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cyclorama

Discussion in 'Wiki' started by derekleffew, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Often abbreviated to "cyc". [As with the word "proscenium," and many other theatre terms, comes from the Greeks.] A large sheet of natural (unbleached) muslin, canvas, leno (filled-scrim) or plastic hanging as far as possible upstage and often used to represent sky. If made from robin's-egg blue-colored material, called a "sky cyc". If the ends wrap downstage, called a "wrap cyc". If made of plaster, called a "plaster cyc". If lit from the rear, must be of a seamless material, at significantly greater cost. A cyc is never painted, so do not confuse it with a "backdrop".
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    This is a good "modern " definition. Technically a true Cyc is considered to be a 3 sided soft good hanging in the uppermost area backstage. Traditionally the three sided-ness was acheived using a special rigging connector called a "cyc-knuckle" this allowed the center, straight across the stage section, to be lifted first letting the outside edges to collapse so that the entire unit would be drawn up into the space of a single batten. This was required since the outside < off-stage> edges of a "real cyc" would often curve downstage as much as 6 ft or more. Traditionally cycs are white, or raw muslin colored, more often they are water stained and an aged yellowish color, which often leads to them getting painted a nice cerualean blue which magically transforms them into " Sky Cycs". Again I am being extremely technical here in stating the traditional differences. Sky drops and Back drops are completely flat goods which stretch the width of the stage the primary difference between the two being that a Sky drop typically starts it's life as a white backdrop that gets old and then someone has the bright idea of painting it blue. Please for the love of God do not paint clouds on a blue Sky drop. Use the appropriate gobo from Apollo.
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Thank you Van, I've seen a picture of a cyc knuckle but didn't know that's how it was supposed to function. Note that I did make reference to a wrap cyc, which is the same as your true cyc definition. However, every wrap cyc I've ever seen has been mounted on an elongated U shaped batten, and rigged with muling blocks. Some theatres had a semi-matching U shaped cyc electric, with the corners cut at 45°. The scenic battens within the wrap were less long so that no tripping of the cyc cloth was required. In theatres without an intricate cyc electric, the ends of the cyc fabrics are folded back, the curved bottom pipe is replaced with a straight one, and the inner scenic battens are extended to the same length as the downstage ones. Often theatres with a wrap cyc also have tab curtains (running DS-US) rather than Legs. These too can be problematic, unless also moveable in the offstg-onstg plane. Built in the 1920s, the Goodman Theater within Chicago's Art Institute, is the only place I've ever worked with a plaster dome, which technically I suppose is not a cyc, as it curves in three dimensions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008

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