Author Topic: SHOWS: THE REAL THING  (Read 4448 times)

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« on: Sep 10, 2004, 01:45 pm »
I am doing a production of The Real Thing in a small, small theater (SPT contract) with almost no time - in reading thru some of the gags, including the House of Cards, and how fast some of the costume changes are, I thought I'd throw it out to see if anyone else had done the piece and how some of these challenges were solved for them. Of course, they have folks working on it here and I have my own ideas, but it's sure be nice to have some back-up notions in case we run out of time or the stuff they are suggesting isn't working.....

« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 11:06 pm by PSMKay »


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Real Thing
« Reply #1 on: Sep 10, 2004, 06:59 pm »
I did this show last year at a regional theatre.  

1) House of Cards - we did a real house of cards.  We got really good as setting it up, and making it secure enough to handle enough moving around.  When the lights came up, he had a card in his hand, but never placed it.  When it was time for the door to slam, he droped the card, and hit the table with his knee.  Worked well every night.

2) Quick changes are a bear in the show, and we did the show on a turn table, which made it even harder.  You just have to factor this in with your scene changes and costume design. But, there is the clever use of music at the end of each scene which helps amazingly well.

3) I also had the joy and pleasure of being the offstage director's voice for the scene where the movie is shot.

4) our challange in the production was all those damn records, and marking them so one could be easily pulled out by the wife in second scene.

Best of luck; it's a great show.
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 11, 2004, 08:11 pm »
we have a two-sided turntable, and I think all our records will be on pretape thru a rigged speaker downstage on the actual stage floor -

how did you do the house of cards? the exec prod here talked w a magician and worked out something w a monofilament - but still....until I see it rigged and working I am suspicious of everything!

And those quick-changes (esp the one Max and Annie make from 1:2 to 1:3) - what is there, something like 10 seconds for a full top-to-bottom and coat change? I assume those costumes were rigged but even so....

anyway, yes, it is a lovely piece and other than our Billy, I think it will be quite lovely -

feel free to share any heads-up or thoughts as they occur! We have 10 days to throw this puppy onto its feet -


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« Reply #3 on: Oct 15, 2004, 06:22 pm »
I stage managed this show a couple years ago. The cards we did the same thing as matthew had said. You get really good at it after a while and pretty quick at it too. For all of the different locations we used the same furniture, but we had three bookshelves that held the record player and scripts for the actors to use. When there was a scene change the bookshelves moved around and rotated showing different sides and making the different living rooms. Our crew moved very quickly in short dark scene changes. The thing I found was that lighting was very important for our production.


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« Reply #4 on: Jan 29, 2006, 11:01 pm »
wjen I did it we used a small piece of scotch tape to hold the two cards together and the bottom two cards had a thread tied to them and it wound under the bottom row of cards and was attached to a loose card in his hand. when the door slammed he pulled the card and there it is.
As for the changes our set was what one might call a puzzle on wheels so when we changed scenes you saw all the scenery change into a new configuraion and also we projected supertitles decsribing the scene it gave us the tiem we needed


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« Reply #5 on: Feb 23, 2006, 10:09 pm »
our props master thought this up for the house of cards we did close to what Prizm did:
Bottom row- each "triangle" was taped together at the top. and, through a tiny pin hole in the US bottom of the card, fishing line ran through it, knotted at both ends with the US end trailing to the ground with a little ring then resting on the ground.
For the "in between" of each row was a flat row of cards
second row-5th row: was just taped "triangles" with the in betweens rows flat.
we did this up til there were two "triangles" left with one card resting on top, so all that was left was the last "triangle", which the Max held in his hands, and every time he went to finish it, ended up talking more to Charlotte.
When the door slammed, he only had to twitch his foot slightly. Both feet were on the fishing line with one holding the ring in place (so it wouldn't just slip under his foot and not fall) and the other doing the twitching.
Also our Props Master thought to put a small version of a table runner underneath the cards, this helped keep the cards from accidentally falling, helped to hide the fishing line, and made easy cleanup for the end of the scene.)
The only thing that we had to do during tech was place two glow tape marks, showing where the actor had to put each foot when he sat down in the blackout.


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