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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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A Sure-Shot Fireball Effect

Dave King

The director of PCPA’s Damn Yankees wanted the devil character, Applegate, to pitch a flash-paper fireball like a baseball — a neat trick for performer and technician alike. For the trick to be effective and safe, Applegate would need control over its ignition and trajectory. Figures 1 and 2 show the launcher we built which met both needs. Its circuitry allowed instantaneous firing at any time during the actor’s wind-up and delivery, and its barrel provided at least reasonable control over the flash paper’s flight path.

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FIGURE 1: ARMING UNIT & FIRING UNIT

FIGURE 2: PALMING THE FIRING UNIT

THE COMPONENTS ...

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