Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sound Design

Browsing Exhibit Builder, I saw an ad for, and thought I would post what I found here.

The audio Spot Light uses a 1/2" thick speaker (available in multiple colors!), which you can focus sound to one direct spot. They are used in exhibits and museums so that multiple tracks can be played in an area without the sound being overly cumbersome. While the price is certainly more than whats available in most sound designs - it could bring an interesting feature to theatre.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rigging Bibliography

Esta has a list of books regarding rigging (and theatre technology). Its a pretty decent list.

Educational Resources
Rigging BibliographyThe Seminars and Training Committee promotes the improvement of technical proficiency and safety within the entertainment technology industry. In furtherance of this mission, the Committee has compiled a bibliography of rigging reference materials which includes books, articles, standards, and other materials.
Rigging Resources-> Rigging BibliographyRigging Seminars
Electrical ResourcesElectrical BibliographyElectrical Seminars
This bibliography is not intended to be a definitive compilation, but merely an additional resource for locating relevant reference materials. Neither The ESTA Foundation nor the Committee makes any representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or content of any of the resources contained in the bibliography.
The Committee intends to update the listing periodically as new information is provided to it. If you do not see rigging reference material that should be included in the bibliography, please contact Lori Rubinstein at
emailwrite("info",""); with the complete bibliography listing information.Please note: If you would like additional information about the materials listed in the bibliography, please contact the publisher or author. The Seminars and Training Committee does not provide or sell these materials.
ANSI E1.1 - 1999 Entertainment Technology - Construction and Use of Wire Rope Ladders. ESTA Technical Standards Program Rigging Working Group
ANSI E1.2 - 2000 Entertainment Technology - Construction, Use and Maintenance of Aluminum Trusses and Towers. ESTA Technical Standards Program Rigging Working Group
ANSI E1.2 - 2006 Entertainment Technology - Construction, Use and Maintenance of Aluminum Trusses and Towers. ESTA Technical Standards Program Rigging Working Group
ANSI E1.8 - 2005 Entertainment Technology - Loudspeaker Enclosures Intended for Overhead Suspension—Classification, Manufacture and Structural Testing. ESTA Technical Standards Program Rigging Working Group
ANSI E1.15 - 2006 Entertainment Technology - Recommended Practices and Guidelines for the Assembly and Use of Theatrical Boom & Base Assemblies. ESTA Technical Standards Program Rigging Working Group
ANSI E1.21 - 2006 Entertainment Technology - Temporary Ground-Supported Overhead Structures Used to Cover Stage Areas and Support Equipment in the Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events. ESTA Technical Standards Program Rigging Working Group
The Art of Knotting & Splicing Fourth Edition. Cyrus L. Day, Edited by M. Lee Hoffman Jr. and Ray O. Beard Jr., United States Naval Institute Press, Annapolis MD, 1986
The Artist’s Complete Health and Safety Guide Third Edition. Monona Rossol, Allworth Press, New York NY, 1994
The Backstage Handbook: An Illustrated Almanac of Technical Information Third Edition. Paul Carter and George Chiang (Illustrator), Broadway Press, New York NY, 1994
CMC Rope Rescue Manual Third Edition. James A. Frank, CMC Rescue, Inc. Santa Barbara CA, 1998
Developing an Operations Manual for a Performing Arts Facility. Reid Neslage and Dr. Randall A Davidson, 1991
Entertainment Rigging: A Practical Guide for Riggers, Designers and Managers. Harry Donovan, Rigging Seminars, Seattle WA 2002
The Event Safety Guide. Health & Safety Executive Books, United Kingdom, 1999
Greening Up Our Houses: A Guide to a More Ecologically Sound Theater. Larry K. Fried and Theresa J. May, Drama Book Publishers, New York NY, 1995Handbook for Riggers Second Edition. W.G. (Bill) Newberry, Newberry Investment Co, Ltd., Calgary Alberta, 1989
Handbook of Rigging: For Construction and Industrial Operations. W.E.Rossnagel, Lindley R. Higgins, Joseph A. MacDonald (Photographer), W. A. Rossnagel. McGraw-Hill, NY, 1988
Health and Safety Guide for Film, TV and Theatre. Monona Rossol, Allworth Press, New York, NY, 2000
Illustrated Theatre Production Guide. John Holloway
Introduction to Fall Protection Third Edition. J. Nigel Ellis Ph.D, CSP, P.E., American Society of Safety Engineers, Des Plaines IL, 1993
An Introduction to Rigging in the Entertainment Industry. Chris Higgs, Entertainment Technology Press, Cambridge, England 2002
The Klutz Book of Knots. John Cassidy, The Klutz Press, Palo Alto CA, 1985
Modular Loudspeaker Flying Hardware System. ATM Audio Visual, Gardena CA
On Rope Second Edition. Allen Padgett, Bruce Smith, National Speleological Society, 1997
Pocket Ref Second Edition. Thomas J. Glover, Sequoia Publishing Inc, 1997
A Practical Guide to Health and Safety in the Entertainment Industry. Marco Van Beek, Entertainment Technology Press, Cambridge, 2000
Rappelling Second Edition. Tom Martin, SEARCH, Mt Sterling KY, 1988
Reference Cards for Entertainment Rigging. Harry Donovan, Rigging Seminars
Results of Stage Rigging Hardware Tests, 1986 through 1991. United States Institute for Theatre Technology, NY, 1991
Rigging for Entertainment; Regulations and Practice. Chris Higgs, Entertainment Technology Press, Cambridge, 2003
Riggers Handbook. I & I Sling Co., Inc., Aston PA
Rigging Manual for Iron Workers. International Association Bridge, Structural & Ornamental Iron Workers, AFL-CIO, Washington DC, 1976
RigRight 1.0 Software. Harry Donovan, Rigging Seminars
Rope, Knots, Hitches & Splices. Wellington Puritan, Madison GA, 1968
Scene Design and Stage Lighting Seventh Edition. W. Oren Parker and R. Craig Wolf, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Fort Worth TX, 1996
Scene Technology Third Edition. Richard L. Arnold, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1993
Single-Failure-Proof Design for Theatre Safety. Olaf Soot, USITT Journal, 1986
The Splicing Handbook: Techniques for Modern and Traditional Ropes. Barbara Merry (Editor), John Darwin (Contributor), New England Ropes, New Bedford MA, 2000
Stage Rigging Handbook Second Edition. Jay O. Glerum, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale IL, 1997
Stage Scenery, Its Construction and Rigging Third Edition. A.S. Gillette and J. Michael Gillette, Harper & Row, New York NY, 1988 (Out of Print )
Stage Specs: A Guide to Legit Theatres. League of American Theatres and Producers, 1990 (Out of Print)
The Stagecraft Handbook. Daniel A. Ionazzi, Betterway Books, Cincinnati OH, 1996
Standard Specifications for Theatrical Rigging. J. R. Clancy, Inc., Syracuse NY, 1988
Strength of Materials, Block and Tackle, Tackle Maintenance. The Crosby Group, Tulsa, OK, 1991
Structural Design for the Stage. Alys E. Holden and Bronislaw J. Sammler, Focal Press, 1991
Structures: Or, Why Things Don't Fall Down. J.E. Gordon, Plenum Press, New York, 1978
Technical Design Solutions for Theatre (The Technical Brief Collection, Volume 1). Ben Sammler, Don Harvey
Technical Design Solutions for Theatre (The Technical Brief Collection, Volume 2). Ben Sammler, Don Harvey
Technical Rescue Riggers Guide. Rick Lipke, Conterra, Inc, 1998
Theatre Backstage from A to Z Fourth Edition. Warren C. Lounsbury and Norman C. Boulanger, University of Washington Press, Seattle WA, 2000
Theater Technology Second Edition. George C. Izenour, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York , NY, 1997
Theatre Engineering and Stage Machinery. Toshiro Ogawa, Entertainment Technology Press, Japan, 2000
Theatrical Design & Production. J. Michael Gillette
Why Buildings Fall Down. Mathys Levy and Mario Salvadori, W.W. Norton & Co, Inc, New York, 1994
Why Buildings Stand Up. Mario Salvadori, W. W. Norton & Co, Inc, New York, 1990
Wire Rope Sling Users Manual. American Iron and Steel Industry, Wire Rope Technical Board, Stevensville MD, 1990Wire Rope Users Manual. American Iron and Steel Industry, Wire Rope Technical Board, Stevensville MD, 1990
Return to Educational Resources

Quote of the Day

"theatres are like grapes; they grow best in bunches." Greg Falls, founder of Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Safe Sets

A big quirk of theatre is that we generally don't have nearly enough $ to do what we want - but we spend a fair amount each show (depending of course on where you are) to then turn around and throw it out. While some places do use a larger amount of stock, or are able to store larger amounts of previous built pieces, unfortunately money still enters into the equation. Storage doesn't come cheaply, plus you have time expenditures in terms or storing, organizing, maintaining, and transporting saved pieces. And that sometimes makes it cheaper to rebuild a piece instead of keeping it - plus allowing the designer customization of said unit.

What that means to the environment is that we buy lots of stuff, add chemicals and then trash it. The site listed below discussed alternatives that are more environmentally safe.

Future Glow tape alternative

Check out:

Seems like a neat concept - the litrospheres can be made into a wide range of objects (injection molded or added to paint), and can come in a variety of colors.

While the flip side of this is LED technology, I like this idea as well.

Also check out:

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lift Table

I thought this product was cool...
The table lifts up to 300 pounds and uses a drill for its power. I could totally see having one of these around the shop. Though not cheap, at 500 bucks, it isn't out of reach.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tape Dispenser

Spike tape dispenser?

Check out:

Its a bit pricey, but could be nice when you are taping out a floor

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Theatre Fun

Check out Backstage Betty to take a fun backstage quiz. The quiz isn't hard, but its fun.

For more fun, and links to a wide variety of very useful information check out:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Cable Fittings

This product from Outwater seems like it warrants a second look. I have seen these in use in permanent installations, and on-stage for scenery. When I last did a set that used cable as a detail on the railings we used another connector (verlocks - The verlocks in this instance were a little clunky to work with, and I like the look of the Outwater projects. The fun of being a TD is finding new toys and being able to come back and rethink technical solutions!