Stage Designs

A Secret Chord

Alex Hayes from Meadow Park Church in Columbus, Ohio brings us this great string look.

From Alex: This is our adaptation of Refraction Faction. One of our challenges when it comes to design is a shallow but wide stage, as well as leaving room for everything that has to fit up there as well. It was also attractive to do something that could be adapted per series to give a fresh look with not a lot of work.

We followed most of their specs, but changed the frame size. The right side frames are 12’x4′ and the left side are 9’x4′ with the exception of the far back corner, which had to be slightly fudged because of our architecture. The frames are 2×2’s ripped from larger boards to help prevent bowing (as you can see they still bowed). We painted them the same color as our wall to minimize the frame’s effect aesthetically, then drilled holes in the side that would face the front at 1″ intervals. This was expedited by using some homemade guides made from pegboard (pictured) and a vix bit. After that we put screws in all the predrilled holes. Screw choice here depends on what you want to do. I had a theory (more on this in a minute) I wanted to test on ours, so we went a bit on the longer side. Once screws were in place, we used metal L brackets to connect the pieces into frames.

Now for the part that is hard to see: While you see 7 panels and 5 panels, there are actually only 4 and 3 physical panels. Every other space is just the gap between two panels strung like a panel. So we decided to string the actual panels on the ground to give us less time on the ladder (pictured part ways done). Once that was done we used Cinderblocks (a few bucks each) and some cheaper tie downs to hold them upright (we don’t have trussing systems which makes “rigging” things a challenge), and then braced them at the top (note: the tension will not handle this issue for you). We strung between them with the same background pattern which makes them seem seamless. All the back string is a LionBrand Silver Heather.

From there we went ahead and strung the design with white yarn. This is where the use of slightly longer screws comes in. By stringing the Silver all the way at the back, and stringing the white all the way at the front, it let us light it from the front and back on the left side with two different colors. Unfortunately, the extra space needed for the lights on the right side would have put screws in our screen. But the effect of lighting the white string separately looks pretty awesome. We uplit the frames with ADJ Megabars, and there are a few gobos from our design spots in use at times as well. You’ll notice for the second series (Breathing Room) that we opted out of the double light choice to put everything flush with the wall so it looked the same on both sides.

I don’t believe we ran more than a few hundred dollars for this, and the most expensive part of the project was screws. Time wise, we probably spent a week or two on this, but we never had a full team day. People were in and out helping when they could, with the TD working on it full time.

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One response to “A Secret Chord”

  1. This is great! Love the look of it!

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