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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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A Phase-Changing Moon Box

Christopher Jensen

Each year, many shows are performed in front of translucent cycs lit to simulate a night sky. Many of those cycs hide moon boxes whose front openings are cut to resemble one of the moon’s phases. The effect is often lovely — even striking — but no matter how artfully the lighting designer manages subtle shifts in color and intensity, most of these moons remain stubbornly static: usually in the same place in the sky and nearly always in the same phase. This article describes a simple rig that lets a scenic moon sweep across the sky in a gentle arc and simdtaneously change phase. The rig uses no motors, no gears, no sophisticated control circuitry: its operation is powered by a stagehand and by gravity. ...

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