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Welcome to the Drama Workshop resource forum at Rotation.org.  Don't forget our related "drama" resource forums: Puppets and the Lego & Storytable Workshop resources which are also forms of drama. This forum also ideas and resources for creating video and creative photography, "flat lay" techniques, and the like. For drama ideas and lessons for specific Bible stories visit the Lesson Forums.

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I am looking for some ideas on Scenery & Costumes for our Drama Workshop. We have used the transparencies on cardboard, but would like something a little more permanent. Also
Any ideas would be appreciated!


Exchange volunteer note:
name of topic changed for better clarity. Also, a request for costume ideas and the responses were moved to a separate topic.
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Hi, I posted the tyvek and am also the plastic tablecloth nut. I have cut and cool melt glued plastic tablecloths together. The plastic is a beautiful way to create scenes using the colored plastic as the color. It is cut as sky, land, water, etc and then reglued together. I have added textural things such as cotton, netting, sand, glitter etc to add effect at times. They store in a banker box and have no creases like paper gets. go up in a snap with banker clips or ticky tack. The tyvek drops I roll and store upright. As for costumes...hot glue guns work wonders in this area. They are kind of like duct tape-the solution to many joining challenges. I sew very little anymore for church costumes and the glue guns work great for animal costume construction or some of those other odd ball ideas that crop up.
Thanks for the suggestions for backdrops, however I didn't make myself
clear. I am looking for ideas for buildings, manger sets, 3-D type of
props - (like the jail for Paul, etc.) The problem with cardboard box
props is that they aren't durable enough to last through a month's worth of classes. We don't want to get into building (plywood type) but felt there must be something better than appliance boxes that would hold up for the entire rotation. Is this a problem for anyone else or are our kids just a little too rough on the props?
Ideas for set pieces for drama workshops:

I built a tent out of pvc pipe (actually patio furniture framing pipe so you have more connector pieces to choose from is better if you have access to Palm Casual or a similar custom patio store in your area) and covered it with big pieces of fabric. It was a tent for Abraham, etc. as well as a tent to gather in/around to hear a story. We used our imaginations and it was the stable at Christmas and any other building we needed.

We also have a puppet stage made out of pvc that was U-shaped and covered with black fabric. For prison and the tomb, we turned it around and the area where the puppeteers would stand became inside the prison/tomb/etc.

Tables draped with cloth (or better yet, the plastic tablecloths that we will all be investing in now) -- either upright or turned on their sides -- also can be parts of scenery.

Things I make out of appliance boxes, I tape together and reinforce with packing tape and then remind the student of the fragile nature of their surroundings. They hold up pretty well for five weeks or so.
I purchased a inexpensive tent (but with no walls)from a discount store (like Wal-mart.) It is made from blue plastic and costs about $25. The frame is made from poles you put together and can be put up or down in about 5 minutes. It's very light, but you can throw sheets over it for a tent.
My husband made for me a handy prop I have used over and over again. He took a 4'X8' piece of wooden lattice from a garden shop and cut in lengthwise, framed around the edges and put a hinge at one end (the narrow end.) I have used this over and over again, for a lions den, a pig pen, to mark a path, a small wall. I fold it up when not needed.
This is just a thought for those that are interested in creating props that are more durable. Use the large sheets of insulation foam boards. They can be spray adhesived together, cut in any shape, painted, and modified with silk flowers or anything that can have wooden meat skewer somehow attached. Light weight and can be built to be collapsible. There is also another product that can be purchased that is specifically for prop building from theater companies but it is more expensive. Foam is great for creating facades. If you are looking for something to be extremely strong you can layer plaster cloth over the foam. If you are trying to achieve a very irregular surface then use old fashioned paper mache methods on top of the foam board base structure.
A GREAT book on this topic is available through Amazon. It is James Hulls' Self Supporting Scenery for Childrens Theatre.
Amazon.com

Check it out. The scenery is sturdy, mobile, easily stored and HIGHLY adaptable. I have used his ideas often and it is so wonderful to have pieces to just pull out when you need them.
Last edited by Luanne Payne
We just did a western scene at church using foam that was then painted with a wood graining tool. The effect was great and it was cheap and relatively fast. The tools can be picked up at any paint, hardware or craft store.
OLD POSTS ABOUT THEATER CURTAINS MOVED FROM OTHER LOCATIONS:

Re: theater curtains
Posted By: Tammy Date: 9/14/99

In Response To: theater curtains (Christy)

Hi. We used plastic pvc piping, cut out a channel from the bottom of it and took screw hooks (the kind with eyes) with nuts attached to hold them in the pipe. They freely flow back and forth throught the channel. We attached the pvc by its top section with plastic twist ties through drilled holes to the beams in our drop ceiling.

Any curtains we need are attached using regular curtain hooks and they flow without restriction. We use a heavy curtain for the front curtain, then hang painted bedsheets from pipes behind the major curtain to use as scenery backdrops that can be pulled aside to reveal the next one behind. This way, we have inexpensive set design and lightweight piping to hold heavier curtains. Works well.

If you can't understand what I'm trying to describe, email me and I'll try to describe it better.

·Re: theater curtains
Posted By: neil Date: 8/23/99

In Response To: theater curtains (Christy)

Here's ONE idea I've seen frequently: Wire stretched between two hooks in opposite walls / simple cloth sewn together /hang with metal shower hooks.

Older posts regarding DRAMA STAGES:


Re: Drama Room Stage Ideas
Posted By: Tammy

Keep it simple. Use pallets and cover with a large sheet of plywood. It can then be removed if the room is needed for anything else.



Re: Drama Room
Posted By: Karen

Like the response above, we asked a handy dandy man to build our drama stage. It is 6 inches high, and then covered with 2 sheets of 8X4 plywood. This guy built it into 2 sections so it could be removed from the room if we needed it too. It is covered with a large piece of remanent carpet that is tacke down with double sided tape. The sides and front are covered with pieces of sheets that are stapled to the plywood and act as a skirt. I hope this describes it well enough for you. Karen Carter

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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