Often, when thinking about stage drapes, we consider them a static element of the stage design – hanging in one place in a fixed position. But if you think about it, stage curtains are anything but static! They are actually one of the most dynamic parts of the stage design.
Stage curtains can move horizontally through the use of traveler track. Think about a pair of Grand Drapes, parting in the center and stacking on either side. Or a Masking Drape, sliding along traveler track in a single direction to be stacked on the side of the stage.
This custom Bi-Parting Grand Drape manufactured for Gridworks for Princess Cruise’s ship Queen Victoria hangs on traveler track and moves from the center to stack on each side.
Lift systems, solenoid systems, and sniffer systems enable stage curtains to move vertically. Imagine the beauty and drama of an Austrian Drape as it slowly raises, its repeated swags disappearing into the air to reveal the scene behind. Or a Venetian Curtain, in which deep swags lift and lower at different points to create a view that is evolving and changing as you watch. This is a lift system in action.
This Austrian Curtain raises and lowers through the use of a lift system.
Consider the drama of a massive digital backdrop suddenly dropping to the floor and out of sight, the whole process taking just seconds, thanks to the magic of solenoids. Or the surprise of a sniffer gag – a delicate kabuki drape hanging from the ceiling on a solenoid system. In an instant, the solenoids and sniffer system are fired, and the drape is whisked upwards and out of sight into a sniffer tube.
A Sniffer Drape, along with solenoid kabuki system and sniffer system, definitely adds a “wow” factor to a show.
So, when planning the action on stage, don’t forget to factor in the excitement and drama that stage drapery can add to that action!