August 24, 2007

39 Clamps 3939 Welds

It was quite fascinating to watch the false proscenium for The 39 Steps get built. Here are some construction pics.

Have I mentioned that we are building a back stage setting for this little adventure that is "Alfred Hitchcock's - The 39 Steps - Adapted by Patrick Barlow - Based on an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon - Based on the book by John Buchan"? As you can see by all of those credits - this piece has quite a history. I'm straying. The premise of the show is that this little theatre company has decided to recreate the ENTIRE Hitchcock movie with only four actors and practically no scenery. A premise that leads to a lot of inventiveness and fun. So we're taking their little theatre and plunking it down smack dab stage center at the BU Theatre.

These photos show the false proscenium under construction. First the steel frame was laid out, clamped together, and welded. Then we built up the support for the moulding and the boxes. Then we added a traveler track for a curtain. The whole thing was skinned with 1/4" MDF and then we applied all of the various moulding. We had the moulding manufactured for us by J.E. McLaughlin, Inc. up in Rutland, Vermont. It's a foam product with a covering that helps keep it from getting dented or chipped, and makes it fire retardant, and makes it easy to paint. The holes were filled and sanded, and it got it's first few coats of tinted base. Enjoy these nice photos taken by shop foreman Brian Sears. The prosc is now getting it's final paint job next door in the paint shop. Perhaps we have some photos of that too for another post. Enjoy!

That's Pat Austin, our Stage Carp, hugging the steel to tighten up a clamp. You might have recognized his gams in the first photo above.

We had four welders going at one time when this was under construction. Eye protection required!

Here is some of the moulding, awaiting application. You can see the lovely color of the tinted base. All that nice violet has now been covered in a deep weathered red with gold highlights.

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