Open Forum

What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

  • 1.  What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 11-05-2019 13:56
    It recently dawned on me that I haven't posted anything in my set design and tech blog (the link is below) for months, and it's been partly due to getting sidetracked with work and partly with not coming up with new ideas.

    So I'd like to ask you: what topics would you like to see covered? I'm a set designer, so my knowledge leans towards set design, prop design, and construction, as well as scheduling, budgeting, and similar topics. If you can think of a topic that's not already in the blog or that hasn't been covered in numerous other resources (i.e., how to build a flat), I'd appreciate your letting me know, and I will certainly take it under consideration.

    Thanks so much.

    ------------------------------
    George F. Ledo
    Set designer
    www.setdesignandtech.wordpress.com
    www.georgefledo.net
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 11-06-2019 11:39
    I once saw a book on how to make sets out of corrugated cardboard - you probably know what I'm talking about?  I thought, since so many drama teachers are on a budget crunch and/or a space crunch, what about a blog (if you don't already have one?) on some techniques of set building that don't involve traditional set building techniques?

    ------------------------------
    Beth Rand, EBMS
    Educational Lighting Designer
    School Theatre Operations Coach

    NEW:
    www.theSTAGEteam.org
    Grants for your technicians/artists

    www.PRESETT.org
    Stage Lighting services
    Online tech theatre courses
    Tech theatre books

    beth@PRESETT.org
    Westminster, CO
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 11-07-2019 10:26
    Totally on recycled items or what you would find at the junk yard!  The best creativity is like a theatre "pinterest"!

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    Natalie (Saunders) Dommer
    Pasadena Memorial High School
    Pasadena, Texas
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  • 4.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 11-07-2019 10:58
    Hi, Natalie,

    Thanks for your post. Are you suggesting designing the set first and then finding recycled items (or stuff at the junkyard) that can work in it, or finding the pieces first and designing the set around them?

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    George F. Ledo
    Set designer
    www.setdesignandtech.wordpress.com
    www.georgefledo.net
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 17 days ago
    This sounds like a idea I’d love to see others’ unconventional ideas. Took a tech workshop with Paper Mache Monkey in NYC a couple of years ago- was just trying to remember your website/blog url George. Thanks for posting.

    ---------------------------------
    Kelly Cardall
    Theatre Arts
    Health and PE Chair
    Mount de Sales Academy
    Baltimore, MD
    ---------------------------------





  • 6.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 29 days ago
    I know this is outside your stated areas of expertise, but I think a lot of teachers, like me, are hungry for training on integrating projections into productions.

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    Ryan Moore
    Theatre Teacher and Forensics Coach
    Royal Oak MI
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  • 7.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 28 days ago
    Thanks, Ryan, that's an interesting idea. One of my professors in college was very into lighting and projections (one of his European buddies was Josef Svoboda, who pretty much re-defined the use of projections in live theatre), so we took a semester of projection design on top of a semester of lighting design.

    The biggest issue I've seen with projections in non-professional theatre is that they're often used as a backdrop: just an image to act in front of, instead of being used to define the space and/or set a mood. But I've also seen cases where they either take over the space or have nothing to do with the story. I have a friend out here who used to be a professional lighting designer and now teaches in a college, and he's done some wonderful work with projections. You can see some of our work together at:

    http://georgefledo.net/Cuckoo%27s%20Nest.htm

    http://georgefledo.net/Dog%20Sees%20God.htm

    And work by another lighting designer at:

    http://georgefledo.net/My%20Way.htm

    Let me put some thought into this and see if I can come up with something.

    ------------------------------
    George F. Ledo
    Set designer
    www.setdesignandtech.wordpress.com
    www.georgefledo.net
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 17 days ago
    Beautiful! Those of us who studied theatre over 10yrs ago could definitely use a tutorial on HOW projection works and what you need to achieve more than just a backdrop or gobo effect.

    ---------------------------------
    Kelly Cardall
    Theatre Arts
    Health and PE Chair
    Mount de Sales Academy
    Baltimore, MD
    ---------------------------------





  • 9.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 24 days ago
    Getting ready to start production work on Phantom of the Opera so here are a few topics that relate to that show as well as others:

    • How can one rig things (like the chandelier or say the shoe in Almost, Maine) to drop from a ceiling without hurting anyone?
    • How can you produce a spectacle show on a small scale budget but look like a million bucks?
    • How can one a rig a piano to play by itself? (could be also used in The Piano Lesson)
    • When you can't use pyrotechnics - what is a good lighting effect to use in its place? 
    Thanks!

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    Marla Blasko
    Director/Teacher Theatre Arts
    Long Reach High School
    Columbia, Maryland
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  • 10.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 22 days ago

    In response to the pyrotechnics question Marla asked in her post on this thread… We once created the effect of fireworks coming from a door on a set that 'led to a basement', where someone had set off fireworks. Was it "I Remember Mama"? In any case…we set a flashing color changing LED instrument on a stand on the floor as an up-light, and used dry ice for smoke. The smoke came through the door catching all the color flashes. It was very effective.



    ------------------------------
    Beth Rand, EBMS
    Educational Lighting Designer
    School Theatre Operations Coach

    Support for educational tech theatre at: www.Patreon.com/theSTAGEteam.

    NEW:
    www.theSTAGEteam.org
    Grants for your technicians/artists

    www.PRESETT.org
    Stage Lighting services
    Online tech theatre courses
    Tech theatre books

    beth@PRESETT.org
    Westminster, CO
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Ambitious for a high school, good for you!
    1) the chandelier rigging is so theatre specific... have it land on the apron and everyone on stage make sure they are upstage of the main curtain? Or have a couple of cast members designated to "clear" the landing spot and only stopping and facing downstage when it is safe (as a signal to the SM to complete the fall), Or have it fall halfway and blackout before it reaches anyone
    2) Borrow or rent a player piano from a local piano store. I have seen digital ones that can be programmed with any music and the keys move during playback
    3) I like the haze/fog solution from another post, some of the new "Christmas Laser" projectors at Home Depot and such, have fireworks settings for use on the 4th of July. Maybe you can get a business to loan you one in trade for a thank you in the program. In lieu of fog, just hit the ceiling over the audience, they'll get it.
    Break a leg!

    ------------------------------
    [Ron] [Gingerich]
    [Phoenix] [AZ]
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  • 12.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 5 days ago
    We just closed a production of Almost, Maine - and our tech team built a small contraption for the "shoe drop" in Almost, Maine.  It was just large enough for one shoe - and it was a small box with one side that was hinged.  We staged that scene downstage right just under the first batten, and the box had a pull string that ran over to our pin rail/ fly deck.  At the right moment, just after Phil says "What are we waiting for?!?"   - the other shoe drops.   We just had to be careful to place the box and stage the scene in a way that the place where the box hung did not interfere with any of the other items up there like lights or curtains.  And there was a small X target of spike tape on the stage floor, so the actors knew to be careful of that space at that time.

    I don't have a photo of the box - but here's a shot from that scene:


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    Melissa Mintzer
    Willow Street PA
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  • 13.  RE: What topics would you like to see covered in a design and tech threatre blog?

    Posted 6 days ago
    How to build "the Rose" for Beauty and the Beast that loses petals and can be seen from the audience!

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    Valerie Scott
    Drama Teacher/Director
    Perimeter School
    Johns Creek, Ga
    ------------------------------