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The Family that "Plays" together

I was ask to built 6 soft flats and paint them for a friend who teaches at a school in Salem.  Theater programs all over are suffering.  I feel pretty honored to be ask to help.  I look at this as an opportunity to teach.  I invited some of the kids I know that are interested to help me.  I have to admit, most of the people who are interested are actually related to me.  teehee.  We started be measuring carefully and pre-cutting everything for each flat.  The flats were to be 4x8.  We cut rails, the toggle, corner blocks, straps, and made nice neat little piles.

John came and brought his new toy... a compressor for Father's Day.  :)  Adam, a former student with a thirst for learning, glued the corner blocks in place and stapled them down.

Oh.... I should mention that they measured carefully to ensure the flat would be square.

Then they helped staple the toggles in place complete with angle braces and straps.  These are very solid flats.

Meanwhile, Hannah and I spread the muslin out down the hall.

Then we stretched the fabric across the frame and stapled it into place.

Then we"sized" the flats by painting them with a Elmer's glue and water solution.

Everyone helped.

Then we set them up to dry.  We made6 flats in 4 hours.  Not bad for an evening of work.

A few days later we started painting.  Now this part takes longer with all the detail that was needed.  First we chalked out the design.

My friend Mary came to help.

Jacob and Hannah helped too.

Everyone worked on a different part of the design.

I even got a chance to teach a couple different painting methods.  Hannah learned about "scrubbing".  This technique has you combine a couple different paint colors and then mixing them on the canvas.

Hannah did real well with this technique... But she does get a little crazy with her paint brush.

We painted...

... and painted...

... and painted..  Even Lillian got into the action.

We got pretty far on our first day.

We were able to finish 4 flats on our first day of painting.

After all.... we are talking detail here.

This is how we left it after our day of hard work.

It was a ton of fun!

We also worked on shading....

We hide our names in the detail.... Jacob (but it turned out "acob"...

Mary.... You have to look carefully.  Some of her letters are backward or upside down.


And Wendy... Mine was in the vines.
It looked perfect for a show in the Dr. Seuss style.

It performs in a couple weeks.  I've got to take the crew to see it.

Stage left set...

Stage right set...

Center set...  Honestly, the best part of creating for the theater is that so many of my family members are coming along for the ride.  It is a perfect activity since John and I met in a play.  I love to direct.  I love to design.  I love to teach.  My work at the HS allows me to roll most of the things I love into one great family activity!


  1. I LOVE everything about this post! I goota ask...was the second "S" in Seussification intentionally set to look like it was left out originally and then added, or was it a "woops!"? Either way, you can tell that I like it no matter how it got there! Your sense of color is A-Mazing as always...(refer to comment on colors of Cinderella set) :o) The name hiding is sheer brilliant fun! You rock, Sis!

  2. Yes Jo.... it was on purpose. It's all in the design, baby!


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