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There are many common methods to arrange and operate scenery:

Wing and Drop - Wings, backdrops and teasers are painted to look like one scene, and then can be changed to another set for a scene change.

Gripping - Closing a downstage curtain to allow the carps to change scenery before revealing the scene again.

Flying  - Scenery can be flown in and out using the counterweight fly system.

A Flat is a stiff flat piece of scenery that sits on the floor, using supports called jacks or stage braces.

A Jack is a triangular brace at a 90 degree angle to the floor.

A Stage Brace is a single piece with one end hooking to the top of the flat and the other end screwing down to the stage to support the back of the flat.

Flats can also be lashed with rope or cords in a zig-zag pattern across the seam.

A Box Set is a set that wraps around an area, creating a three sided room.

A Periaktoi is a triangular flat that can be rotated to display different scenes.


A Wagon is a set piece on wheels that can be easily moved on/off/around the stage.
     - Rigid castors allow for moving a piece in a straight line.
     - Swivel castors (smart wheels) allow a piece to move in any direction.
In addition to being moved by hand, wagons can be:
     - pulled by ropes
     - pushed by "push poles"
     - pulled on overhead tracks by pullies
     - moved on knife slots by automation systems
    - moved around a turntable

A Turntable is a small or large round set that rotates around a fixed point. Small ones can be moved by hand and large ones can be driven by motors or winches.

Any moving piece should have pins, brakes or locks for keeping them in place when actors interact with them.

Carrying any long flat object PARALLEL to the ground is called Tabling. Carrying any long flat object PERPENDICULAR  to the ground is called Running.

When a set-piece is in place for the show, it is Spiked with tape so that the location can be found later. Colored tape can help figure out with spike is for which scene or piece. Before show duties will include Presetting the entire set for the top (start) of the show.

When a set piece is done for the rest of the performance, it is Dead, and the carpenters will Strike it, or take it away.

Parts of a Flat

Parts of a Flat.png

Parts of a Staircase

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