[SML] Swapping Grand and Midstage Curtain

Matthew Breton theatricalmatt at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 26 00:59:30 UTC 2019

I would add to this: Once the pipes are in at deck height, add enough sandbags to each to compensate for the weight of one of the panels being removed -- ideally, near a pick point.

Although this does technically make the lineset out of weight, a) you're going to already be out of weight, since the stage floor is taking the weight of the soft goods; and b) if the pipe is all the way in, it's not going to go any further.  It does mean that when you remove a panel, you're essentially going back to balanced weight (but, remember note a).  Obviously, once the goods are swapped, the sandbags can be removed.

If you have enough sandbags (and, ahem, labor) you could just add enough sand to compensate for the entire weight of all the drapes.  It might be easier to strike the midstage, fold it up and tuck it off to one side, transfer then main, then re-hang the midstage, rather than move both goods section by section.

Also, I second the notion to lay out some butcher paper or visqueen on the stage floor; these aren't the soft goods you want to pick up dust!

Matthew Breton
Design for Theater and Dance
From: Stagecraft <stagecraft-bounces at theatrical.net> on behalf of Richard Niederberg via Stagecraft <stagecraft at theatrical.net>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2019 6:30 PM
To: Stagecraft Mailing List; Richard Niederberg
Cc: Richard Niederberg; mark35816 at aol.com
Subject: Re: [SML] Swapping Grand and Midstage Curtain

Dear Mark,
For a start, put down protective CLEAN Butcher Paper or cloth on the deck to protect the curtains. Sweeping may be insufficient.
Bring in both curtains to the deck and chain off the arbors securely at the top of their runs to  prevent runaway arbors..
Swap out one side of each set at a time [SL or SR] so each arbor will be only one half out of balance at any one time.
Do the Teasers and Tormentors separately, if required.
When the job is done, remove chains and roll up the butcher paper so you can reverse the process after the run.
Have a pleasant day!

On Mon, Feb 25, 2019 at 2:38 PM Mark S. Eccleston via Stagecraft <stagecraft at theatrical.net<mailto:stagecraft at theatrical.net>> wrote:
For our next show, Newsies, we want to have a black grand curtain and border instead of the current burgundy ones that are normally used.  We have a black midstage draw curtain and border that we plan to swap it with.  The midstage position will not be used during the show and can be flown up out of view.  The midstage is approximately 10 foot upstage of the grand. The curtains are approximately 25 foot high and are wider than the 56 foot wide proscenium.

We have a single purchase counterweight system and both of the curtains weigh approximately the same amount.  For background purposes, I have been working in the venue for over 10 years and have flown a lot of scenery, but this is the first time I would like to swap the curtains (NOT the curtain tracks).  I have moved legs and borders before, but none of them weigh as much as these curtains. We have rope we can use for a bull line, we have one rope wrench, and a 24 foot scissor lift available.

The question I have is:  What procedure would you use to safely swap the curtains?


Mark S. Eccleston
Huntsville, AL
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/s/ Richard
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