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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: Draperies
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An important and occasionally ignored part of set design and construction is properly setting up the draperies (sometimes called soft goods). There are many types of draperies, each with a specific purpose. Figure 3.5 shows most types.

Figure 3.5: The various types of draperies used in theatre.

The cyclorama (cyc) is the drape that is used behind the set. It is usually made out of a medium-weight white or baby blue material. Special lights are usually aimed at the cyclorama to provide a variety of colorful backgrounds, which are often used as skies or horizons in productions. True cycloramas are U-shaped, and cover the left, right and upstage parts of the stage. At WPI, the proper U-shaped curtain tracks for cycloramas are not installed, so the cyclorama is usually flown flat.

Legs are used to mask offstage areas from sight. They are flown at different heights and locations to conceal offstage space, equipment, etc. Borders are used to mask parts of the rigging system and to trim the sightlines such that only the set may be seen by the audience. Often there are several borders (occasionally called teasers), used for masking off other fly system battens from audience view. A traveler is a type of curtain that moves along a track. Often they are used as main curtains for stages and are configured such that one operating line moves curtains from each side of the stage simultaneously. Lastly, some theatres have valences, which are simply dressings used outside of travelers or other main curtains. However, WPI's Alden Hall does not have one of these draperies.

next up previous contents index
Next: Design Up: The Set Previous: Applying Paint   Contents   Index
Steve Richardson 2000-07-06

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