Author Topic: RUNNING: cumbersome scene shifts  (Read 5120 times)

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RUNNING: cumbersome scene shifts
« on: Nov 23, 2004, 02:10 pm »
Wearing the ASM hat for a bit... just wondering what type of scene shifts you find the most cumbersome... not necessarily the most complex.  For instance, I hate shifting living rooms / dining rooms / bedrooms, that sort of thing.  It's tough to automate those types of changes from offstage on just rails and flies, a lot of it just has to be carried off and on.  Big, bulky pieces aren't diffecult, just cumbersome.
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 11:20 pm by PSMKay »


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Most cumbersome scene change
« Reply #1 on: Nov 25, 2004, 01:28 am »
Children's Hour (By Lillian Helman)

Act 1
Realestic Interior of New Englad Girls School
Couchess, desk, Books Cases, break away kitten

Act 2
Realestic Upscale interior
Couches, Side Board, Coffe Table, Big Side Chairs



Yep, everything right back to where it started.


Cumbersome, you betcha.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.


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cumbersome scene shifts
« Reply #2 on: Nov 29, 2004, 02:49 pm »
I'm not too fond of shifts that involve falling elements like snow, leaves, glitter, rain, superballs ... or needing a makita to install every show. Or blood. Or real food (Joy Luck Club we served 4 main courses a night).

Otherwise, I love being the props runner on "real" shows where the set involves a lot of set dressing.


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cumbersome scene shifts
« Reply #3 on: Nov 29, 2004, 04:18 pm »
Yow, real food is always tricky.  For some reason over the course of my career I was involved in no fewer than four productions with seders onstage... I learned how to fake charoset in several different ways.  The worst one was clearing the full banquet table in pitch black on a crowded set with a crew of 8... we had enough trouble not tripping over each other let alone trying to do it with porcelain dishes and metal ewers.


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cumbersome scene shifts
« Reply #4 on: Nov 29, 2004, 05:29 pm »
ah - two fun areas, practical food and absurd scene shifts

both in my recent production of The Real Thing
 1) they have to pour and drink mimosas on stage - easy, right? but no, one actor can't have fruit in any shape, three can't have sugar (nor sugar substitutes) and one is allergic to anything chemical. So we mixed mineral water (not artificially carbonated, no additives) lightly touched w black tea (amazingly, something all four could digest) for champagne, and used yellow bell pepper juice - really - for the OJ -

2) and the scene shifts - in a tiny and cluttered backstage with ackwardly oversized and stupidly heavy furniture being SILENTLY swapped on the upstage half of the hollow wooden turntable while the scene took place in lights downstage - the worst two being a) a full set-up cleared and reset with another full set-up by two slight backstage crew (one doubling as the quick-change/wardrobe mistress) during a very quiet and intimate 15-20 second scene, and b) similar full unset and reset with a full stage worth of props and furniture during another quiet 1 minute scene.



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cumbersome scene shifts
« Reply #5 on: Nov 29, 2004, 07:53 pm »
I seem to work a lot of shows that have real food.. on a plus side was that since I never had time to eat dinner between shows, there was always a lot of leftovers and the chinese restaurant that donated the food didn't use MSG.

Trying to be super duper quiet during scene shifts is really hard for me. It's kind of like laughing at funerals (which I do). I am also slight, so I'm often the person who gets the task of crawling under sets during shifts. I remember having to wedge under a stairwell to trip the wires for a scene shift. That wasn't cumbersome, but it was painful when one day I wore a bulky sweater and got stuck.


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cumbersome scene shifts
« Reply #6 on: Dec 01, 2004, 10:00 pm »
I think my favorite wasn't really a shift, but a mass cleanup after a cream pie fight in the round, 15 pies thrown total, and it all had to be cleaned up (including the front row of the audience all the way around) in 6 lines, just before the tap number. 4 acting interns in jumpsuits with towels and mops scurrying to get every drop of cream off the floor so that none of the 12 tappers would slip. It's a wonder anyone survived any part of that show....


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