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Stage Rigging Handbook, Third Edition

Jay O. Glerum

Publication Year: 2007

Succinct and jargon free, Stage Rigging Handbook remains the only book in any language that covers the design, operation, and maintenance of stage-rigging equipment. It is written in an at-a-glance outline form, yet contains in-depth information available nowhere else. This fully indexed third edition includes three new parts: the first, an explanation of inspection procedures for rigging systems; the second, a discussion of training in the operation of rigging systems; and the third, essential information about the operation of fire curtains. The remaining six parts, as well as the glossary and bibliography, have been updated. This edition also contains a new preface, many new illustrations, and expanded information on Nicopress terminations.
Glerum explains that four main principles make up the core of this book: know the rigging system; keep it in safe working order; know how to use it; and keep your concentration. Glerum applies these principles to all of the major types of stage rigging systems, including block and tackle, hemp, counterweight, and motorized. He describes each type of rigging, then thoroughly reviews the operating procedures and methods of inspecting existing systems.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-xvi

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Preface to the Third Edition

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pp. xvii-xviii

The third edition contains a number of additions and changes requested by readers and participants in the rigging master classes and workshops that I have taught over the last ten years. The additions also reflect some of the changes in the way that the entertainment industry is approaching rigging. ...

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Preface to the Second Edition

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pp. xix-xx

In the last twenty years, stage scenery has changed noticeably with steel being used as a common building material and hard covering replacing muslin on flats. Movement of scenery can be exceedingly complex as directors and designers at all levels of the entertainment industry strive to create new techniques and production modes. ...

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Preface to the First Edition

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pp. xxi-xxii

The single greatest cause of rigging accidents in the American theatre is operator error. While some of this error is due to carelessness, much of it is due to lack of knowledge about rigging systems and their safe operation. ...

Symbols and Abbreviations

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pp. xxiii-xxiv

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Part 1. Loads and Reactions

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pp. 1-41

Rigging is a tool used in the theatre. It supports and provides movement of overhead objects that are part of a production. If it works as it should, it rarely calls attention to itself. If something goes wrong, it may not only be noticeable but life threatening as well. ...

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Part 2. Block-and-Tackle Rigging

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pp. 42-64

Section 1.01 introduced the four main principles of rigging called the 4 Ks. In the following sections, these principles will be applied to different kinds of rigging systems. Section 2.01 looks at their application to block and tackle rigging. Begin by getting to know the system. ...

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Part 3. Hemp Rigging

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pp. 65-111

Although hemp rigging is the simplest and oldest form of stage rigging, the word hemp is actually a misnomer. The term hemp rigging generally refers to any fiber rope used for attaching, supporting, or flying stage effects. ...

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Part 4. Counterweight Rigging

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pp. 112-165

The invention of counterweight rigging was the next logical step in the progression of flying equipment for the stage. It began to appear in the first quarter of the twentieth century. The early systems employed a rack, or arbor, in which to stack metal weights. ...

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Part 5. Motorized Rigging

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pp. 166-188

The basic hemp rigging used for the stage changed little from the time of the Greeks until the twentieth century. The need for greater efficiency prompted the modification of hemp to counterweight, which is still the most common type of rigging equipment in use. ...

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Part 6. Cutting and Terminating Rope, Attaching Loads, and Dealing with Special Problems

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pp. 189-228

Twisted natural-fiber rope should be taped with electrician’s friction tape before cutting. This tape is easy to remove and will keep the ends from fraying. Tape about a 2˝ length of rope where the cut is to be made. Use a pair of garden pruning shears to cut the rope in the center of the tape (fig. 6.1). ...

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Part 7. Inspection of Rigging Systems

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pp. 229-247

One of the questions asked after an accident is whether the rigging equipment has been inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Rigging equipment is machinery and, as such, requires care and maintenance. Because it suspends objects over the heads of people, it poses a high degree of risk to life and limb....

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Part 8. Operation and Training

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pp. 248-252

In the fall of 2005, the first national certification examination in the entertainment industry was given to riggers (arena) and flymen (theatre). The examination was part of the Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP), a voluntary process that grants recognition to individuals who have demonstrated certain abilities, ...

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Part 9. Fire Curtains

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pp. 253-274

A proscenium theatre of a certain size generally requires a fire curtain or, as it is referred to in the various codes, a proscenium curtain. The primary purpose of the fire curtain is to contain an onstage fire (and its resultant smoke) long enough for the audience to evacuate safely. ...


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pp. 275-278

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 279-282


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pp. 283-292

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Author Bio, Back Cover

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pp. 320-321

Jay O. Glerum has worked in theatre and the entertainment industry for more than fifty years. During that time, he has worked as a stagehand, designed scenery and lighting, taught technical theatre at several universities, consulted on numerous theatre and television studio projects, ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780809387649
E-ISBN-10: 0809387646
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809327416
Print-ISBN-10: 0809387646

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 222
Publication Year: 2007

Edition: 3rd ed.