I need some ideas -- Camelot


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First things first, I am a drama teacher in a little program in Idaho. I have NO budget except what was made from the previous season's shows (which is only about $800 :neutral: ). This season is going to start with Camelot for the musical. I am looking for some set design ideas that I can do on relatively no budget. I have some stock platforms and flats (4x8's) and that is about it.

Any ideas would be much apriciated. I use Vectorworks for everything so if you have a ground plan idea, shoot me one!!

Thanks All!!
It's been a few years since I've seen that script, but if what I remember right- there's the woods, Arthurs bedroom, there's a few outdoor scenes... does the round table ever show up? i don't remember-

trees can be made out of luan and 2x4 frames provide rigidity. You casters if you do not have the fly space. Bedroom- use a curtain backdrop and barrow furniture from a furniture store... I have yet to find a store not willing to lend a bed or couch to a community theatre or school, but talk to them early and they will make sure they have one in stock when you need it. (or take your own bed and sleep on the floor...) the outdoor scenes you really don't need any scenery at all if you so choose... Camalot is a wonderful show because it can be done with very little scenery!

What drapery does the school have?
Do you have a midstage? Cyc? Scrim?
How about a canvas drop that can be painted?
Do you have a fly system or pipe grid?
How about wing space?
No fly. :!:
No Scrim - Medeocre Cyc
Everything is Dead-hung from the ceiling
Wing space is ok, about 15 feet on both SR and SL
There are about 2 batons that I can hang from mid-stage

Thanks, again for the help!!
I like some of the ideas that have already been said. I would like to expand on one - the bedroom. If the idea about borrowing from a furniture store doesn't work I would try the following.

Get an old wooden double bed the type I am thinking used to be called wire wove. It was just a wooden frame with a woven metal layer that the matress is put on. Or any old wooden double bed. Then see if some of the local wood turners would turn some cheap pine into posts to convert the bed to a four poster with rails at the top. Add some suitable fabric for the bed curtains and you have a bed fit for a king. Second hand shops or the Salvation Army Goodwill store might have something. You could also try local theatres to see if they have old stage curtains that are no longer suitable. These are often velvet. Even one old stage curtain would make enough drapes for the whole bed. Then unless the script calls for anything else this is all you need for the bedroom, maybe a candle holder. Then with lights you just light as big an acting area a round the bed you need, scene done.

For the forest you could build a couple of trees then I would add in break up goboes, maybe a yellowish green in the colur frame. The audiences imagination would do the rest. You may not even need the trees if the goboes are handled properly or even add goboe trees on the cyc instead of set pieces.

Just some ideas
A couple leaf/tree canopy gobos on the cyc and over the stage to put the effect on the actors would be great for the forest scene. Color should be whatever time of day it is (not green, heh).
Ok, great! thanks for the ideas. Now, are there any ideas for a cool way to do the section of the play with Moragn la Fey and the invisible castle? For those of you that don't remember - Mordred goes to Morgan la Fey to get her to build an invisible wall around Arthur. Any body have some sweet ideas for that OR for any of the sections with Merlyn. I am wanting to have some kind of an effect that shows up everytime he does.

Thanks All!!
I was raised on a PBS version of what was probably a original Broadway production of Camelot during the 1970's. It as a play made a big impact upon my life in having recorded it on the Bata Max and watched it almost weekly for years. I’m sure it’s still a movie for rent given the big stars in it. Just as an idea but not to specifically copy.

As I remember it’s production - before any thoughts of set design, I remember a slight platform dividing the lower from upstage area and perhaps some scenery that was probably tracked instead of flown.

While you have not expressed what type of theater you have, it’s known that you have at least 15' off each wing for free space. Why not horizontally track your scenery by way of support above and platforms and tracking below? This somewhat classic wing and drop production type of show theorized dependant upon the director’s intent for his or her production still, you have the option of doing a wing and drop classic show by way of horizontally moving sets instead of vertically mounted ones. Lots of lighting needed for the more important scenes but still you than have lots of scene change ability for general locations.

If nothing else when no tracking or hardware available, a soft or had flat when in a lumber track will slide. Just a question than of enough tracks for the scenes needed and some extra time in making magic of what was flats and plats plus lots of props and time spent in making it become the worlds you wish to portray. Haze and smoke of course as with gobos and lights at times.

No magic, just push the even net supported scenery flats into place and put the props on the set, just lots of design and temperament plus talent in making the world for the show become a stage.

Perhaps before you get too far you might call around to local schools and theaters in seeing what they have which might even if needed to be supported by way of horizontal framework from you, what can be found to borrow. Perhaps even a scrim and better yet someone else’s scenery and props in general.

No fly system, no problem. First get your design and looks under the belt and agreed upon by way of the director. Once you know what specifically you want, present the specific problem in achieving such as the forest by way of say linear tracking it to others in how to construct.

Concept is first just design what you wish to see on stage. That’s what the TD and or others in supplement are there afterwards in figuring out how to achieve your look.
I am the director! I am the TD - I am everything. I am a theatre teacher in the little high school in Preston, Idaho (where they shot Napoleon Dynamite!) I am not sure about the theatre because I am just starting to teach there. However, I have total and complete contol over all the options for construction, design, etc. :grin:
Just an idea for the wall. This is an untested idea and may not work in your theatre.

You could try hanging a gauze in front of King Arthur. Normaly these are used with no back lighting so they at first solid then the back lights are brought up to make it see-through. If you bring it in and have lights behind it the audience will see the gauze partially but should be watching the action behind.

Just a thought.

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