Author Topic: RUNNING: set changes (how long is too long?)  (Read 9818 times)

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Re: set changes
« Reply #15 on: Jun 06, 2007, 07:02 pm »
Well, you're set changes really have to be relative to the size of your crew, the sized of the set, whats going on in the show at the time.

That being said, 30 seconds is a bit much, even for community theatre. A great way to practice and perfect your set changes is practicing them with your full crew during blackout, keep doing it with a stopwatch and you'll cut a big chunk of your time.


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Re: set changes
« Reply #16 on: Jun 07, 2007, 12:42 am »
In the sixty or so shows I've stage managed, I don't think it's been more than twice that I've staged the scene changes.  I used to feel a bit cheated, until I learned to expect it.

Most of the shows have been unit sets; and, almost universally, the directors I've worked with have wanted to stage all the changes.  The most challenging part is getting time to rehearse the changes, as many of them don't expect crew to need rehearsal the way actors do and they don't want to take the time needed.

Occasionally I get to suggest more efficient traffic patterns once the changes have been built.
Heath Belden

"I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." - Sondheim


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Re: set changes
« Reply #17 on: Jun 07, 2007, 04:03 am »
I think without having to 'stage it' there are certain rules etc. that you can put into place that makes any "seen" (i.e. infront of a curtain or setting line) scene-changes look much neater...
  • Never (ever) talk on-stage during the change to other crew members
  • Never run and never dawdle - a brisk 'ASM Walk' with purpose
  • Never look out/ clock the audience. It looks strange
  • If possible (and if it's not a huge stage) exit the opposite side to where you enter. i.e. your walking in a straight line and not turning around

Quite standard stuff but these are things I normally try to instill in my crews from the very beginning!

Sam x


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Re: set changes
« Reply #18 on: Jun 07, 2007, 07:10 am »

Generally what I do is run a shift once, and see what happens. Then depending on how well it went, I'll assign certain tasks to everybody, and make sure everybody knows never to run during a shift, and once you're done moving an item get off stage.  I find that giving people a time goal keeps them from hanging around on stage once they've moved an item, and by saying 30 seconds, people don't run because everything can fit into that time, no problem.  Of course, if the shift is just moving a chair, we don't take 30 secs. 

Some people have brought up good points about not interrupting the flow of the show by having super fast changes or leaving an empty stage while cast members change costumes.  I'll definitely take those points into account with this show.



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