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 #5: Fly Rail Organization
Labeling the Fly Rail
There are multiple different labels on the fly rail, to make it easy for loading and unloading, as well as what is located at each location.
Above you will see a number 8 listed in 2 different places. One is on front; one is on top of the blue lock rail. This way we always know what number it is.
Next to the 8 is a label that says “legs”. This tells the operator which lineset the legs are on. For all house goods, such as the main curtain, borders, legs, cyc and electrics, I printed up signs and laminated them. On the back of each one is 2 pieces of Velcro. On every line set of the rail, there are also 2 pieces of Velcro. You can see the 2 black squares on either side of the number. All of the labels are kept in a folder by the rail. When things move, labels are moved.
When we are in a show and there are goods that fly, we stick a white piece of gaff tape down, and right the name of the item. This makes the rail calls much faster and more accurate.
Labeling the stage weighs will help make sure pipes stay in balance. As you can see all the weights that are in have a section of white painted bricks. These are the bricks that never get removed. They are the weight of the pipe with nothing on it. They also have the line set number strayed on the front. This help people at the loading rails know what line set they are working with.
The middle line set in the picture is green and labeled Orchestra. The green bricks are the weight of the 4 pieces of the orchestra ceiling pieces. If these pieces need to move to another line set, the loading person know how many they need to move, when they are ½ done, and where to stop so that the pipe weight stays on.
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.