DESIGN GUIDE: MUSIC AND DRAMA CENTERS
CHAPTER 3: THE STAGE
F I G U R E 3-6.2
g r o u n d " c h o r u s " activity and the ability to
drop is frequently used. Unimpeded crossover
have "cross talk" at the same time makes a
passage is very important, preferably wide
wide, deep acting area desirable, about 60' x
enough for costumed dancers to pass each
other without disturbing drapery, etc. Wing
45' deep. For a given production, this can be
space must accommodate assembled dancers.
masked down. The floor should be danceable,
although it needn't be very sophisticated in
An orchestra pit is very desirable, for 20-50
construction; the ability to build on and anchor
to it is as important. Traps and pit-type cy-
clorama are desirable.
Speech, music, action and scenic components
Enclosure: A 30'-35' high proscenium arch is
are all incorporated in this form of presentation,
recommended, along with flyloft stagehouse.
sometimes called light opera or musical comedy.
It is similar to straight drama in its storyline con-
space is as important as loft space.
tinuity, which demands directorial skill in suc-
cessfully alternating speech, song and dance,
Scene/Working Space: Wrap-around scene
and also relies heavily on stagecraft and tech-
space must accept a large variety of rather
nical support. The musical component is a key
elaborate scenery. The dimension of this zone
feature of transitions, requiring expert control.
must allow for structural support of stand-up
A relatively large cast and crew is typical with up
sets with recesses and overhangs, often in
to 50 people on stage at once and quantities of
combination with flown portions. Wagon sets
scenery to manage. Coordinating all this activity
are very useful as well, but require substantial
is a major problem requiring, besides extensive
working space in addition to that for cast as-
sembly, other properties and technicians.
tem during performance.
Symmetrical working space is advised, to sim-
plify maneuvering during scene changes. Since
Performance Space: Although principal atten-
live music is essential, provide an orchestra pit
tion is generally focused downstage, back-
for 15-30 musicians.