August 15, 2011

Summer goes by so fast

So the summer has been moving along really quick now that I am up and active. Spent most of my time working on the set for Perseverance Theater summer STAR show. The plays were Beauty and the Beast (jr.) and James and the Giant Peach. The cast are kids involved with the summer acting camp and their shows alternate nightly and share the same stage. That was a challenge for the technical director and his assistant, yours truly. We built a two story pentagon shaped gazebo that represented the east tower in Beauty and also the peach. This was accomplished by different backdrops being hung inside, around or behind as needed. We also put in a trap door to the second floor and removable ladder for James, and two hidden ladders on the back for the cast to ascend the structure. The uprights were constructed of 13 foot 2x6 ripped at 36 degrees on one side so that when glued and nailed together they created the main support. Under the second floor were 5 foot versions of the same design attached to the inside of the 13 footers and gave us a place to rest the joist system on. Then all joists were bolted and hung by joist brackets as any deck would be, but with the twist that no two sides are parallel to each other. In the center we mounted a 4x4 for structural support. The whole thing was amazingly stable and we joked about selling it to someone for their garden. Unfortunately to remove it means to destroy it. So no sale.
The gazebo
Although difficult to see, we put a fake roof on it and mimicked the pentagon shape in the center
 The other side of the stage was a progression of platforms elevating to a height of 4 feet. We mounted step for each level. Rather simple in design but yet challenging to keep it safe and sturdy.
So Sunday was strike day and I snapped these shots just before demolition began, now after another day of clean-up and trimming at the shop the entire set is nothing more than lumber waiting for the next show. Ah, the life of theater!