A Modular Scenery System
Collapsible boxes may be as old as theater itself, but never before has anyone devised a complete system of “parallels” including folding platforms, ramps and stairs. Easily constructed, lightweight and durable, they are quick to set up and strike. They are modular, allowing for infinite combinations. The Parallel Universe system also includes complete plans for simple solutions to complex effects such as turning a pumpkin into a glass coach. Publication date March 2014. Here’s a preview.
Folded up and leaning against a wall, each of these sets would look like a pile of plywood 8' x 4' and less than 2’ thick.
STAGE BOXES: The Parallel Universe Scenery System includes plans for 16” and 24” rehearsal boxes. Unlike those expensive solid plastic monstrosities that look like packing crates from the spaceship Nostromo, these are lighter, collapse for storage, and are ecologically friendly.
STAGE BOX CONNECTORS: These replace box lids to help stack boxes securely.
#112A - 2’ Box Connector
PLATFORMS: Remarkably lightweight, quiet, and easy to set up compared to conventional rigid platforms. Clever engineering means less use of materials and less impact on the environment. The system includes all of the sizes we have found useful in assembling sets, as well as instructions for building wheel assemblies.
#204 - 1’4” x 4’ x 4’ Platform
#205 - 8” x 8’ x 4’ Platform
TITANIA: Our design for a 4’ high 4’x8’ platform includes instructions for the construction of stress skins, lightweight superstrong panels that will inspire you to build bridges on stage. Titania takes up 128 cubic feet when assembled and folds in seconds to 16 cubic feet for transport or storage.
#208 - 4’x 8’ x 4’ Platform
ANGLE PLATFORMS are used to make 45 degree turns with platforms.
#210 - 1' 4” high Angled Platform
STAIRS: If you currently have a grand staircase in your prop room, you’ll especially appreciate the space savings offered by #306 when folded.
#304 - 2' wide Five-Riser Stair
RAMPS: Yes, these fold also. An accomplishment heralded in the annals of topology. Combine #402 and #403 for a continuous ramp rising from the ground to the top of Titania.
#402 - 2’ wide x 2’ Ramp
#403 - 2’ wide x 2’/4' Ramp
#102 - 2’ Stage Box
#306 - 4' wide Five-Riser Stair
Here are a few sets we’ve assembled out of our components. Don’t let the names fool you. They are somewhat arbitrary tributes to great playwrights. Use the “Beckett” for a stark realization of the Scottish play; try the “Shakespeare” for Enemy of the People.
a modular scenery system
Publication date March 2014