Wall/Flat problems

kolyaventuri

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Location
New Mexico
In our black box theatre at school, we are putting on Pirates of Penzance and have run into a snag with the Act 2 set. We need to have some flats on stage (3 2x10, 2 5x10) on a platform, but the actors also need to be able to move in and out between them. The two 5x10 have arches/doorways on them. Normally we would simply brace the flats from behind, but this time, since the actors need to dance in and around them we can't do that due to safety hazards. Our snag is figuring out how to keep them upright. They are sitting on a platform 32 inches above the deck, and will be staggered for easy movement in between. I've attached a diagram to make this (hopefully) clearer. The scene change is done during intermission, so that isn't an issue, but we want it to be as simple as we can. There is a rafter above the platform, but not many places on it to mount something like a pulley system and easily avoid the lights. We can drill through the platform, but not the deck. If anyone has an idea, I would love to hear it, as we are stumped. I can supply more information if you need.

EDIT: We have stairs in either side of the platform that are being used, so we can't attach them at the sides.

 
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venuetech

Well-Known Member
Departed Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Location
AK,
I would likely add folding jacks that could screw into the platform. they could be just 18" deep. 2 for each archway one for each 2x10.. but all that add a lot to dance around.
you could reduce the number of supports needed by some how tying the arches together at the top to form a 15 x 10 flat that would just need 2 jacks, likewise the 2x10s

to get rid of the jacks you could make and secure 32" deep sockets into the platform. then loose pin hinge the flats to long uprights installed in the sockets for that act..

http://www.controlbooth.com/wiki/stage+jack
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Location
Mid-Missouri
Or a combination of folding jacks that connect all the walls together but have an opening in each of them that is big enough for the performer to dance through unobstructed such as... Flat Diagram.png
 

MarceloC

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Location
Torrance, California, United States
I've had a similar problem before for an Annie set I built years ago. The set walls were double sided so I had to rethink how I did things. I ended up building a small return wall and used that instead of a jack/brace. It worked really well for us, I took it a step further and attached everything together with coffin locks. It turned out great, super tight fit, and extremely sturdy. The walls are 8'w x 10'h and are held on the wagon with two 24'w x 32"h return walls.

Hope this helps!
 

MarshallPope

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Location
Auburn, New York
My first thought would be to use 1" pipe or square steel stock attached to the flats, extending down a foot or so to fit into a socket in the platform.
 
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