Ideas for “spiking” rehearsal space where we can’t leave tape?

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by nick_fouts, Jun 22, 2019.

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  1. nick_fouts

    nick_fouts Member

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    Hi there,

    I am not sure if this is the right category, or even the right website to ask this, but I thought I would give it a shot.

    We are rehearsing for a production of Newsies the next few weeks. Our set will be multi-level with several platforms. We need to be able to rehearse with some sort of outline of the set so that the actors have an idea of dimensions and how they are interacting with the set (whether they are under or on top of the set, etc.).

    We would normally spike the floor of the rehearsal space, however we are in a unique situation with this production. We are rehearsing in four different venues in different parts of down on different days of the week, and we can’t leave spike tape down at any of the spaces, as they are church and office spaces.

    Does anyone have any ideas for how we might mark out the dimensions of the set in our rehearsal spaces with some sort of material that can be laid down and taken up quickly and is reusable? We considered yarn or felt, but I welcome any other ideas.
     
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  2. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    How about a ground cloth?
     
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  3. Crisp image

    Crisp image Well-Known Member

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    Or sheets of cardboard on the floor.
     
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  4. Ben Stiegler

    Ben Stiegler Well-Known Member

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    Gobo from a low powered Leko on a stand?
     
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  5. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    Spike a ground cloth the size of the space. Scoop it up when you leave.
     
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  6. Playajackal

    Playajackal Member

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    How about chalk? As long as you have a diagram with the measurements in your space it should be not too difficult to reproduce each rehearsal and clean up after.
     
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  7. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    If the floors are all wood. Office space makes me think it will be carpet though.
     
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  8. tjrobb

    tjrobb Well-Known Member

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    They make short orange cones (3" or so). A bit of string between those might work. Plus they stack for easy storage.
     
  9. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    I like @Colin 's ground cloth suggestion. Outline set pieces with paint, spike marks with tape. Have the cast & crew sign it; at the next fundraising auction sell it off as a bit of show history.
     
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  10. Justin_Bennett

    Justin_Bennett Member

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    +1 for ground cloth. It will probably be the easiest to get in and out and transfer from venue to venue.

    The leko on a stand idea would also work with a data projector. In either case, you run the risk of the image being skewed and throwing off your spikes.

    The cardboard on the floor idea could be accomplished with Ramboard or similar temporary floor covering. This stuff presents some of the same challenges as laying Marley, so it might be more trouble than it's worth in your application.

    I've also seen a number of high schools make something like a ground cloth out of paper and cut out slots where the spike tape goes. When they load-in to a new venue they lay the paper out, place tape on the stage floor through the slots in the paper, and pull the paper up before beginning to place scenery. This method would still require you to pull tape every night, but would avoid having to remeasure all the time. Rehearsing on the paper would likely destroy it.

    HTH,
    Justin
     
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  11. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I love the ground cloth idea. Or sheets of cardboard, gaffed together. Something light and easy to transport.
     
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  12. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

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    I work occasionally in the fashion industry, and we use ribbon and T pins. The pins easily attach to carpet but are large enough to not lose and very easy to remove.
     
  13. EWCguy

    EWCguy Active Member

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    ...and I was thinking about crepe paper and small bits of tape, but I like the ribbon & T-pin better. If you fasten ribbon, or crepe, or string to the orange cones mentioned above, that will keep your relative dimensions each time you move -- like those pop-up volleyball courts -- just pull to square.
     
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  14. James Suit

    James Suit Member

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    One more vote for a groundcloth cut to size for your floor plan. Also, if like to point out that this is EXACTLY the right website to ask this question on!
     
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  15. Hansentd

    Hansentd Member

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    Be careful with a ground cloth that you're not creating a slip or trip hazard, since I assume you can't secure the cloth to the floor either.
    I would be more on board with a number line across the front (maybe also up the sides and back)- you can use a roll of ribbon or jute and just write directly on it.
    -good luck
     
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  16. JonCarter

    JonCarter Well-Known Member

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    Travelling companies, particularly operas (including the Met), have used ground cloths, usually one for each act, for years. Lay 'em all down, each act on top of the other--V, IV,!!!,II,I. Set I. After I: strike I, roll up cloth I, set II, etc. Somehow the singers managed not to trip.
     
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  17. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    There are several great options.
    Fing a billboard company that prints vinyl. Often when they change out a sign you can have the old ones for free. Cover the stage and mark lines with markers, tape, paint etc. They can be cut, rolled or folded. Very durable and lays flat.

    Another product is Versa Shield, it is an underlayment for vinyl plank click floors. It will lay flat.
     

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