DESIGN GUIDE: MUSIC AND DRAMA CENTERS
CHAPTER 4: RIGGING AND STAGE MECHANISMS
All permanent mechanisms such as wagons and
Upstage storage can be used to serve additional
turntables are useful only to the resident user.
wagons or to minimize wingspace use. It has the
Touring companies do not expect to find these
advantage of avoiding pinrail and line sets for
devices and plan their shows without them.
the flyloft, and need be only as high as the tallest
piece of scenery. A deep stagehouse has other
3. Understage Components
benefits in terms of multi-use and rear projection
Scenery and actors are moved vertically from
below stage through a system of removable
on lifts, hoists
or stairs and ladders. In-
Offstage storage may be regarded as the logical
cluded in this concept are orchestra pit elevators
conclusion. If wagons can be moved out of the
and forestage lifts.
stagehouse, scene changes can be effected with-
out noise in the performance Room and under
Traps are removable sections of the stage floor
superior conditions of work-lighting and me-
by which actors can enter or descend from the
chanical aids. At other times, the wagon room
acting area, scenery pushed or hoisted up, or
can be used for set construction and rehearsals.
special lighting effects obtained. In comparison
Turntables, while mechanically complex and
to other stage mechanisms, traps are among the
somewhat more costly, avoid the problem of
best dollar-value assets for the drama stage.
Traps are most often used in open stage, pro-
be constructed on a large revolve and moved
jected and surround Rooms as an alternative to
into place in no time. Even more scenes can be
the run-on entry from the house, and sometimes
managed by resetting the segments facing the
are the only way to dispose of scene properties
wingspace. The disadvantages of turntables in-
that can't be hoisted into a lot?.
clude the geometric constraints imposed on the
scene designer and the restriction of back-
Stage elevators used
by major opera companies
grounds to drops that cannot hang to the floor.
enable whole scene wagons to be brought from
If the table is demountable, the stage floor must
below, a luxury too exotic for consideration at
be built up around it, altering sightline conditions.
the scale of Army MDC's. Large stages for music