Dinosaurs Stalk the Stage!

When are periaktoi not pterodactyls?  Or more accurately, why won’t these damn dinosaurs move the way you want?

Director, Holly Conroy reviews designs for Camelot.

Director, Holly Conroy reviews designs for Camelot.

Background:  Camelot Director and Designer, Holly Conroy has come up with just about the easiest set design that anyone at VP can remember.  Of course, every director tells the set crew “this is a simple set.”  Truly though, this is the first simple set we’ve seen.  Just a series of platforms (done), some  light weight fabric hanging from the pipes (done)… and then, the dinosaurs, the pterodactyls, uh, the Perry Comos, er, ah, the “periaktos.”  Let me save you a trip to dictionary.com:

Periaktos (plural form Periaktoi, from Greek revolving) is a device used for displaying and rapidly changing theatre scenes.

Gary Mach and Tony Kruzman wrestle the dinosaur during set construction of Camelot.

Gary Mach and Tony Kruzman wrestle the dinosaur during set construction of Camelot.

Bert Fager and Bruce Ricketts take a turn at taming the dinosaur during set construction for Camelot.

Bert Fager and Bruce Ricketts take a turn at taming the dinosaur during construction.

Whatever the name, the set crew began debating the best way to engineer these dinosaurs before we even picked up a screw gun. What to do about the wheels, the skids, the carpet pads, etc?  We were excited that the building went smoothly, but our enthusiasm was short-lived. After round one, the dinosaurs worked, but not in the way they were supposed to. Rather, they seemed to take on a life of their own.  We’re now on round three: we’ll take them apart and put them back together again using a few new techniques to (hopefully) tame them. No wonder dinosaurs became extinct!

In the meantime, VP’s regular set crew held “Copeland II,” the second in a series of workshops aimed at keeping the stage area clean and organized in honor of our recently passed fearless leader of such efforts, John Copeland.  Led by honorary member Bert Fager, the team tackled the tangle of pipes as well as the junk that had taken up residence between the scene shop and the lumber racks.  In just a few short hours we dug our way to the back wall… unseen in many a month.  We mounted a pegboard on the wall as a new home for hanging tools. We’re so excited by our efforts that we’re now thinking we might add an additional workbench to house important woodworking tools like a drill press and maybe even a band saw!

The green room sparkles after the thorough cleaning by Ralph and Sharon Rosati.

The green room sparkles after the thorough cleaning by Ralph and Sharon Rosati.

Speaking of cleaning up, I would be remiss if I did not call attention to the outstanding labors of members Ralph and Sharon Rosati in restoring order and cleanliness to the playhouse.  Ralph and Sharon worked props for “Little Shop” and following that, spent a number of hours cleaning, I mean really cleaning, the green room and the kitchen. They even covered the green room tables with wood grain contact paper in order to make the space more inviting.  Such incredible dedication from a pair of our “newer” members.  When you next see them, please give them a hearty thanks and a “well done!” –Gary Mach

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2 Responses to Dinosaurs Stalk the Stage!

  1. Tony Kruzman says:

    Excellent blog, Gary.

  2. Dale Feldpausch says:

    Nicely written! Can’t wait to see those dinosaurs in action. And, add my thanks to Ralph & Sharon for a job well done.