About the Show
Weill said of Rice's play, “It (is) a simple story of everyday life in a big city, a story of love and passion and greed and death. I saw great musical possibilities in its theatrical device – life in a tenement house between one evening and the next afternoon.” Street Scene is an 'American opera', providing a synthesis of European opera and American musical theatre. In the 1980s Scottish Opera premiered Street Scene in the UK, and we look forward to seeing it again on a Glasgow stage in May. (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 2018)
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. (2018). Street Scene - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. [online] Available at: https://www.rcs.ac.uk/boxoffice-event/eventid/118009-Street-Scene [Accessed 11 May 2018].
Technical Stage Management
The main structure of the apartment block was assembled from a combination of steel deck, our customised 'Chess deck', and a lot of additional steel. Due to the voids in the stage floor DSR and USC to accommodate the walk down traps, the whole structure was built on a cantilever. The balconies from the top floor of houses two and three were also cantilevered out as extensions of the safe grid top of the upper floor's deck; balcony two being able to hold a maximum of two people at any one time, with balcony three accommodating one.
Both due to access to these balconies, and due to the action taking place within the house, many of the windows had to be practically counterweighted. Unlike a traditional sash window, we weighted them externally from the frame, attaching eye screws to the window panel and tying on window sash, which was then run up to a small pulley before being attached to weighted sandbags. In total, it took around 2 1/2 to 3kg of weight on each window to keep it balanced. Due to the nature of the house, the placement of these weights and their travel distance had to be taken into account, so as they were not viewed by the audience, or cast too much of a noticeable shadow from the many practical fixtures in the structure.
The garage door was live-flown on two axis of automation, programmed in a Locked Group. The door, weighing around 30kg, moved within two U shaped wooden channels on the rear of the supporting front flat. This ensured that the piece would not swing out when moved and look unrealistic. It was also requested that the door make a chain sound as it moved, and that this be achieved practically if possible. For this effect, a 3m length of scaff was attached to the DS U batten with builder's band, and a chain fitted inside. This chain was then attached to the DS automation line with dogs and cable ties. This ensured that, whenever the door moved, the chain would scrape along the scaff pipe and make a the desired realistic sound.
Walk Down Traps
During the performance of Street Scene, two walk down/up traps were used. One was US and on DS. The main challenge involved with these traps was that the treads had to run parallel to the face of the houses. Custom trap infills had to be built by workshop. Another challenge was that during the fit-up and load out, these traps were a significant health and safety hazard as when the treads were removed in order to allow access to the front faces of the house flats, crew were exposed to a hole with a 3m drop. In order to combat this the underside of the pit was decked using a single bit of 8x4 Steel Deck on each trap and jacked up to the underside of the pit infills using screw jack legs. This now filled the holes and created a "step" rather than a drop.
The washing lines were one of two flown aesthetic elements (the other being the Bridges). They were both static fly pieces, which consisted of a drop down bar on the SR side of the fly bar and a barrel clamp on the SL side of the bar. On the bottom of the drop bars an eye bolt was fixed from which a rather thin hemp line was tied off and ran until the barrel clamp where it was also tied off. This created something along the lines of an arc off of which "washing" was hung. A note to keep in mind when posed with the challenge of drop bars, it is better to bolt a barrel clamp onto the top of a drop bar rather that trying to secure it to a fly bar with a fixed doughty - barrel clamps can be tightened more and support the drop down bar better.
The flying bridges were the second flown element. They were also static. The main challenge was determining the correct length of drifts/strops in order for the bridges to sit at the appropriate angle that the designer determined. In order to have as much adjustment as possible, turnbuckles were added into the rigging where deemed appropriate - usually this was on the furthest SL and SR drifts in order to pivot on the center which was a fixed length.
Manual - Rainbow 15" plus
Programming a on GrandMA2
We had a rainbow plus 15' scroller on a 5k with 12 scrolls. To program this on grandMA2 you can use the Dimmer Scroller generic fixture profile. This allows you to control both dimmer and colour in the same channel. In the patch you can assign the dimmer and the scroller separate addresses. Once everything is patched you can use the first encoder wheel in the colour preset to scroll through the scroller. Once you reach each scroll store it as a colour presets allowing you to reach each colour quickly and easily.
Attached is the Input and Output Schematic for the show [