Theater drapes and stage curtains
Theater drapes and stage curtains are large pieces of cloth that are designed to mask backstage areas of a theater from spectators. They are come in several types. Theater drapes represent a portion of any production's soft goods, a category which includes any cloth-based element of the stage or scenery. Proscenium stages use a greater variety of drapes than thrust stages. In proscenium theaters, drapes are suspended from battens that are controlled by a fly system; when a drape is flown, the task of adjusting its height for best masking effect is simplified and, in the case of a drape that must be moved during a performance, this enables the drape to be raised above the proscenium arch—thus positioning it out of view of spectators—or lowered to any arbitrary height above the stage, as required. The front curtain, variously called a grand drape, act curtain, house curtain, house drape, main drape, main rag, or, in the UK, hangs downstage, just behind the proscenium arch, it is opened and closed during performances to reveal or conceal the stage and scenery from the audience.
There are several types of front curtains, which may consist of a single section or two sections, of fabric that may be pleated or flat. Depending on the type, front curtains may travel vertically. In the case of front curtains that travel vertically, some types gather near the top of the proscenium when opened, while others are raised into the fly space above the stage. Hard teasers and tormentors are flat and vertical pieces that are located just upstage of the grand drape. Together, one hard teaser and a pair of tormentors are used to form a reduced-size "false proscenium" within the frame of the actual theater proscenium. Hard teasers and tormentors are covered with thin plywood, which in turn is covered with dark colored, light-absorbing material; the teaser is flown from a dedicated batten so that its height can be independently adjusted so as to optimize its masking of the flies. In the UK this teaser is referred to as the House Header. In some productions, a show portal is used in place of a false proscenium.
This is a decorative "frame" for the stage which serves to mask backstage areas, just as a teaser and tormentors would. Legs are narrow stage drapes that are used to mask the wings on either side of the stage. Borders, are short draperies that span the width of the stage. Legs and borders are made from a heavy, light-absorbing material similar to that of other stage drapes. A set of two legs, one on each side of the stage, one border, is used to form a complete masking "frame" around the stage. Several such sets of legs and borders are employed at varying distances upstage from the proscenium. Travelers are curtains onstage which can close. Drapes that hang at the sides of the stage perpendicular to the proscenium opening to mask the wings are known as Tabs, as shown in the drawing at the top of this page. In the UK, these curtains have other names Up & Downers. A scrim, sometimes gauze, is a curtain made of an open-weave fabric that appears opaque when lit from the front, but transparent when a person or object behind the curtain is lit.
A backdrop is a painted curtain. Before the advent of motion pictures, theaters would have 6-8 stock painted backdrops on canvas for use in live theatrical performances; these would include an urban scene, a nature or garden scene, a domestic interior. Drops may be hung by various means. Made of muslin, sized and painted, the top may be pressed between two pieces of lumber and clamped to a pipe, with a pipe or chain through a hem pocket at the bottom giving it weight to prevent flapping; some may be tied to the pipe with tie-line. A time-honored method of hanging a drop is the roll-drop, in which the bottom of the drop is attached to a round batten; the drop is rolled onto it from the back, is deployed by rope rigged through blocks to be pulled from offstage to release the tension holding the batten up, thus unrolling it until unfurled. There is a form of drop used in Vaudeville days, which may still be seen in older theaters, called an olio. "Olio" means conglomeration, these drops were most roll-drops covered with advertisements from various sponsors, for the audience to view between shows.
A cyclorama or cyc is a large curtain concave, at the back of the stage that can be lit to represent the sky or other backgrounds. Traditionally white or natural colored cloth, cycs now come in various colors of white, light blue and the green or blue curtains used in Chroma key work may be called cycs. With projected scenery and scrims may be used as drops, by employing either front or rear projection; this was done in a general sense in the 1910s and 1920s by means of painted glass plates in front of lighting instruments, which made
Trompe-l'œil is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Forced perspective is a comparable illusion in architecture. Though the phrase, which can be spelled without the hyphen and ligature in English as trompe l'oeil, originates in the Baroque period, when it refers to perspectival illusionism, trompe-l'œil dates much further back, it was employed in murals. Instances from Greek and Roman times are known, for instance in Pompeii. A typical trompe-l'œil mural might depict a window, door, or hallway, intended to suggest a larger room. A version of an oft-told ancient Greek story concerns a contest between two renowned painters. Zeuxis produced a still life painting so convincing that birds flew down to peck at the painted grapes. A rival, asked Zeuxis to judge one of his paintings, behind a pair of tattered curtains in his study. Parrhasius asked Zeuxis to pull back the curtains, but when Zeuxis tried, he could not, as the curtains were included in Parrhasius's painting—making Parrhasius the winner.
With widespread fascination with perspective drawing in the Renaissance, Italian painters of the late Quattrocento such as Andrea Mantegna and Melozzo da Forlì, began painting illusionistic ceiling paintings in fresco, that employed perspective and techniques such as foreshortening to create the impression of greater space for the viewer below. This type of trompe l'œil illusionism as applied to ceiling paintings is known as di sotto in sù, meaning "from below, upward" in Italian; the elements above the viewer are rendered as if viewed from true vanishing point perspective. Well-known examples are the Camera degli Sposi in Mantua and Antonio da Correggio's Assumption of the Virgin in the Duomo of Parma. Vittorio Carpaccio and Jacopo de' Barbari added small trompe-l'œil features to their paintings, playfully exploring the boundary between image and reality. For example, a fly might appear to be sitting on the painting's frame, or a curtain might appear to conceal the painting, a piece of paper might appear to be attached to a board, or a person might appear to be climbing out of the painting altogether—all in reference to the contest of Zeuxis and Parrhasius.
In a 1964 seminar, the psychoanalyst and theorist Jacques Lacan observed that the myth of the two painters reveals an interesting aspect of human cognition. While animals are attracted to superficial appearances, humans are enticed by the idea of things that are hidden. Perspective theories in the 17th century allowed a more integrated approach to architectural illusion, which when used by painters to "open up" the space of a wall or ceiling is known as quadratura. Examples include Pietro da Cortona's Allegory of Divine Providence in the Palazzo Barberini and Andrea Pozzo's Apotheosis of St Ignatius on the ceiling of the Roman church of Sant'Ignazio; the Mannerist and Baroque style interiors of Jesuit churches in the 16th and 17th century included such trompe-l'œil ceiling paintings, which optically "open" the ceiling or dome to the heavens with a depiction of Jesus', Mary's, or a saint's ascension or assumption. An example of a perfect architectural trompe-l'œil is the illusionistic dome in the Jesuit church, Vienna, by Andrea Pozzo, only curved but gives the impression of true architecture.
Trompe-l'œil paintings became popular in Flemish and in Dutch painting in the 17th century arising from the development of still life painting. The Flemish painter Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts created a chantourné painting showing an easel holding a painting. Chantourné means'cutout' and refers to a trompe l'œil representation designed to stand away from a wall; the Dutch painter Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten was a master of the trompe-l'œil and theorized on the role of art as the lifelike imitation of nature in his 1678 book, the Introduction to the Academy of Painting, or the Visible World. A fanciful form of architectural trompe-l'œil, features realistically rendered paintings of such items as paper knives, playing cards and scissors accidentally left lying around. Trompe-l'œil can be found painted on tables and other items of furniture, on which, for example, a deck of playing cards might appear to be sitting on the table. A impressive example can be seen at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, where one of the internal doors appears to have a violin and bow suspended from it, in a trompe l'œil painted around 1723 by Jan van der Vaardt.
Another example can be found in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, London. This Wren building was painted by Sir James Thornhill, the first British born painter to be knighted and is a classic example of the baroque style popular in the early 18th century; the American 19th-century still-life painter William Harnett specialized in trompe-l'œil. In the 20th century, from the 1960s on, the American Richard Haas and many others painted large trompe-l'œil murals on the sides of city buildings, from beginning of the 1980s when German Artist Rainer Maria Latzke began to combine classical fresco art with contemporary content trompe-l'œil became popular for interior murals; the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí utilized the technique for a number of his paintings. Trompe-l'œil, in the form of "forced perspective", has long been used in stage-theater set design, so as to create the illusion of a much deeper space than the actual stage. A famous early example is t
Paolo Landriani was an Italian painter and architect. He was born at Milan, studied under Gonzaga, he was employed at La Scala theatre, became reputed as a decorator. He followed the principles of Bibiena and Bernardino Galliari. Giovanni Perego and Alessandro Sanquirico were his pupils. Landriani published a history of the principal theaters of Europe, he died at Milan. His relationship to Paolo Camillo Landriani is unclear. Bryan, Michael. Walter Armstrong and Robert Edmund Graves, ed. Dictionary of Painters and Engravers and Critical. York St. No. 4, Covent Garden, London. P. 11
Set construction is the process undertaken by a construction manager to build full-scale scenery, as specified by a production designer or art director working in collaboration with the director of a production to create a set for a theatrical, film or television production. The set designer produces a scale model, scale drawings, paint elevations, research about props, so on. Scale drawings include a groundplan and section of the complete set, as well as more detailed drawings of individual scenic elements which, in theatrical productions, may be static, flown, or built onto scenery wagons. Models and paint elevations are hand-produced, though in recent years, many Production Designers and most commercial theatres have begun producing scale drawings with the aid of computer drafting programs such as AutoCAD or Vectorworks. In theater, the technical director or production manager is the person responsible for evaluating the finished designs and considering budget and time limitations, he or she engineers the scenery, has it redrafted for building, budgets time and materials, liaisons between the designer and the shop.
Technical directors have assistant technical directors whose duties can range from drafting to building scenery. A scene shop, in theatrical production is overseen by a shop foreman or master carpenter; this person assigns tasks, does direct supervision of carpenters, deals with day-to-day matters such as absences, tool repair, etc. The staff of a scene shop is referred to as scenic carpenters, but within that there are many specialities such as plasterers, welders and scenic stitchers. Scenic painting is a separate aspect of scenic construction, although the scenic painter answers to the technical director. In major film production in England, a Supervising Art Director is responsible for a team of Art Directors, each drafting separate sets or sections of a single set. Construction supervisors interpret the drawings and allocate labor and resources, with the Production Designer giving approval of the finished set on the Directors behalf. Film construction is rigidly compartmentalized on major motion pictures.
Construction of a film set is done on studio stages or back lots within a studio complex and several studio stages may be allocated purely as workshop space during the construction process. Many disciplines are employed under construction managers but craftsmen tend to not multi-task and so there are a range of job titles, such as, rigger, stage hand, poly waller, scenic painter, standby painter and standby carpenter are among them. A prop making workshop is set up in a similar stage and may be paid for out of a Construction or Art Department budget depending on the nature and size of the props in question; the construction department is led by a construction coordinator. The coordinator reports to the art director and production designer and is in charge of budgeting and implementing designs; the construction coordinator has a general foreman to assist. Next there are other foremen, lead carpenters called gang bosses, all of the carpenters and craftsmen; the construction coordinator, or construction company, provides all tools and equipment apart from small hand tools specific to a craftsman's work, such as screw guns, paint brushes and plastering trowels.
This makes logistics and efficiency the responsibility of the construction manager and leaves each crew member as fluid freelancers to be hired and off hired at short notice throughout the production. Studio complexes tend to have support services such as Drape Shops, general stores, timber stores and plaster shop as well as special effects companies, on site to support construction and other departments. In the United States, set construction workers are members of the entertainment union, IATSE, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Sound stage Stagecraft Staging Theatrical scenery Film sculptor
Stage lighting accessories
Stage lighting accessories are components manufactured for conventional stage lighting instruments. Most conventional fixtures are designed to accept a number of different accessories designed to assist in the modification of the output; these accessories are intended to either provide common functionality not provided in a fixture, or to extend the versatility of a lighting instrument by introducing features. Other accessories have been designed to overcome limitations or difficulties some fixtures present in specific applications. All stage lighting accessories fall into one of three distinct categories: components installed inside the fixture, components affixed to the front of the fixture, or components mounted elsewhere on the exterior of a fixture. Barn doors, or a set of barn doors, are an attachment fitted to the front of a Fresnel lantern, a type of lantern used in films and theatres; the attachment has the appearance of a large set of barn doors, but in fact there are four leaves, two larger and widening on the outside, two smaller and getting narrower towards the outside.
They facilitate shaping of the beam of light from the fixture, prevent the distinctive scatter of light created by the Fresnel lens from spilling into areas where it is not wanted, such as the eyes of audience members. Barn doors are mounted with a ring; because of this, barn doors have a gel slot built into them, so the light can still be colored. Depending on the size and local practices, barn doors may be attached to the pipe or the instrument with their own safety cable. Barn doors are not used with "profile" or "ellipsoidal reflector" spotlights such as the Source Four because they have internal shutters which work more effectively. Barn doors are not effective at shaping the light of a PAR lights and a narrower lens would be a better way to do this. A top hat known as a stove pipe or snoot, is a device used in theatrical lighting to shield the audience's eyes from the direct source of the light, it is shaped like a top hat with a hole in the top, the brim being inserted into the gel frame holder on a lighting instrument.
The cylinder allows light to pass through but takes away the glint of a lighting instrument facing the audience. It reduces flare created by the light, useful when the unit is hung near the proscenium or other objects that the designer does not want to light. There are half-hats or "eyelashes", which function in a similar manner but have only half the cylinder, short hats, which are shorter in length. Top hats are manufactured for most modern-day lighting instruments with gel frames of varying sizes. Gel extenders are similar to top hats in appearance, being a tube placed over the end of a lighting fixture. Unlike top hats, gel extenders have a colour frame holder built into the end to allow color gel to be mounted. Gel extenders are available in a conical shape which does not constrict the beam of light output from the fixture at all. A colour frame or gel frame is a piece of folded material, made from either metal or cardboard, designed to hold colour media. Colour frames are placed directly outside the fixture in front of lens assembly.
Most fixtures include an integrated holder for the frame. Some accessories designed to mount in the gel frame holder, such as Barn Doors include an integrated replacement slot for frames. Comes in many different sizes for all types of lanterns including, fresnels and par cans A doughnut, or donut, is a thin metal or cardboard panel, similar in shape and appearance to a colour frame, but with a small diameter hole intended to reduce off-axis rays of light being projected from a fixture; this increases sharpness of the light by reducing the effect of imperfect lenses. Doughnuts are designed to fit into the colour frame holder directly outside the fixture in front of lens assembly; because they are thin, doughnuts can be placed in the same slot as a gel frame. Doughnuts are used in fixtures in order to sharpen the beam when a template is in place. A color scroller, color changer, or "scroller" is a lighting accessory used to change color gels on stage lighting instruments without the need of a person to be in the vicinity of the light.
It is attached in the gel frame holder on the outside of a lighting instrument in front of lens assembly. The "scroll" of colours inside the colour changer allows a single fixture to output several different colours, or no colour, to change between colours on command. Most scrollers are controlled via DMX512 protocol, but some newer models utilize the RDM protocol. A moving mirror attachment is an ellipsoidal spotlight accessory that allows you to remotely re-position the beam of light, so that a single luminaire in a fixed position can be used for multiple "specials" in dozens of locations. Two of the most prominent models are the Elipscan by the Rosco I-Cue. Beam Bender A beam bender is a large adjustable mirror, mounted into the color slot on the front of a lighting fixture, it is designed to allow a fixture to be mounted at right angles to the desired direction to be lit and have the output reflected accordingly. Drop in Boomerang A Boomerang known as a Color magazine is a series of colored filters on hinges.
A "Drop in Boomerang" is designed to mount into the color slot of a lighting fixture and provide the operator with several manually selected gels. Most this accessory is seen in conjunction with the followspot yoke, when a fixture is being used as a small replaceme
Sound design is the art and practice of creating sound tracks for a variety of needs. It involves specifying, acquiring or creating auditory elements using audio production techniques and tools, it is employed in a variety of disciplines including filmmaking, television production, video game development, sound recording and reproduction, live performance, sound art, post-production and musical instrument development. Sound design involves performing and editing of composed or recorded audio, such as sound effects and dialogue for the purposes of the medium. A sound designer is one; the use of sound to evoke emotion, reflect mood and underscore actions in plays and dances began in prehistoric times. At its earliest, it was used in religious practices for recreation. In ancient Japan, theatrical events called kagura were performed in Shinto shrines with music and dance. Plays were performed in medieval times in a form of theatre called Commedia dell'arte, which used music and sound effects to enhance performances.
The use of music and sound in the Elizabethan Theatre followed, in which music and sound effects were produced off stage using devices such as bells and horns. Cues would be written in the script for music and sound effects to be played at the appropriate time. Italian composer Luigi Russolo built mechanical sound-making devices, called "intonarumori," for futurist theatrical and music performances starting around 1913; these devices were meant to simulate man-made sounds, such as trains and bombs. Russolo's treatise, The Art of Noises, is one of the earliest written documents on the use of abstract noise in the theatre. After his death, his intonarumori' were used in more conventional theatre performances to create realistic sound effects; the first use of recorded sound in the theatre was a phonograph playing a baby’s cry in a London theatre in 1890. Sixteen years Herbert Beerbohm Tree used recordings in his London production of Stephen Phillips’ tragedy NERO; the event is marked in the Theatre Magazine with two photographs.
The article states: “these sounds are all realistically reproduced by the gramophone”. As cited by Bertolt Brecht, there was a play about Rasputin written in by Alexej Tolstoi and directed by Erwin Piscator that included a recording of Lenin's voice. Whilst the term "sound designer" was not in use at this time, a number of stage managers specialised as "effects men", creating and performing offstage sound effects using a mix of vocal mimicry and electrical contraptions and gramophone records. A great deal of care and attention was paid to the construction and performance of these effects, both naturalistic and abstract. Over the course of the twentieth century the use of recorded sound effects began to take over from live sound effects, though it was the stage manager's duty to find the sound effects and an electrician played the recordings during performances. Between 1980 and 1988, Charlie Richmond, USITT's first Sound Design Commissioner, oversaw efforts of their Sound Design Commission to define the duties, responsibilities and procedures which might be expected of a theatre sound designer in North America.
This subject is still discussed by that group, but during that time, substantial conclusions were drawn and he wrote a document which, although now somewhat dated, provides a succinct record of what was expected at that time. It was subsequently provided to both the ADC and David Goodman at the Florida USA local when they were both planning to represent sound designers in the 1990s. MIDI and digital audio technology have contributed to the evolution of sound production techniques in the 1980s and 1990s. Digital audio workstations and a variety of digital signal processing algorithms applied in them allow more complicated sound tracks with more tracks as well as auditory effects to be realized. Features such as unlimited undo and sample-level editing allow fine control over the sound tracks. In theatre sound, features of computerized theatre sound design systems have been recognized as being essential for live show control systems at Walt Disney World and, as a result, Disney utilized systems of that type to control many facilities at their Disney-MGM Studios theme park, which opened in 1989.
These features were incorporated into the MIDI Show Control specification, an open communications protocol used to interact with diverse devices. The first show to utilize the MSC specification was the Magic Kingdom Parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in September, 1991; the rise of interest in game audio has brought more advanced interactive audio tools that are accessible without a background in computer programming. Some of such software tools feature a workflow that's similar to that in more conventional digital audio workstation programs and can allow the sound production personnel to undertake some of the more creative interactive sound tasks that would have required a computer programmer. Interactive applications have given rise to a plethora of techniques in "dynamic audio" that loosely means sound that's "parametrically" adjusted during the run-time of the program; this allows for a broader expression in sounds, more similar to that in films, because this way the sound designer can e.g. create footstep sounds that vary in a believable and non-repeating way and that corresponds to what's seen in the picture
Costume is the distinctive style of dress of an individual or group that reflects their class, profession, nationality, activity or epoch. The term was traditionally used to describe typical appropriate clothing for certain activities, such as riding costume, swimming costume, dance costume, evening costume. Appropriate and acceptable costume is subject to changes in fashion and local cultural norms. "But sable is worn more in carriages, lined with real lace over ivory satin, worn over some smart costume suitable for an afternoon reception." A Woman's Letter from London. This general usage has been replaced by the terms "dress", "attire", "robes" or "wear" and usage of "costume" has become more limited to unusual or out-of-date clothing and to attire intended to evoke a change in identity, such as theatrical and mascot costumes. Before the advent of ready-to-wear apparel, clothing was made by hand; when made for commercial sale it was made, as late as the beginning of the 20th century, by "costumiers" women who ran businesses that met the demand for complicated or intimate female costume, including millinery and corsetry.
Costume comes from the same Italian word, inherited via French, which means custom. National costume or regional costume expresses local identity and emphasizes a culture's unique attributes, they are a source of national pride. Examples include Japanese kimono. In Bhutan there is a traditional national dress prescribed for men and women, including the monarchy; these have developed into a distinctive dress style. The dress worn by men is known as Gho, a robe worn up to knee-length and is fastened at the waist by a band called the Kera; the front part of the dress, formed like a pouch, in olden days was used to hold baskets of food and short dagger, but now it is used to keep cell phone and the betel nut called Doma. The dress worn by women consist of three pieces known as Kira and Wonju; the long dress which extends up to the ankle is Kira. The jacket worn above this is Tego, provided with Wonju, the inner jacket. However, while visiting the Dzong or monastery a long scarf or stoll, called Kabney is worn by men across the shoulder, in colours appropriate to their ranks.
Women wear scarfs or stolls called Rachus, made of raw silk with embroidery, over their shoulder but not indicative of their rank. "Costume" refers to a particular style of clothing worn to portray the wearer as a character or type of character at a social event in a theatrical performance on the stage or in film or television. In combination with other aspects of stagecraft, theatrical costumes can help actors portray characters' and their contexts as well as communicate information about the historical period/era, geographic location and time of day, season or weather of the theatrical performance; some stylized theatrical costumes, such as Harlequin and Pantaloon in the Commedia dell'arte, exaggerate an aspect of a character. A costume technician is a term used for a person that alters the costumes; the costume technician is responsible for taking the two dimensional sketch and translating it to create a garment that resembles the designer's rendering. It is important for a technician to keep the ideas of the designer in mind when building the garment.
Draping is the art of manipulating the fabric using pins and hand stitching to create structure on a body. This is done on a dress form to get the adequate shape for the performer. Cutting is the act of laying out fabric on a flat surface, using scissors to cut and follow along a pattern; these pieces are put together to create a final costume. It is easier to visualize the finished product It is hard to keep the fabric symmetric You are able to drape in your fashion fabric rather than making a muslin mockup Draping makes it difficult to replicate for multiple people There are no needs for patterns It can be hard to keep the grain of the fabric straight There is less waste when using the specific fabric from the start You are able to create your own pattern to fit a certain size You may need instructions to piece the fabric together It is easier to control the grain of the fabric as well as symmetry There is more ability to create many of the same garment The measurements can be accurate It takes time to see he final product The job of a costume technician is to construct and pattern the costumes for the play or performance.
The wardrobe supervisor oversees the wardrobe run of the show from backstage. They are responsible for maintaining the good condition of the costumes. Millinery known as hatmaking is the manufacturing of hats and headwear; the wearing of costumes is an important part of holidays developed from religious festivals such as Mardi Gras, Halloween. Mardi Gras costumes take the form of jesters and other fantasy characters. In modern times. Christmas costumes portray characters such as Santa Claus. In Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States the American version of a Santa suit and beard is popular. Easter costumes are associated with the Easter Bunny or other animal costumes. In Judaism, a common practice is to dress up on Purim. During this holiday, Jews celebrate the change of their destiny, they were delivered from being the victims of an evil decree against them and were instead allowed by the King to destroy their enemies. A quote from the Book of Esther, which