Jenna is upside-down. Yup, the scene requires her character to be lowered by her ankles and pock her head through a porthole. We don't see her ankles, or the person "holding" her. So, we had to devise a way to lower her upside-down.


Seen here:
Cable cutters;Part of a shackle; A loop of cable ;A Thimble

To see a larger, more detailed and less blurry version of the board, click on it...
And this is how it looked on stage from behind.

This is what it looked like in action. The scene involved these two actors having a discussion while hanging up laundry. So, the clothesline had to appear and disappear with ease. When you pull on a lever, the lever would pull on a cable that pulls the arm up and into place.


Curtains are hung in either of a few ways. Flat or full are the most popular. Flat is simply hanging the cloth stretched across the pipe. Pulled tight it looks like a sheet on a clothes line.

We're taking out some of the slack in our fly lines. The problem is that the pipes stop about 6 feet before the height of the ceiling. This cuts down significantly the height of our drops and scenery.  riggingarbor_003

This flying method is a very simple example. If you were to take it further, you could imagine how to fly a person. It works the same way, but uses much heavier equipment. The flying of people and of heavy objects is best left to the professionals who have the proper training and equipment.

For our production of Dracula, we needed a bat to fly around the stage. Not just up and down, but left to right as well. You'll see that the bat is able to go up and down via tie line through a pulley. This takes care of the up & down part


The final scene in Once Upon a Mattress calls for the Princess to climb up on a table and then for the table to magically turn into the bed.

Spaces with low ceilings present a particularly challenging situation for those wishing to use backdrops. And olio drop is a form of a roll drop with a tube is at the bottom. Here are some terrific examples of their use and construction from around the Internet. Credits and copyright belong to those people and sites referred to within.

 Link to Chris's site

What does it take to be a rigger? Attention to SAFETY! Most Rigging involves hanging things over other people. If something goes wrong, somebody can get hurt. Not good.

Riggers need to know the proper methods of securing items like cable, aka wire rope, to other objects without the possibility of slipping. Remember this, your rigging is only as strong as the weakest link. In other words, if you use cable that can hold a thousand pounds and a piece of chain that is rated for 500 pounds, then the whole thing can only hold 500 pounds.

There is so much about rigging that could get us in trouble, it would be irresponsible of me to skim over it. So, until we have enough material here to  give you a full picture, I recommend visiting these sites... 

As you can see, an OOPS happened. While unloading several costumes from a pipe that was used for temporary storage, the supervisor wasn't paying attention and allowed too many costumes to be removed. runaway1


After Elias Howe invented the first American-Patented sewing machine (in 1846) and Isaac Singer built the first commercially successful sewing machine (in the 1850s), the time-consuming and laborious task of sewing garments became faster and easier. High quality clothing could be produced quickly and at minimal expense. Therefore, the first machines were used in garment factories and were a key element of the industrial revolution.

This railing was raised and lowered on cue. I have to say it was very cool to watch. rail7

 Several "cases" were screwed to the edge of the stage. Inserted into each was the railing post. The railing itself is made up of seperate 2x3's screwed down to the top of the posts. The first attempt to attach the rails were too stiff. This proved problematic. So, we changed the fastener to a simple screw. 

Take a look at the photo on the right. You'll see a crew member pulling on the strings. For the show, the stagehand was behind the curtain.

60 Minutes from CBS broadcast this terrific behind the scenes look at the creation and rehearsal process of Broadway's Spider-Man from Nov. 2010.

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