Neil Gluckman

The “Perfect” Soft Floor


The design for a Yale Repertory Theatre production of Scapin called for the main portion of the deck to be a 22’-diameter circle, 8″ above deck height. In addition to the expected qualities of quietness and durability, it had to be soft enough for acrobatics and pratfalls, and it had to have a non-skid surface that would take paint well.

The first objective was to find the right resilient material. The first material researched, ½″industrial felt, was entirely too costly and not nearly soft enough. The next possibility, a custom-made wrestling mat, would have cost $1,400.00 and taken four to six weeks to arrive. The material we finally chose was Ethafoam®, a trade name for a group of closed-cell polyethylene ...

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