DESIGN GUIDE: MUSIC AND DRAMA CENTERS
CHAPTER 3: THE STAGE
riods between during which the stage is reset
Scene/Working Space: Wrap-around scene
space is required for flats, drops, wagons. Al-
and the audience must be otherwise occupied.
The technical qualities that help sustain conti-
low ample horizontal working space for the
largest set piece plus actors' passage, waiting
nuity during performance should be versatile
and sophistica ted, especially lighting controls.
areas, technicians' workspace, counterweights
and pinrail, curtain space and switchgear. Use
Also, music is to be heard on stage distinctly.
inside clearances and keep the plan shape
Performance Space: Acting area is typically
compact and rectangular. Overhead working
50' w x 40' d, although 40' width will accom-
space must accept the longest flown piece plus
modate modern dance and small troupes.
borders plus gridiron and line space plus man-
Higher sightlines (lower stage in steeper house)
high passage above grid. Understage working
space should be at least eight feet clear height.
If any portion of working space is omitted by
struction of a resilient dance floor is essential,
design,. stage level allocation should be in-
e.g. on built-up criss-crossed sleepers with
neoprene cushions between. Sponge mats are
not springy enough, and injuries can result.
Often, a removable linoleum, vinyl or hard-
The medium consists of action with music and
board surface is put down, with seams taped.
some scenic context. Large movements of dan-
Enclosure: A high proscenium is needed in
cers in two directions (to-fro, side-side) physi-
large Rooms for clear view of the dancers'
cally occupy a region 15 feet above the floor.
space, or no proscenium at all in intimate
Dancers' entry from scene space on all sides is
Rooms. Stagehouse requirements relate to
important. Scenery is often minimal, but not
stage lighting. Although recorded music can be
Scene/Working Space: Scene space at each
used, a dance facility should provide for a live
side is usually devoted to entry legs and tabs
orchestra. A dance concert usually consists of a
for the depth of the stage. A cyclorama or back-
series of separate pieces or events with rest pe-