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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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Tracy K. Lewis

Shop-Built Scenery Bumpers & Rollers

Scenery bumpers are invaluable in tightly packed lofts. The standard bumper, an 18″ strap-steel ring, is adequate for deflecting soft drops, but as Stage Carpenter for a Yale School of Drama production, I learned that it does not always work well on hard-covered, irregularly shaped scenery. Our production featured an x-shaped lauan railroad-crossing sign, hung on a batten directly upstage of an electric. The standard bumper we installed to protect the scenery caught on the sign, damaging it and causing focus problems. In response, I made a new type of scenery bumper from a paint can. Too wide to catch the arms of the sign, the paint-can bumper worked well throughout the run. Figure 1 illustrates ...

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