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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre

Book Description

The Technical Brief is a collection of single-focus articles on technical production solutions, published three times a year by the prestigious Yale School of Drama. The primary objective of the publication is to share creative solutions to technical problems so that fellow theatre technicians can avoid having to reinvent the wheel with each new challenge. The range of topics includes scenery, props, painting, electrics, sound and costumes. The articles each describe an approach, device, or technique that has been tested on stage or in a shop by students and professionals.

Some articles included are:
Building Authentic Elizabethan Ruffs; Simple and Inexpensive Stained Glass; A Quick-Load Floor Pulley Design; A Simple Approach to Stretching Drops; Flexi-Pitch Escape Stairs; Spot-Welding Scrim with Sobo; Handrail Armatures for a Grand Staircase; The Triscuit-Studwall Deck System; A Frameless Turntable; Stand on Stage: Minimum Weight, Maximum Effect; A Self-Paging Cable Tray; Roller Chain Turntable Drives; A Bench-Built XLR Cable Tester

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Full Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Costumes
    1. Collaborating in Metal Costume Construction
    2. Building Authentic Elizabethan Ruffs
    3. A Milliner’s Approach to Maskmaking: Part I
    4. A Milliner’s Approach to Maskmaking: Part II
    5. Collapsible Change Booths
  9. Lighting
    1. Labeling and Storing Electrical Cable
    2. Extending the Life of Strip-Light Color Media
    3. Inexpensive MR16 Lamp Holders
  10. Lighting Effects
    1. A Schmitt-Trigger Practical Switch
    2. Moving Leaves by the Power of Spring
    3. A Ground-Fog Generating System
    4. A Phase-Changing Moon Box
    5. The World’s Brightest Glowing Thing
    6. Disappearing Footlights
    7. Modifying Kodak’s Fun-Flash® for Theatrical Effects
    8. Simultaneous Realtime Control of Sound and Light with MIDI
    9. A Sure-Shot Fireball Effect
    10. A Motorized, Mirrored Rain Effect
    11. Theatrically Safe Outdoor Bonfires
    12. A Free-Falling Ball of Light
  11. Painting
    1. Using Embossed Wallpaper for Low Relief
    2. Dyeing Marble Patterns into Fabric
    3. A Durable, Rough Texture Coating for Scenery and Props
    4. Shop-Made Naugahyde
    5. Simple and Inexpensive Stained Glass
    6. Creating an Antique Mirror Effect
  12. Props
    1. More Stage Blood
    2. Low-Tech Ghost Effects: Moving Furniture
    3. Latchless Rotating Shelving
    4. Rat Trap Stage Trick
    5. A Flashing Cane for Casting Spells
    6. Building Distorting Mirrors
    7. Pneumatic Debris Cannons
    8. A Recycled-Bike Rig for a “Zinging” Puppet
    9. A Simple Approach to Complicated Theatrical Sculpture
    10. Ornate Chandeliers Made Simple
    11. Maskmaking 101
    12. Creating a Glass-Block Effect
    13. The Cheap, Easy, and Effective Snow Machine
  13. Rigging Hardware
    1. A Mini-Pinrail for Counterweight Rails
    2. Shop-Built Scenery Bumpers & Rollers
    3. A Quick Release for Drops
    4. A Pneumatically Tripped Circular Curtain
    5. A Modular Aluminum Drop Rig
    6. A Quiet Glide and Unistrut® Traveler System
    7. Pneumatic Drop Boxes
    8. A Quick-Load Floor Pulley Design
  14. Rigging Techniques
    1. A Simple Approach to Stretching Drops
    2. Panel-Tipping Rig
    3. Quiet Heavy-Duty Traveler Track
    4. Self-Trimming Flown Units
    5. A Flying Rig for Low-Ceiling Theaters
    6. Adjustable Scenery Picks of Unistrut®
    7. An Irising Portal
  15. Safety
    1. A Stock Safety Rail System
    2. CO2 Fire Suppression System for Theatrical Fire Effects
  16. Scenery
    1. Lightweight Acting Cubes
    2. Step Modules for Stock 6:12 or 8:10 Stairs
    3. Flexi-Pitch Escape Stairs
    4. A No-Weld Spiral Staircase
    5. Pinless (and Painless) Pipe Pockets
    6. Spot-Welding Scrim with Sobo®
    7. Handrail Armatures for a Grand Staircase
    8. Tube Steel Perimeter Framing for Flats
    9. Triscuit Cart
    10. A Pre-Cambered Overhanging Ceiling
    11. Whalers — Low-Profile Stiffeners for Steel-Framed Flats
    12. A Space-Saving Rain Wall
    13. Fabric Hinges for Space Frame Flats
    14. PVC Framing for Non-Weight-Bearing Scenery
    15. A Modified Parallel Platform Unit for Audience Risers
  17. Scenery Decks
    1. Bondo® Floor Repairs
    2. The Triscuit-Studwall Deck System
    3. Using Medium-Density Fiberboard as a Deck Lid
    4. The Steel-Framed Texas Triscuit
    5. A Frameless Turntable
    6. Sand on Stage: Minimum Weight, Maximum Effect
  18. Scenery Electronics
    1. A Miniature Chase Controller
    2. A Low-Voltage Cue-Light System
    3. Focusable Cue Lights
  19. Scenery Hardware
    1. A Second Drive for Elevator Door Movement
    2. A Telescoping Fire Pole
    3. A Self-Paging Cable Tray
    4. Nylon Rollers Revisited
    5. A Pipe and Bali-Bearing Pivot
    6. Weld-on Holes
    7. A Wheel-less Revolve
    8. A Tensioning Sheave for a Deck Winch System
    9. A Spectacular Electrified Fence
  20. Scenery Mechanics
    1. A Pneumatic Floor Lock System
    2. Tap-Water Hydraulic Power
    3. A System for Rotating Linked Periaktoi
    4. A Telescope-Stabilized Lift Rig
    5. A Spring-Driven Revolve
    6. Single-Orientation Curved Tracking
    7. Rotating Doors
    8. A Pneumatic Tab Turner
    9. Roller Chain Turntable Drives
    10. A Hand-Driven Endless-Loop Turntable Drive
    11. A Plausible, Practical Raft
    12. Flipping Trap Unit
    13. A Control Rig for a Down-Opening Trapdoor
    14. Mini Paint Roller Piston
  21. Scenery Tools
    1. A Swivel Caster Bolt-Hole Jig
    2. A Shop-Built Adjustable Router Fence
    3. A Tool for Mass-Producing Homasote® Brickface
    4. A Hot-Wire Bow for Cutting Blue Foam
    5. A Shop-Built Circle Guide for Torch-Cutting
    6. Scene Shop Tuffets
    7. Improved Scene Shop Tuffets
    8. A 4-Sided Steel-Marking Gauge
    9. A Jig for Cutting Ellipses
  22. Sound
    1. How to Use Your Headset as a Page Mic
    2. Amplified-to-Line Signal Converter
    3. Two Head Attachment Methods for Wireless Microphones
    4. A Device to Determine Sound System Polarity
    5. Making a Prop Tape Player Cueable
    6. A Bench-Built XLR Cable Tester
    7. Inexpensive Digital Noise Reduction
    8. Two-Scene Sound Control
    9. Recreating an Acoustic Space with Discrete-6 Recording
  23. Combined Topical Index: Volumes I and II