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Quick Change Efficiency is a Real Thing

Costuming a musical with 70+ actors, 100 unique costume pieces, lots of hair/makeup products, and the endless number of props isn’t always the most straightforward task. Add the unending chaos that occurs backstage during a show with the hectic and loud combination of a stage manager, fully-loaded prop table, run crew, the rumblings of the pit orchestra, scattered set pieces, and all the awaiting actors to get on stage… can be A LOT. With all that is happening backstage, it is vital for the costume director to provide organization backstage as well as arrange for a private and safe costume changing station.

Ah, the costume changes! With any show, play or musical, there are countless costume changes. Maybe even trickier, a costumer’s biggest nightmare…. a quick change. An actor may find themselves faced with running off stage safely, thrown into a 5-layered extravaganza Fairy Godmother costume, drenched with some pixie dust, and tossed a magical wand, making it back to the spotlight on stage ready to belt your heart out in 30 seconds flat isn’t quite as simple as sipping tea! Performing a quick change out in the middle of the open, where everyone can see, can feel uncomfortable and a bit daunting.

To eliminate backstage chaos while advocating for actors’ privacy, set-up a multi-purpose portable wall like the Screenflex Portable Room Divider, to create a private costume changing station in the wings. With this beneficial resource, there is no need for the actor to run to a dressing room every time a costume change is needed. Using the divider to provide privacy for both the performers and dressers helps them complete a seamless costume change sequence and return to the stage on time.

 

There is no need to be restricted by the design of the theater to have the space you need. Screenflex portable partitions allow you to create a quick-change room on either side of the stage. This feature allows for smoother exits and entrances for the actors onto the stage. And we all know the actor’s entry can make a big difference in the transition of scenes.

Additionally, be sure your changing stations are equipped with the appropriate costume racks, hair accessories, props, and makeup for touchups. Arrange the costumes and props in the order they will be used to create a smooth dressing experience. The portable walls also restrict access to the changing station, which eliminates distractions and unneeded staff interfering with the costume change.

The versatility this movable wall provides backstage is immeasurable. The self-leveling caster wheels make it a breeze to roll the room divider over extension cords, theatrical tape, and markings. Room dividers can be arranged in a variety of shapes to accommodate the restricted space often found backstage. Additionally, having a portable wall that is close enough to the curtains and far away enough from the cramped and congested areas is the perfect tool for eliminating the view into the wings of the stage and dampen people chattering backstage from carrying into the theater.

Quick changes take practice and planning to complete efficiently, and the portable wall allows you to create the most space-saving and efficient atmosphere for your crew and actors to succeed. With the appropriate space in place backstage for your actors, you are sure to have a successful performance on stage that the audience will enjoy.

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