Teaser & Tormentors
What are teaser and tormentor curtains? A theatre’s proscenium is part of the architecture and therefore it has fixed proportions that can not be changed. In many production scenarios however, the scene calls for a reduction in the proscenium opening. For this purpose curtains, called the teaser and tormentors, are placed directly upstage of the structural proscenium opening. Within certain limits the size of any proscenium arch can be altered by using a teaser and tormentors.
The teaser is a horizontal masking border that is lowered to reduce the height of the opening. It is attached to a batten and suspended just upstage of the proscenium, directly behind the grand drape or act curtain. The teaser can be lowered into position to set the stage height as required by the current scene.
Fabric and Track Choices:
Typical Fabric Choices for a teaser include Cotton Velour, and Encore Velour. The teaser may be sewn from a black or neutral colored cloth with fullness. Alternatively, it may be made as a solid framed piece with the fabric applied stretched flat. The tormentors (please read below) will always be manufactured of the same material as the teaser.
Tormentors or “side maskings” are vertical masking pieces used in conjunction with a teaser. In a traditional setting the pair of tormentors should be mounted upstage of the grand drape and on the same plane as the teaser. While various mounting methods may be used, a tormentor is typically attached to a pipe which is then mounted to a traveller track. The track will allow the tormentors to be drawn onstage to reduce the proscenium opening to fit the current scene. In many installations the pipes will be equipped with a swivel component allowing the tormentors to rotate into an angle, or even reverse to reveal an alternate fabric or finish.
Typical Fabric Choices for a tormentor include Black Cotton Velour and Black Commando Cloth . The tormentor may be sewn from a black or neutral colored cloth with fullness. Alternatively, it may be made as a solid framed piece with the fabric applied stretched flat. The teaser (please read above) will always be manufactured of the same material as the tormentor.
Sew What? Inc. has created theatre curtains and stage drapes for some of the largest public and private theatres, television stages, and traveling shows in the world. We’ve also provided fabric treatments for smaller intimate venues with special drapery requirements.
I need a curtain or a drape. Where do I start?
- Theatre Curtains and Stage Drapes are largely custom sewn. If you’re looking for a good place to start is looking at our Stage Drape Portfolio. Or visit our Key Drapery Product Pages:Custom Sewing/Fabrication, Theatrical Drapery Supply, Trade Show & Exhibit Supply
- Confused about fabrics? Check out our eswatches section.
- Have a one-time event or limited budget? You can rent stage drapes via our sister company, Rent What? Inc.
- Feel free to contact us if you’d like to get a sales or rental quote for your project.