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5x5x5 Tech Challenge - Part 4 - Labeling Cables

Looking for some help on organizing your technical supplies or equipment? We have a super guide and a specific list of tasks to help YOU get your backstage and scene shop area in order. Whether you have a small space serving as your 'scene shop' or a dedicated area and a staff to work there, this article series is designed to help you get inspired and stay organized. We called in technical theatre expert, Stacy Hennon Stone, Assistant Technical Director at the Norris Center/Palos Verdes Performing Arts. Stacy has provided some great tips and step-by-step instructions for all aspects of your scene shop or work area.

If you've got 5 minutes, Stacy's got a task. If you've got 5 hours, Stacy's got more for you. Are you ready to be challenged? Let's do it!

Challenge #4: Labeling Cables

Labeling Cables

5x5x5 Tech Challenge - Labeling Cables

Label all of the cables, that way you never have to guess on what size you are picking up.

You will need: Sharpie, different color electrical tape, different color Velcro straps, tie line.

Lighting cables, DMX, sound, extension cords…so many cables in so many different sizes.

Step 1: Choose lengths and increments you want to use. We do 5’.

Step 2: Choose colors for the lengths. Make sure you have an electric tape roll or Velcro ties.

Step 3: Lay out measuring tape.

Step 4: Lay out all cables with 1 end starting at 0.

Step 5: Start labeling! They do not have to exact. If a cord with within a foot, its close enough. Its best to label with the electric tape one both ends of the cord. That way you always know what it is. If you have even more time, use a stencil and spray paint, or a white sharpie to mark the length on the connectors. This only really works with lighting cables which have larger flat ends.

Step 6: Attach a piece of Velcro or tie line to every single cable. When cables are tied up for storage, they can stay separate for everything else.

5x5x5 Tech Challenge - Labeling Cables

Label the storage area with the same colors. We have a large metal cart where extra cables are kept. If the post has the same colors, then people can easily match color when they put things away. Or know exactly what they need and where it is in storage.

Stacy was born and raised in a scientific, artsy family in Redlands, California. In high school, she and her twin sister joined the drama department their freshman year to do props for a musical... "It would be easy!" their friend said! And there started their lifelong involvement in theatre.

Stacy received a BA in Technical Theatre with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Redlands in 2006. Later that year, she co-founded Redland's Civic Light Opera which produced three mainstage musicals, in which she was the Technical Director, Co-Designer, and General Manager.

In Los Angeles, she continued to work in theatre, ranging from the Long Beach Playhouse to Opera Santa Barbara, and everything in between. Stacy has been the Assistant Technical Director at the Norris Center/Palos Verdes Performing Arts for the last eight years.

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