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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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Scott Servbeen

Growing Flowers Onstage

 

Recently, I was faced with the problem of devising a way to make flowers seem to grow on stage between acts. The number of flowers needed, and the time frame in which they needed to appear, prohibited a stagehand from placing the flowers onstage on cue. Thus, the growth of the flowers had to be both quiet and reasonably fast. I developed a mechanism in which each of several flowers is attached to a piston-like disc and seems to grow as its piston is pulled up a cylinder of PVC pipe and through the surface of the deck. Below is a diagram and a short description of how you might approach a similar project.

FIGURE 1: FLOWER-GROWING MECHANISM

MATERIALS

2′ pieces of 1″ to 1½″ schedule 40 PVC Pipe½″-thick ...

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