How to Make Stone Columns for Stage Scenery

Written by kirk maltbee
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Stage scenery, often referred to as "flats," provides a setting for actors to perform and enhances the story for the audience. In the case of stone columns, which despite their size are still referred to as flats, some common items can be used to create the setting. With a little time and some ingenuity, you can create as many reusable columns as you need.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Urethane blocks or paper barrels
  • Wood file
  • Hand rasp
  • White and grey latex paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Black paint

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  1. 1

    Determine what the exterior of the columns will look like. Roman or Greek classical columns will be bleached white stone or marble, while castle columns will appear to be made from grey stone blocks. Gather the appropriate materials, such as white or grey latex paint, paint brushes and a dust sheet to cover the stage. You'll also need urethane foam blocks (available at many craft supply stores) or empty (and clean) paper barrels, available from industrial supply stores.

  2. 2

    Study the type of column architecture you desire. Perform an online image search or consult travel guides or encyclopedias for ideas. Once you settle on a design, keeping in mind that overly-detailed designs won't render well on stage, spread a dust sheet flat on the floor.

  3. 3

    Carve and shape the column according to the column style selected, using a wood file and a hand rasp. If you're using paper barrels as your column material, the details can be painted on rather than carved.

  4. 4

    Paint the blocks or the barrel according to your selected design. If you're painting classical Roman or Greek columns, use flat white latex brush paint to paint the column from top to bottom and all around. For columns with a marble appearance, paint the column flat grey. For stone columns, paint it grey and add splotches of white. Use a thinner paint brush to paint black lines on any column design to add detail.

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