Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bringing it together…

High school sets have a budget that’s small. You accept that, and you work with it and that’s part of the fun.  Instead of frosted glass, you stretch plastic drop cloths over the door windows (it actually works very well).  You have to keep in mind that everything needs to look good from 40 feet away, not 10 feet.

Thats theatre, but with high school, or smaller productions – it’s always an effort to do the most with the very small budget you have.  $500 is a big budget show for some sets.  You scrimp on everything, ripping 2x4s to make 2x2s.  Last shows book cases become this shows in wall inserts by flipping them on their side and making them even with the flats – which often require a ton of screws and clamps to pull them tight.  The french doors from the sound of music, and the arch from the library in the Music Man, combined to make this plays entryway.  Left over sheeting from Suessical becomes a bar.

Every bit of lumber, is reused. You make things with what’s available, you reuse flats and lumber show after show after show. Some of the canvas has so many coats of paint its practically able to stand in its own.  After each show, there’s something you pick up and take forward to the next.

But that shouldn’t hold anyone back. In fact, that’s not a blocker, it’s a challenge to be accepted.  Most of these over painted flats… Will be stripped or thrown away. New Hollywood style flats will replace them. But for now, for one more show, the skills if the parents and kids from 13 Past Midnight are shown in what we accomplished.

Awesome job for a couple hundred dollars worth of paint and effort.

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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in 13 Past Midnight


Blood on Demand…

For 13 Past Midnight, Victor is killed, A sheet laid over him… And then later it bleeds.

No big deal. For this, we tape (white duct tape) a clear hose filled with stage blood and a large (easy to find at a veterinarian supply) syringe. When the sheet is draped over Victor the Syringe with tubing is hidden in the sheet, as they drape it over the body they drop it in his upstage hand, his body never needs to move to spurt blood on command. (For realism have Victor squeeze the syringe a few moments before the blood needs to appear so it has time to soak in.)

You can see the rigging below…

Now here’s a few caveats and tips…

Tip #1: Syringes are often more difficult to push than people think, so use Silicone spray lubricant on the plunger and tube of the Syringe and work it until it slides with ease.

Clean the rig and spray it between shows so the silicone stopper doesn’t dry out. Use Silicone spray (found at Auto parts supply) instead of WD40 or other greases. The stopper is Silicone so your not going to dry it out as other greases will.

Tip #2: Tape .5 mill ir similar plastic drop cloth to the inside of the sheet so the blood is forced to soak into the fabric and not the actors costume or stage floor.

Tip #3:
Water down your stage blood so it’s almost between water and syrup in consistency.

Tip #4: Important!!!

Insert a small chunk of sponge into the end of your clear tubing to prevent accidental leaks of blood. And of course store it up right until use.

Surprisingly, the sponge will do a really good job, but better to be safe than sorry before show time.

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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Uncategorized