Questions and Answers - Using a gauze
|Extracts from an email from Neil Bamford :-|
|......I am part of a small local Church dramatic society, and I have been set the task of finding what I suppose is called a front cloth, however it must be painted and seen through when completed. I am currently unable to obtain such a material, and I am not sure what it is I am really looking for......I have to somehow paint a Christmas scene on to this which will be in place throughout the show and will have light from the front and behind for various scenes. The production is to be "A Christmas Carol" and the producer wants a simple Christmas scene. The set is to be total black, that bit I think should be easy.|
Here are my thoughts on Neil's problem...
GAUZE (Recommend "Sharks-tooth" pattern)
Rigidity :- Now here it gets interesting. As it's just a thin flimsy
material it has to be sup-
Fireproofing :- Comes already fireproofed, but must be retreated once wetted.
Sealing :- Yes definitely needs sealing before painting. Try laying
plastic sheeting on the
Painting :- For painting a gauze I suggest you use well diluted theatrical
paints supplied for
Drawbacks :- Cost (see above) Also it is unlikely you will be able to repaint it for another show.
Don't forget it is best to hang a black drape directly behind the gauze and pull this away at the last minute before the lights are brought up behind. That way there won't be any annoying tell-tale sparkles as people move about behind, catching any light spill from the front.
Gauzes rarely work well on a small stage especially if it is a "front cloth" which covers the whole of the proscenium arch. Small vignette gauzes work alright - such as the end of Brigadoon where the man is dreaming in the American bar about being back in Scotland and the image "comes up" behind a small gauze which is part of the set. A full front-gauze works well in the Royal Opera House but not in the local hall. Unless you have an extensive lighting rig with great control of the illumination, on a small village hall or school stage there is inevitably spill from lights (even the exit lights in the hall) and the effect is ruined.
Gauzes are best used for brief transformation events otherwise the
audience will get impatient and feel they "can't see properly" if the
too long behind this veil.
Where to buy an unpainted gauze? Many companies supply this material. But I suggest you first try the Yellow Pages for your nearest Theatrical Supplies. Failing that then try the search engines on the web. Try "Stage Drapes" or "Stage Draperies"
|Theatrical paint. One of the most famous names in the field is ROSCO which is supplied by most good theatrical suppliers.|
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