Theatre Lighting Design, Technical Direction and Consulting

Charles R. Kaiser
Aurora, Ontario CANADA

Constructing the Reckless Turntable
Reckless by Craig Lucas
Directed by Gregory Justice, Setting by Randy Ward, Lighting by Gary Jung, Technical Directon by Charles R. Kaiser
Playhouse 460 - Blacksburg, Virginia

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Reckless Turntable Centre Pivot Hardware Cutting Turntable Edges With a Compass Saw Cutting Turntable Edges With 16'' Circular Saw On Compass Arm
Hydraulic Controls For Turntable Drive unit Crew Call To Place Turntable On Deck Detail View Of Drive Wheel
Reckless scene with rear projection and window plug Game Show scene with RP wall removed
Reckless scene with rear projection and car unit Reckless scene with rear projection View of Reckless set and Playhouse 460 Auditorium

Randy Ward's scene design for Reckless was based upon a twenty four foot diameter hydraulically driven turntable. The turntable was divided into three 120 degree wedges with walls made up of rear projection material. Images both realistic and abstract were projected on the walls. For certain scenes, portions of the walls could be removed and replaced with plugs (e.g. a window plug with a small snow shuttle). In the Game Show scene, an entire RP wall was removed to provide a space for the "studio audience." Various pieces of furniture and set dressing were also used throughout the play. The normal procedure would be to have crew loading one wedge of the turntable with props and set dressing while another was kept clear for rear projection and the third was the wedge in view of the audience.

The turntable was driven by a remote hydraulic power unit that powered a hydraulic motor attached to a small tire that "pinched" the rim of the turntable to drive it. The turntable could move in both directions at varying speeds. Due to budget limitations the turntable was built as a "wheels down" version rather than a double skinned "wheels up" type. The turntable was built out as a rough circle and then the top and sweeps were cut through with a circular saw mounted on a compass arm that was fitted to the turntable's centre pivot point.

Tartuffe - Set Tartuffe - Detail of Centre Landing and Doorway Tartuffe - Detail of Radial Stairs
Tartuffe by Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière
Directed by Gregory Justice, Setting by Chris Eitrim, Lighting Design by Lee-Zen Michael Chien, Technical Direction by Charles R. Kaiser
Playhouse 460 - Blacksburg, Virginia
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Tartuffe was a simple single unit box set. The interesting features where twin radial stair units on either side of the stage, and fairly ornate cornice and moulding work throughout the set. Much of the moulding and other details were made of vacuform, however the spindles for the staircases were turned out of beadfoam and coated with glue and muslin. The mirrored panel work was done from sheets of plywood with the edges routed with a moulding bit. All of the furniture was scratch built for the show.

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