What are standard stage / drape sizes? Is there such a thing? How many drapes are needed? Is there any commonality across multiple venues? How do these touring shows select their drape sizes???

I realized today that I field a great number of queries regarding “standard” stage sizes – specifically – are there any?

Well, of course every theater and venue is different – and every production has different sight-line needs. BUT – I guess that I feel comfortable making a few generalizations that probably will help those looking to determine what might be “standard” as opposed to not.

Firstly – most stage scenes create an opening that is “landscape” in its alignment – meaning that typically the stage opening will be wider than it is tall…..

Secondly – the height of the stage is typically around 50-55% of the width of the stage…

So – here are some basic parameters….. I hope that this is helpful to those that are in the learning or planning stages.

SMALL THEATRES with traditional proscenium 24’h x 40’w “ish”

  • One US backdrop or Cyc
  • One US bi-parting masking drape
  • Three sets of legs
  • Three borders
  • One downstage main drape – to travel, lift or kabuki drop away.

FULL SIZE THEATRE with traditional proscenium 30’h x 60’w “ish”

  • One US backdrop
  • One US Cyc
  • One US bi-parting masking drape
  • One Mid Stage bi-parting masking drape to split stage for opening act
  • Four sets of legs
  • Four borders
  • One downstage main drape  – to travel, lift, kabuki drop or “sniff” away.

INDOOR ARENA setting – typically a truss structure for concert touring purposes

  • One arena masking package usually 35h x 120’w used to create separation within an arena from backstage and FOH
  • One US backdrop
  • One US Cyc
  • One Mid Stage bi-parting masking drape to split stage for opening act
  • Four sets of legs
  • Four borders
  • One equipment “coverlet” package to mask out tech and musical equipment prior to the show or during the opening act.
  • Two pop up portable dressing rooms
  • One downstage main drape – lift, kabuki drop or “sniff” away.

OUTDOOR ARENA SCAFFOLDING PACKAGE for outdoor shows which include speaker stack wings and a roof skin 30’h x 60’w “ish” with 2 @ 24’w “speaker stack wings” (totaling 108’w)

  • One US backdrop or Cyc usually Vinyl or “outdoor blow through” Mesh
  • One Mid Stage kabuki drape to split stage for opening act
  • Four sets of legs
  • One equipment “coverlet” package to mask out tech and musical equipment prior to the show or during the opening act.
  • Four pop up portable dressing rooms
  • One downstage main drape – lift, kabuki drop or “sniff” away.
  • One vinyl stage skirt for FOH and or runway
  • Two vinyl mesh wing speaker stack covers typically 2 sides front and off stage
  • One logo or graphic vinyl mesh header to mask trussing and roof skin attachments.

Of course there are no rules – use as many or as few drapes as are needed to create the look and feel. Shows that are heavy on hard staging will usually have less drapery elements. The opposite often also applies. Shows that are trying to travel lightly with fewer trucks tend to go for softgoods over hard staging. US tours that are trucking from show to show can have many, many semi-trailers worth of gear. Easily 18 trucks for a big show…. or more for an arena show!