrors are much flatter than most instruments. Stick the mirror on the ceiling and point the light up at the mirror, focusing the bounced beam where you want it on the stage. Obviously this is going to work better with spotlights and gobos, and there will be wider...
12. Flameless Match?

This solution would work even if the fire code is strict, since the sparks aren't as necessary as the striking friction sound, which you can accomplish with a wooden matchstick without the striking head, and a piece of sandpaper on the box of matches.
13. Frying pan fire on stage

My first thought was silk flame fire, a fake fire effect used to good effect. A fan under the stove burner/coil, holes in the bottom of the pan, and silk flames in the pan. When you need the fire, set the pan on the stove and turn on the fan. I've used silk flames onstage before, simulating...
14. Is this Real?

Speaking from a costuming perspective, tubing in fabric changes the entire movement of the fabric. I doubt that any costuming used by active dancers, such as the ones in both videos, would have the capability of color change like that as well as the smooth swirling effect of the dresses. The...
15. Tinkerbell as micro-drone?

I second this. Even the smallest drones produce an audible buzzing sound which can be heard from thirty feet away in the dark. The sound masking needed for a drone will quickly get more complicated than a laser pointer or a gobo rotator, or even a robo spot, and the yelling of the director is...