DESIGN GUIDE: MUSIC AND DRAMA CENTERS
CHAPTER 4: RIGGING AND STAGE MECHANISMS
user as part of portable scenery. Wing space is
winches are expensive and slow-acting. A sim-
used to hold these wagons when they are not on
ilar single-line arrangement with overhead blocks
stage. Each scene change involves clearing the
can be used to hang lightweight objects above
stage floor and moving the next set in. Each
an open stage, the lines tied back to catwalk rails.
wagon must also have a storage area out of the
Counterweight sets can also be winch driven,
which is considered safer because the winch
takes up only part of the load.
Wing storage can be used in several ways.
Wagons slightly wider than the acting area can
2. Stage-Level Components
be moved laterally in one motion from either
Standing scenery is moved horizontally on cast-
wing; the total stagehouse dimension will be at
ers and dollies, or on tracked chassis called
least four times the proscenium width. Wagons
wagons, or on turntables.
half as wide can be brought together at center
for one scene. A second pair upstage forms the
The decision to employ roll-on scene pieces
next scene, if the stagehouse depth is sufficient.
must be part of early planning, since it has great
Wagons can jackknife at a downstage pivot
impact on the organization of other stagehouse
mechanisms. Wagon guide tracks, if used, must
point, reducing the wing dimension required, but
be recessed in the floor. This will affect structure,
sweeping a large area.
trap locations, details of wingspace layout, and
the form of cyclorama and other accessories
Wing storage takes up a great deal of space,
such as lightbooms that might otherwise be
congesting side entries. If more than two scenes
floor-supported. Steel plate tracks are needed to
are required, free storage must be associated
prevent damage to the softwood floor. Rolling
with each wagon, so that one may be changed
sets have beneficial application to the open stage
while the other is in use. In that case, any wing
without flyloft, and to musical drama employing
storage scheme involves an exceptionally broad
elaborate constructed scenery as well as flown
pieces. Wagons are also commonly built by the