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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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Rotating Doors

Jim Kempf

The design for LA Shakespeare Festival’s traveling production of Turning of the Shrew included a row of ten rotating doors. One side of each door was paneled for use in exterior scenes: the other side was painted to form part of a 30′ long mural for interiors. Each of the doors needed to spin individually for actor entrances, but at seven moments during the show, all ten doors had to be quickly linked so that an unseen operator could open them simultaneously. The director described this movement as similar to the starting gates at a horse race. The action of the play left plenty of time to link the doors, but the release time had to be kept under five seconds. In two scenes, actors rushed through pairs of doors almost ...

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