Author Topic: Trees on stage  (Read 3320 times)

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philimbesi

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Trees on stage
« on: Jan 09, 2007, 08:36 am »
Design question:

I'm directing a production of the Crucible and I'd like to have trees on the stage.  I'm wondering what pitfalls I'm not thinking about with using live trees?   Also any US Garden centers that you know of that would willing to donate them?

Tempest

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Re: Trees on stage
« Reply #1 on: Jan 09, 2007, 11:12 am »
A few years ago I was part of a production of Misalliance, which takes place in a conservatory, and we used trees borrowed from our campus's greenhouse.  The big issue with the live trees was their care.  After each performace they had to be heavily watered (as the hot stage lights were drying them up) and dragged out into the lobby so they could get sunlight.
We had our share of spilled dirt, spilled mud, broken pots, drooping and dropping leaves, but really, the effect or live plants on stage ended up making it worth it.

Good luck finding someplace to get your trees for free/cheap, if you do decide to go that route!  Perhaps a trade for advertising space in the program might offer an incentive to local businesses?
Jessica: "Of course I have a metric size 4 dinglehopper in my kit!  Who do you think I am?"

centaura

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Re: Trees on stage
« Reply #2 on: Jan 09, 2007, 12:42 pm »
I would ask how long your production was going to run for - it takes a lot to care for trees and keep them green and healthy.  And what specie of tree do you want to use?  The most commonly available tropical tree is a ficus, but they're really touchy about changes in lighting.  Tend to do big dramatic leaf drops.  A landscape tree would last better, but they're more expensive and they still need a certain number of hours of real daylight per day.

One thing to be aware of is where you get your trees from - to be aware of anything else that might come in with the tree - bugs, etc.  In FL almost any tree coming in from outdoors is going to have geckos on it - which can be real fun in a building.

Once you learn what you're using, drop me a PM.  I grow bonsai trees, both indoors and outdoors as a hobby of mine and I can give you some tips on helping the tree survive through your run.

-Centaura

jwl_868

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Re: Trees on stage
« Reply #3 on: Jan 09, 2007, 12:57 pm »
More of a logistics issue, but make sure the doors into the building and the route through the building to the stage are tall enough and wide enough.  Small diameter trunks may get damaged if trying to move the tree horizontally through a door.


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philimbesi

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Re: Trees on stage
« Reply #4 on: Jan 10, 2007, 03:59 pm »
I'm thinking evergreens and other smaller trees you might find in a North eastern US forest.   Eastern White Pine, Sugar Maple, White and Red Oak.  All of them would have to be rather young as our trim height wouldn't allow it. 

Rhynn

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Re: Trees on stage
« Reply #5 on: Nov 11, 2007, 11:43 pm »
I used Christmas trees on stage for a 1-week run.  We "trimmed" them so they looked more like an evergreen forest than a Christmas tree, but they held out.  They wouldn't have made it more than a week though.

We're also fortunate to have a wholesale nursery across the street from us.  We have to pay a deposit, but we are allowed to "borrow" greenery provided they come back in good condition--else we forfeit the deposit.

Watering, sunlight, bugs, and the weight of the trees would be my concern.  You'll definitely want them on casters.
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