Basic Set Construction and Theater Safety – Practical Technical Theater DVD Series

November 2, 2019 posted by

The most common practical unit of scenery
is the platform. There are many ways to build platforms, but
the way we are going to build this platform is probably the most common. We’re going to build a 4 foot by 8 foot standard
platform. When you need to build different sizes and shapes, simply cut the plywood to
the desired shape and build like we’re going to build this platform. You’ll need a full sheet of 3/4″ B/C plywood,
or C/D if you want to save a few bucks. Five two by four by eight foot pieces of white
pine, some 2 1/2″ and some 1 5/8″ drywall screws. If a platform is going to take a lot of weight,
or is going to be an extra tall platform, use 2 by 6 or even 2 by 8 framing for extra
strength. Cut one of the 2 by4 s into four foot pieces. Check your measurements. Then lay out the two four foot sections at
the end of the plywood and push the full eight foot pieces up against them. Put the tape measure over the top edge of
the four foot sections and mark the long 2 by 4s at eight feet and cut them. What you’re doing here is allowing for the
width of the four foot pieces at the ends of the platform. Your long pieces should measure very close
to seven feet, nine inches. Lay out the pieces on the top of the plywood
and make sure they fit exactly. Then pre-drill holes in the 2 by 4s and join
them together with the 2 1/2″ drywall screws. The pre-drilling helps keep the wood from
splitting. Put the good side of the plywood facing up
on the frame you just built and line it up precisely with the frame. This is very important because you will probably
be pushing platforms up against platforms. And it’s important that there are no gaps
or areas where plywood are hanging over the platforms. Once you’re sure all the sides line up, use
inch and 5/8″ drywall screws to secure the plywood to the frame. Put the screws in about
every six to eight inches. This is where you can adjust the 2 by 4s to
run right along the edge of the plywood if the 2 by 4s happen to have a little warp to
them. Flip the platform face down, and measure,
cut and put in three supports at two feet center from each end, and at the center


2 Replies to “Basic Set Construction and Theater Safety – Practical Technical Theater DVD Series”

  1. Christopher Benner says:

    This looks good, but why did you cut the 8' boards to 7' 9" instead of cutting the ends to 3' 9"? I know either way will work just fine, but why not save your long boards for a later project?

  2. fionaver says:

    I'm… kinda disappointed. I was thinking of getting the books if the video series was worth it, to train up the new generation at the convention I work at. Not trying to be 'that person,' but there are some real issues with the build of the flats. The lack of acknowledgement of the 'kerf' of the blade and the cuts that made it too narrow for the width of the flats… as well as the bracing that wouldn't compensate for standard panel stresses… I don't feel like this is a really good way to teach technical theatre, tbh.

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