Author Topic: Spiking astroturf/fake grass  (Read 2901 times)

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SGU312

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Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« on: Oct 16, 2015, 04:41 pm »
I searched the forums first and couldn't find what I was looking for.
Forgive me if this has been posted before (or is in the wrong board).

I'm about to start rehearsals for a show and our stage floor will most likely be astroturf or the fancier new fake grass (used on football fields).
While we still have over five weeks before we move into the theatre and begin tech, I wanted to start thinking about this now.

Anyone have suggestions on how to spike on astroturf/fake grass?
We were thinking some sort of paint. Any thoughts?

Edit: added tags - KMC
« Last Edit: Nov 29, 2015, 11:52 pm by KMC »

KMC

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #1 on: Oct 16, 2015, 04:44 pm »
Does the turf need to be returned to someone after the show, or is it being disposed of?  I'd say the best thing is to cut a stencil and spray paint, but if you're renting or borrowing the turf they probably won't take too kindly to that.
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

bex

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #2 on: Oct 16, 2015, 04:45 pm »
I think Paint Pens are going to be your best bet. You can get them in just about any color you can think of and draw the spike in exactly the area you want it, without the mess of brushes, etc.
For quick spikes on the go during tech, I'd bet tape would stick well enough to be functional until you get to a break and can paint them. I'd also hold off until you know for sure this is where the spike is going forever- maybe use some kind of chalk or something if it's still in flux?
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EFMcMullen

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #3 on: Oct 16, 2015, 08:09 pm »
When I had to spike on it, it was for items that were preset top of show, not a spike you had to find quickly in the dark.  We used silver paint pens and marked it on the black backing at the root of the grass.  It took a little digging to find in the beginning some days, but it never disappeared. 

Aerial

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #4 on: Oct 17, 2015, 12:07 am »
This summer I did outdoor theatre that rehearsed outdoors as well, in a public park which we then performed in.  We were allowed to "tape out" in the park using line marking spray paint meant for grass.  It fades over time and didn't harm the grass (we had to change rehearsal locations midway through the process so we didn't harm the grass). It fades as its tracked on, but with proper maintenance on a controlled surface like astro turf, you could create and keep some pretty subtle spikes. 

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Tempest

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #5 on: Oct 17, 2015, 12:04 pm »
I like KMC's idea of the spike-stencil, but have an idea if the spikes need to be non-permanent in nature if you're borrowing the material. Put down your template, spray a light, washable adhesive (I'm thinking hair spray) into the stencil, and then sprinkle powdered chalk, like you would buy to refill a chalk line. They might have to be maintained every once in a while, but should be easy to remove once every thing is done.
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SGU312

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #6 on: Oct 17, 2015, 03:41 pm »
Thanks everyone for the suggestions!
I don't know yet if the turf will be ours or borrowed.
Looks like some sort of paint (in a subtle color and placement) or chalk could work well.
Good news is we start rehearsal on Monday and move into the theatre in about five weeks.
Lot's of time to figure this out.

SMMeade

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #7 on: Oct 17, 2015, 05:53 pm »
I'm really interested to see what ends up working for you- make sure to report back!    :)

MatthewShiner

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #8 on: Oct 18, 2015, 12:22 am »
You could also thread hard plastic through the backing - so it would look like a colored piece a grass.
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KMC

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #9 on: Nov 29, 2015, 12:36 am »
So, OP - have you moved in to the theatre yet?  What did you decide and how did it work out?  Would love to hear the result!
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

SGU312

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #10 on: Nov 29, 2015, 02:15 pm »
So, OP - have you moved in to the theatre yet?  What did you decide and how did it work out?  Would love to hear the result!

Yes! I'm in tech right now.
The turf was bought for this show and will not be used again after it closes, so I'm able to mark up as I need.
So far for temporary spikes, regular spike tape is working ok (just have to keep track of spikes coming up and replace as needed).

As for more permanent spikes: I tested out various colors of sharpie paint pens on some scrap turf.
Those seem to work really well and the scenic designer likes them. The trick will be making sure the spikes are super subtle so it does not end up looking like a field of wildflowers.

However, we're not at a place yet where I can paint on my spikes.
Once that happens, I'll report back on what we ended up doing and how it's working out.

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KMC

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #11 on: Nov 29, 2015, 11:51 pm »
Fantastic!  Doubly so that the scenic designer likes it.  This is one we will file for future use should anyone have this challenge in the future.
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

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SMMeade

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #12 on: Dec 01, 2015, 02:34 am »
Funnily enough, a couple of weeks ago a show that's renting my theatre came in and has an astroturfed set- looks like they're just using regular spike tape as well.

SGU312

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #13 on: Dec 05, 2015, 11:51 am »
Bit of an update to this.
UPDATE:
After a longggggg week of tech we are opening tonight.

We ended up using spike tape.
What I did was take a 3-4 inch piece of spike tape, fold it back onto itself to create a flag.
Then we screwed the spikes down (only one screw per spike, usually in the center of the flag) into the turf. The top of the screws do not stick up too much, which is good since this show has dancing.
No one is in bare feet...I don't think this system would work as well if actors were in bare feet.
Between that and darker colors, they are much more subtle.
However, last night was our first night with this new system, so we had trouble finding some spikes.
That being said, I plan on changing a few colors (dark blue was a poor choice) today and making some spikes slightly larger so they are easier to find.

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jessie1024

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Re: Spiking astroturf/fake grass
« Reply #14 on: Jul 13, 2016, 06:40 pm »
I wonder if stapling a small strip of fabric would work too in the future.  Make a small flag of sorts, staples pull out easy, and should be safe for bare feet?  Just pondering.

Tags: astroturf spike grass turf 
 

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