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Any experience working with stilts?

  • 1.  Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi all: anyone have a lot of experience working with stilts? We are doing Spamalot and would love to get some stilts for the Knight of Ni. But also feel like once we have some, we will find lots of reasons to use them so would love to get educated. I, however, have no experience with them.

    Size? Place to purchase? General cost I should be spending? What is too little (too cheap) and what is too much (more than we need).  Any ideas?

    Hope everyone is well and whatever amazing production you are in the middle of is going amazingly.
    Nick

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    Nick Hoffa
    Drama Director
    South Pasadena Unified
    South Pasadena CA
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  • 2.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 4 days ago
    We did Big Fish last year and we had our actor playing the Giant in a pair of drywall stilts. We got them from Amazon, though you may be able to get them from a hardware store. We paid a little over $100 for them, and they worked great. A few things I would recommend when using stilts on stage (I had no experience prior to last year): Allow your actor to start experimenting with them as early in the rehearsal process as possible to make sure they are comfortable with them and can get used to them. Walking is not too hard--but turning is. Give them some kind of support (our giant had a large walking stick at all times though I also saw a show where an actor on stilts was just flanked by actors on either sides on stage in case they lost balance). Some actors may be comfortable using them without extra support...but I don't know how safe that is or if I would really be comfortable with it.

    A link to the ones we purchased: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00JMP1FEY/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_-7yrEb2F9P00E

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    Christopher Hamilton
    Drama Teacher
    Kennewick WA
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  • 3.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Thanks Christopher, really appreciate the help!

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    Nick Hoffa
    Drama Director
    South Pasadena Unified
    South Pasadena CA
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  • 4.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 4 days ago
    We are also doing Spamalot - break a leg, but not with the stilts!

    I work for our local theme park and the stilts we use there are just your old fashion drywall stilts, I'm having one of our actors who is stilt trained come out and train my Knights of Ni.  The first thing is to practice falling, as scary as that is!

    You may want to reach out to any theme parks nearby or colleges and see if they have any stilt walkers that can come out.

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    Kimberly Wibbenmeyer
    Sullivan MO
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  • 5.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 3 days ago
      |   view attached
    We are using painters stilts for Lion King Jr for our giraffes.
    This was a father's doing.... Seems to work very well and they are pretty stable.
    They can move pretty quickly now with practice.

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    Erika Trahan
    Kaplan LA
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  • 6.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 3 days ago
    Thanks Erica. Think that is exactly what I'm looking for.

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    Nick Hoffa
    Drama Director
    South Pasadena Unified
    South Pasadena CA
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  • 7.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 3 days ago
    Love drywall stilts :)

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    Justin Tracy
    San Diego CA
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  • 8.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 14 hours ago
    I will echo Christopher regarding the drywall stiles.  We purchased them for a children's show years ago and they were very stable.  We started them out on the lowest height and had the actors work up their ability to raise them higher over the rehearsal period.  They have been used several times since then.

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    Stewart Hawk
    Washington State Thespian Co-Chapter Director
    206-252-2408
    stewart.hawk@gmail.com
    http://washingtonstatethespians.com/
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  • 9.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 3 days ago
    For Agnes' stilts in MEET ME IN ST LOUIS, we wanted an old fashioned homemade look.  My shop techs experiemnted and came up with these.  Our actress got a chance to practice with them from the first week of rehearsal.  During rehearsals and production, there were performers next to her for safety.  Although the steps were much lower then we originally wanted, the effect came off nicely.


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    Kathy Siler
    Theatre Educator
    Payson Unified Schools
    Payson AZ
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  • 10.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 3 days ago
    Thanks Kathy.

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    Nick Hoffa
    Drama Director
    South Pasadena Unified
    South Pasadena CA
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  • 11.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 3 days ago
    Oh Hi Nick,
    I have lots of experience with stilts.  I am happy to give you lessons.  Let's find a time perhaps we can get M and B in on the fun.
    Corey Wexler
    Marymount HS

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    Corey Wexler
    Drama Teacher/ Theatre Director
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 12.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 3 days ago
    Who are you???!!! :)
    Hi Corey! That'd be great.

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    Nick Hoffa
    Drama Director
    South Pasadena Unified
    South Pasadena CA
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  • 13.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 2 days ago
    Drywall stilts!!!!  We borrowed from a contractor in town.

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    Carol Knarr Gebert
    Jay County High School
    Portland, Indiana
    cgebert@jayschools.k12.in.us
    419-910-1287
    Thespian Troupe #574
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  • 14.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 2 hours ago

    I echo everyone's recommendation of drywall stilts.  But I have 2 points to make. 

    Not everyone can use them.  I've seen people who are snowboarders and skaters not have the balance to walk on stilts.  So it's hit and miss. 

    But the best advice when using them is to take small steps.  People get on them and begin a normal step which translates to a 6 foot stride and it doesn't work well.  Small steps translate into a normal stride when you factor in the length of the stilts. 

    Dura-Stilts are really good.  Your foot motions even transfer down, allowing you to stand on your toes.  Any set of stilts with similar design should work well. 

    Good Luck 



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    Chuck Yarmey
    Advisor/Technical Director
    Wyoming Area Drama Club
    Thespian Troupe 4795
    Exeter PA
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  • 15.  RE: Any experience working with stilts?

    Posted 43 minutes ago
    Thanks for all the great thoughts everyone. This has been incredibly helpful. I'll let you know how it goes!

    --
    "Miss Heller, what is your method of acting?"
    "Well, I have a bash at it, and if it doesn't go, I have another bash at it."