Open Forum

Periatos Blueprint

  • 1.  Periatos Blueprint

    Posted 01-08-2019 21:12

    Good Afternoon! Does anyone have a blueprint for a "periactoids" Periaktos set (three sided spinning flat)? I am trying to find a simple way to create a set for Mary Poppins! Eeeekkkk! Though about using this style of set design. Have you ever used periactoids to design your show? Is this something students can build on their own?


    Natalie Cannon
    Theater Teacher
    Albuquerque NM

  • 2.  RE: Periatos Blueprint

    Posted 01-09-2019 08:29
    Our new theatre space has a fly space but no money to actually install a fly system, so we have had to go to this type of backdrop. There are plans online, but the best thing is to remember angles. We cut three 4' long 2"x2" boards at 60 degrees each then screwed them together (Making sure to pre-drill beforehand so we didn't split the wood). This made an equilateral triangle. We made another one identical to it. Then we took three 2"x2"x8' boards and screwed them into the corners inside, one triangle on each end. We "skinned" each of the three sides with thin plywood and ten periaktoi later we had three different backgrounds. We made ten which gave us 40' of background for each one. Then we lined them up side by side and painted the three different sides. The lines are still there, but if pushed together closely, the audience begins to forget the lines are there. We carpeted the bottoms to make them easy to spin. I don't have drawings, but I hope this helps a little.

    Bruce Taws

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  • 3.  RE: Periatos Blueprint

    Posted 01-09-2019 08:31   This might help.

    We built ours years ago, we have four, each side 4X8, and use them for our middle school show every year. My only caution is to buy substantial wheels, three inches, if you want to keep them forever. (The first few shows we spent a lot of energy replacing broken wheels. Finally, we pulled them all off and upgraded and the problem was resolved.) We use a lot of MTI JUNIOR shows and those scenes are so short that this kind of solution for quick scene changes makes sense. We also built a removable hinged ARCH feature on two of our four so we have another look.  It's and old school solution that still works.

    Nell] [Lynch]
    Timonium MDMaggie

  • 4.  RE: Periatos Blueprint

    Posted 01-09-2019 08:46
    Here's what worked for us. We built four for The Wedding Singer.

    I built larger versions of what a camp I worked at used every summer.

    For each periactoid, build two identical equilateral triangle platforms. Careful angle cuts make the platforms work well.

    We found that hard surface flats worked well for the sides. The flat should be the width of one side of the triangle. We used standard flat support in terms of framing, but faced them with luan so they would be sturdy.

    Screw the flats into the platforms on the top and the bottom.

    We put three full rotator castors on the bottom.

    Use 6" wide wide gaff tape to cover the corners, or do more precise carpentry than we did.

    We made our triangles 4 foot on each side. We also build in "windows" on one side so that when it spun around, an actor could be revealed inside, which was lots of fun!

    With practice, looks change in seconds. And they don't have to sit side by side, but they can.

    Nathan Rosen
    Baltimore MD

  • 5.  RE: Periatos Blueprint

    Posted 01-09-2019 11:50
    Edited by George Ledo 01-09-2019 11:50
    Do a search for "periaktoi:" there's a lot of information and drawings online. You may also want to check out my blog post on this, at

    Keep in mind that a periaktos is a physical solution to a specific design problem: it's not a design element.

    George F. Ledo
    Set designer

  • 6.  RE: Periatos Blueprint

    Posted 01-09-2019 12:14
    I love using periaktoi.  (Periaktoi is plural; periaktos is singular, but who uses just one?)

    They require a lot of storage space, though.  After the last time we disassembled a set of periaktoi, I decided we really should have built them to be taken apart for storage.  Too late.

    I hope someone will put up construction plans and drawings here.

    C. J. Breland
    Asheville High School
    Asheville NC

  • 7.  RE: Periatos Blueprint

    Posted 01-09-2019 13:19
    Check out

    And keep in mind that there's no such thing as a "standard size," and that they don't even need to be equilateral triangles.

    George F. Ledo
    Set designer

  • 8.  RE: Periatos Blueprint

    Posted 01-09-2019 14:07
    Natalie - See attached sketches ... Would be glad to send you a print, just let me know the width and Height you intend on building.  I also recommend using a stage flat to keep the unit lighter... Don

    Don Keith
    Set Designer | Partner
    The KEILIN Group
    300 north pottstown pike, suite 140
    exton, PA 19341
    o: 610.873.2506