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Beach, Sand Dunes, Sand???

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by TupeloTechie, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    We are about to begin the show "To Gillian on her 37th Birthday" and we are planning on the set being mostly a beach with a small porch of a beach house stage right. However most of the stage should be the beach, with small sand dunes, sand, etc.

    However the director does not want to bring in real sand because we fear that we will never be able to get it all up and will have sand in everything from now on. Also it is quite heavy. I have heard of using granulated cork but we would still have the clean up problem and I highly doubt it would be in our budget.

    Does anybody have any ideas on how to simulate a sandy beach?
     
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Carve your sand dunes out of styrofoam and paint the stage to look like a beach. This will require access to a decent foam sculptor and a scenic artist. Assuming, of course that your sand dunes are relatively small, it would probably be simplest to make them out of solid foam. If they're going to be more than a foot high, I would recommend building them around a wood frame. A decent foam coat such as Futura or Liquid Rock should help with durability and wear issues. Just be prepared to do minor touch-ups and repairs during your run.
     
  3. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    My idea was to build the dunes by framing them with wood and covering them with some sort of cloth or paper machine or something, as they don't have to be walked on. However its the sand coating thats bothering me. I have a feeling that regular paint will not look like sand even if we paint some sort of texture on it. It's a intimate space.
     
  4. Wolf

    Wolf Active Member

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    granulated cork works very well. In January issue if Stage Directions on page 28 there is an article about "militant language: A play with sand". I worked on this show and it takes place in Iraq, so there is much sand and it also rains sand. They did use two sizes of cork. The cork for the floor was larger than the cork that showered down. It is a small theatre and it looked very realistic. They did dampen down the cork each day to keep dust down. Overall it looked very nice.

    The cork is light (in weight) im not sure on the cost but I dont think it was to bad. Im sorry I dont know where they got it from I will be working with the designer ina few days and I will ask. You could maybe check this place out Maryland Cork, Maufacturer of Granulated Cork, Home Page they claim to be the only company in the u.s (maybe thats true I dont know) you could at least get a free sample to check it out.

    Hope this helps
     
  5. cprted

    cprted Active Member

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    Your director is wise! Some years ago the production team and the designers did not have the same foresight as your director. Five years on, there is still sand in that hall.
     
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I've used tons of real sand on stage over the years, it can be done, it's occasionally messy and it does require clean up.
    When doing Finding the Sun, by Edward Albee, which set on a beach, we simply built a ground cloth and painted it. The ground cloth can be accented with "dune" areas < watch out for the sand worms though, they get one of your harvester crawlers, and you're out mega credits.>

    The next year we recycled by repainting adding a few bits here and there and viola' we had a floor for Terra Nova.

    Do not try to do it on the cheap with muslin. Since there's not a lot of heavy traffic in "...Gillian.." you could probably get away with a lighter weight canvas.
     

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