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Jack's beanstalk in Into the Woods

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by GHSStageManager, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. GHSStageManager

    GHSStageManager Member

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    Good evening all,

    For my HS's production of Into the Woods, we need to construct/purchase/borrow some sort of beanstalk. Has anyone on this forum dealt with the show before and can give me some advice as to how to obtain this set piece. For reference: we have no fly space and no rigging installed, all soft goods and electrics are dead-hung.

    Thank You!
     
  2. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I am watching into the woods right now. It's in my theater but I had no part of it because I was asked to do a community theater show before they asked me.
    I only saw the last part of the second act, so I have no idea how the beanstalk was used in the show. I'm assuming that it's attached to one of our battens. I hope that no one climbed on it, I would never allow any flying of people in my theater.
    What do you want to do with the effect? I am not familiar with the rest of the show. I'm sure if it's just going to be a piece of scenery then it can just be securly attached to the grid. But if you are planning on flying someone you need to find a professional rigger, it is against the fourm policy to talk about rigging.
     
  3. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Here's what we did:

    We took a long, narrow piece of green Tricot and sewed it into a tube shape. Then we wrapped it with fake ivy and tied a fishing line to the end that was to be the top. We attached a small pulley to the batten above it and looped the fishing line through it. In a pinch you could probably just throw the line over the batten and use it as a "pulley" but it would be hard to get the line to stay in the same place every night, and if instruments are hung on the batten that could also be problematic. We used an empty utility batten I believe (ours might have also been used for legs or something, but it's been a while). The beanstalk was stapled down at the bottom and left piled on stage which were actually 4x8 platforms 2' high spanning the upstage area until it was time to pull the fishing line to raise it. The platforms masked the person pulling the line. The pile-o-beanstalk was masked by foliage when it was not being used.

    All in all, I think it looked pretty good. At first we over thought it, but then we just went back to basics since it was only a 30 second effect at most, and no one had to climb it. This was for a community theatre show and our battens were also dead hung.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  4. GHSStageManager

    GHSStageManager Member

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    @Les: Thank you very much for your idea! It sounds like it could work for us, I'll bring it up with my director =)
     
  5. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    A Genie Super Hoist would probably work for the effect you're trying to pull off. This is essentially a telescoping pneumatic pole which could serve as the core of your beanstalk. It's very easy to set up and use. In its fully collapsed state, the Super Hoist stands about 3 ft. tall and rises to a maximum height of about 18 ft. We have two in our permanent stock, which we've used for various effects over the last few years.

    Most recently we loaned one to a local college for use in their production of Jack and the Beanstalk. They made a collapsable fabric beanstalk and placed the entire unit in a trap in the stage. If there is no trap in your space, you could build a piece of scenery to mask the unit.

    Whether this is a method that will work within your budget, I don't know, but it is proven system with a proven track record in its standard industrial applications. Ours have served us well in our theatrical effects applications with the only modifications made to the units being longer air hoses and removing the casters so we could bolt them down.
     

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