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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre

Book Description

The Technical Brief is a collection of single-focus articles on technical production solutions, published three times a year by the prestigious Yale School of Drama. The primary objective of the publication is to share creative solutions to technical problems so that fellow theatre technicians can avoid having to reinvent the wheel with each new challenge. The range of topics includes scenery, props, painting, electrics, sound, and costumes. The articles each describe an approach, device, or technique that has been tested on stage or in a shop by students and professionals.

Some articles included: Growing Flowers on Stage; Break-Away Glass; Photo-Murals for the Stage; Quiet Wire-Rope Curtain Track; Free Standing Curved Stairs; A Measured Approach to Kerfing; A Low-Voltage Remote Controller for Special Effects; Toggle-Clamp Locks; Comparing Four Plastics as Scenery Glides; Low Pressure Air Casters; A Simple Lift Jack; Using a Piano to Create a Reverberation Effect; Horn-Hat Mics for Sound Reinforcement

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Full Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Preface
  6. Foreword
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Lighting
    1. Hanging Cardboards
    2. A System to Facilitate Hanging Lights
    3. Another System to Facilitate Hanging Lights
    4. Computer-Assisted Lighting Design
    5. Acid-Cut Gobos
    6. An Improved Boom-Base Sandbag
    7. Easily Concealed Low-Profile Lighting Fixtures
    8. Low-Cost ACL Fixtures
    9. Two Devices to Simplify Cable Tracing
  9. Lighting Effects
    1. Simple Smoke
    2. A Fog Machine Silencer
    3. A Fog Manifold
    4. Groundrow Fog Disperser
    5. Pyro Stand
    6. A Photographic Aid in the Preparation of Scenic Projections
    7. A Fiber-Optic Star Drop
    8. A Television Lighting Effect
    9. Dancing Light
  10. Painting
    1. Theatrical Application of Aniline Dye
    2. Metallic Painting Process
    3. Frosting Plexiglas® Windows with Beer and Epsom Salts
    4. Texture Techniques Using Paper and Flexible Glue
    5. Photo-Murals for the Stage
    6. Painting Photographic Scenery Using Friskets
    7. Photocopy Transfers
    8. Two Periscopes for Full-Scale Cartooning
    9. Easy Stenciling Technique
  11. Props
    1. Snowballs for the Stage
    2. Artificial Canapes
    3. Stage Blood
    4. A Remote-Controlled Portable Water Source
    5. Circuitry for a Remotely Dimmable Portable Lighting Practical
    6. Remote-Control Live Fire
    7. High-Volume, Low-Cost Modelling Clay
    8. Gelatin Molds
    9. A Remote-Controlled Flash Effect
    10. Growing Flowers Onstage
    11. Break-Away Glass: Formula and Process
    12. A Butane Torch for Use Onstage
    13. A Safe Lamp-Oil Torch
    14. A Light-Sensitive Portable Practical
    15. Faking Waterproof Beer Can Labels
    16. Quick Casts in Under Two Hours
    17. Liquefied Auto Body Putty
    18. A Very Useful Snow Machine
  12. Rigging Hardware
    1. A Hinge Device to Facilitate Hanging Vertical Booms
    2. Sandwich Batten Clamps
    3. Spider-Cable Clamps
    4. PVC and Steel Pipe Traveler System
    5. The Internal Expansion Pipe Splice
    6. A “Bulldog Clip” Quick-Release Rig
    7. Phenolic Resin Pulleys: Out of the Skies and into the Future
  13. Rigging Techniques
    1. Flying Drops in Limited Fly Space
    2. A Quick and Simple Rigging System
    3. A Quick and Simple Rigging System: Addendum
    4. A Simultaneous Travel-Fly Rig
    5. A Travel-Fly Rig Modified
    6. A Quiet Wire-Rope Curtain Track
    7. Automatic Drop Tripping
    8. Rotating Flats While Flying
    9. Offset Flying
    10. A Tracked System for Flying Actors
    11. A Safe and Sag-Free Cable Curtain Track
    12. A Parallel-Guide Rig
  14. Safety
    1. General Specifications for Stairs and Ladders
    2. Compliance with Fire Safety
    3. Determining Tension in Bridling Lines
    4. Allowable Loads on Lumber-Nail Joints
    5. A Comparison of Rope-Braking Devices
    6. Fire Safety Handbook
  15. Scenery
    1. Sawdust Street Bricks
    2. Decision Trees
    3. Improved Soft-Covered Stock Masking Units
    4. Mass-Producing Styrofoam® Balusters
    5. Laying Out Odd-Shaped Raked Decks
    6. Free-Standing Curved Staircase
    7. I-Beam Tracking System
    8. A Measured Approach to Kerfing
    9. Alternate Spike Marks
  16. Scenery Decks
    1. Stressed-Skin Platform Units
    2. Modular Platform Legging
    3. Open-Corner Platforms
    4. Lap-Joint Decks
    5. A Platform System
    6. Two Methods of Constructing Terrain Decks
    7. A Non-Skid Groundcloth
    8. A Laminated Plywood Turntable
    9. A Plasticene-Styrofoam® Deck Plug
    10. The “Perfect” Soft Floor
  17. Scenery Electronics
    1. Sliding Electrical Contacts
    2. A Low-Voltage Remote Controller for Special Effects
    3. Two Simple LED Circuits
    4. A Touch-Tone Relay Controller for Special Effects
    5. Programmable Logic Controllers
  18. Scenery Hardware
    1. Floor-Mount Curved Track Using Polyethylene Pipe
    2. Underhung Hinge
    3. Nylon Rollers
    4. Nylon Rollers Modified
    5. Zero-Throw Casters
    6. A Simple Flush-Mount Hinge
    7. An Elevator Door Hinge
    8. Toggle-Clamp Locks
    9. A Quick-Locking Jack
  19. Scenery Materials
    1. Corrugated (Kraft) Cardboard as a Scenic Material
    2. Scenic Uses for Double-Stick Foam Tape
    3. A Curved Handrail of WEP
    4. Comparing Four Plastics as Scenery Glides
    5. Plastic Glides: A Second Look
    6. Structural Fiberglass and Its Applications
  20. Scenery Mechanics
    1. Basic Hydraulics
    2. Low-Pressure Air Casters
    3. Shop-Built Pneumatic Cylinders
    4. Pneumatic Door Stabilizer
    5. A Simple Lift Jack
  21. Scenery Tools
    1. Styrofoam® Moulding Cutter
    2. A Jig for Installing Roto Locks® in Platform Decks
    3. Homasote® Brickface for the Stage
    4. A Pantograph Moulding Jig
    5. A System for Duplicating Tube Steel Frames
    6. Door Vises for Edge Mortising
    7. A Simple Cut-Off Jig
    8. An Inexpensive Pipe-Clamp Bench Vise
    9. An Ethafoam® Rod Splitter
  22. Sound
    1. Using a Piano to Create a Reverberation Effect
    2. A Versatile Audio Power Meter
    3. Notes on Designing and Building a Concussion Mortar
    4. An Inexpensive Monitor Microphone
    5. A Simple Audio Compressor/Limiter
    6. Horn-Hat Mics for Sound Reinforcement
    7. An Audio Test-Tone Generator
  23. Combined Topical Index: Volumes 1 & 2