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Mechanical Design for the Stage by Alan Hendrickson

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Overview

Stage wagons, which are used to allow rapid and easy transport of scenery across the stage floor, date as far back as the ancient Greek eccyclema, a wagon described only briefly in some ancient texts. Roughly 100 years ago, German opera houses adopted wagons, as they had the turntable, for grand scale scene changes, and to this day huge full stage wagons are seen as essential for any proper opera house. At the Opera Bastille in Paris, a full stage wagon can be assembled from nine individual wagons that can all be coupled together in a 3 × 3 array. Each of these wagons is 6.5 m (21.3′) square, so if a particular set design requires it, the group of nine wagons forms a single mobile platform 19.5 m (64′) square!1 In ...

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