Platforming

Here's a mix-n-match set of platform methods. The open framed part is called a parallel.

parallelframe004a.jpg

 

The platforms on the top are comprised of a basic 4x8 and a 4x4 platform framed using 1x6 lumber. The bottom platforms are only slightly different as they are framed with 2x6 lumber. These bottom platforms also have casters attached.

 

Remember the question that was asked during class. How do we make this 4'x4' platform rotate? It is sitting on top of the two 4'x8' platforms that do not provide a solid, complete surface.bdnplat.jpg

 

 

  

 

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Rotating Platform

Turn tables have been used in theater for a very long time. They allow for quick scene changes. They can be effective in adding movement to the show. On Broadway, a great example of turn table use is in the musical, Les Mis. They use the table to allow the actor to walk, but stay in one place.

The most interesting turn table I've worked on is the one built into the stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The turntable is built across three elevators. All three elevators must be at the same level.

A turntable is simple to make and to operate. It can be any size and shape. Round is the most popular. The one on this page is 4 feet square. You can also take a look at a turntable during the building process...

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Platforming Article #1

Hello Again and welcome to the Techie’s Corner. This month I am going to start a series of articles on platforms. We will try to cover everything from parallels to triskets to space age stressskin and everything in between.

Platforms in some form or another have been used in theatre as long as theatre and the stage has existed. In fact the stage itself is a form of platform. In some cases a stage is a permanent installation inside a building and is usually raised to some degree above the audience. By far though, the majority of stages in the world today are temporary structures made up of platforms. Rock concerts, Music festivals, fair grounds, school cafetoriums, etc. comprise more stages than all of the legitimate theatres in the world.

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Platforming Article #2

 

Welcome once again to the Techie’s Corner. This month we are continuing our series on platforms. This month we will talk about the most common platform in the theatre, the ubiquitous 4 x 8 stock platform and it’s close friends, the small group of “standard “ stock sizes of platforms.

All platforms consist of three things: the Lid, the Frame and the Legs and bracing.

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Platforming Article #3

The Triscuit and the Texas Triscuit
An Introduction to Stressed Skin Platforming

Welcome to this month’s Techie’s Corner. The last two articles have discussed types of stock platforming that have been around for several centuries, the parallel, and for almost a century, the plywood covered 4’x8’ unit. This month’s article will be about a type of stock platform first developed about 1990 at the Yale School of Drama, called a “Triscuit”.

The Triscuit is four foot by four foot, stressskin unit 2 3/8” thick. To truly describe a triscuit, we will first have to explain just what a “stress skin” unit is. For those of you who already know, skip the next few paragraphs.

Stress skin almost defines itself, i.e. a unit with a skin under stress. But what does that really mean? Actually it means a unit with two skins which oppose each other in the direction that they handle stress. Between the two skins is a core to which the skins are completely bonded. The core may be continuous, such as foam core mounting board, or open like the honeycomb construction of a hollow core door. In order for a stress skin unit to flex or bend, one skin has to stretch and the other has to compress see Illustration #1

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Platforming Article #4

Hello again, and welcome to the Techie’s Corner. In the last three articles we have looked at a number of different types of platforms. Not every type, just some of the most used and the most well known. Now we are going to look at how to elevate or leg these platforms to the height needed for our show.

There are more ways of legging a platform than there are of building the platform itself. What makes a legging system right for you depends on your particular situation. Do you have storage space for “stock” leg pieces? Do you have skilled carpenters or do you rely on a group whose skills vary from pro to rank beginner? Do you build your units on stage or in a shop off site? Look at the costs, time, skills, available tools, etc. and decide which system is best for you and your theatre.

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