Another new stage design

Because last week was Breakaway  (sadly, this year I was not involved due to being on leave of absence :-(), the stage was torn down. This week a new stage design needed to go up.

The stage design was a great way for me to have a creative outlet, as something like this is pretty low stress.

However, going to the fabric store was not low stress. After 2 hours, I left with a headache and was totally exhausted and had to rest the remainder of the day!

The problem is that the design I had draw up required 12 yards of fabric but I didn’t know that fabric store bolts only have 8 yards of fabric. (I also learned that an easy way to estimate how yardage is on the bolt is that each two folds is about one yard. Good tip!)

So I had to come up with a new design on the fly in the fabric store based on what was available and what was on sale. I had to make 3 different trips to the counter because it turned out there was not enough fabric on the bolts to do the designs I had in mind, so I was continuously revamping designs in my head.

I also found some cool printed fabric on sale but had no idea how they would scale on the stage. So I draped them across the aisle and then backed up across the store to get an idea.

The next day, Daniel and I headed to meet Peter to implement the new design. Daniel helped put griff clips on the fabric. You can see the printed green and blue fabric on the front left there. It was semi-sheer but you can’t really tell from this picture. The other fabrics were panne velvet, a textured velvet that adds a richness to the look.

Daniel and Peter helped with all the lift and ladder stuff, raising and lowering the poles (which Peter said from now on we are calling “cyc booms.” Since he’s the tech director, I guess he gets to make the calls on this stuff). I just call them “plastic poles.” Peter’s lingo is much more impressive.

I experimented with draping the fabric. I liked how the pleats looked. They just kind of fell by themselves because all I did was pull the corner out (I did clip them in pleats at the top though).

While I was doing that, the boys found ways to amuse themselves. Daniel worked on the ropes behind the curtain and said, “I like in here. I will stay here all day.” I got a kick out of the shoes peeking under the curtain.

I also realized that the music we were listening sounded far too good to be coming out of computer speakers. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that Peter had connected his computer audio out minijack to a 1/4″ jack on the other end which went into a DI box, which was connected from XLR to monitor jack to the pocket in the stage, which then connected to the monitor.

Obviously, a tech guy put this together.

We hung the back 3 fabrics up on the poles, er, cyc booms, and raised them up to the ceiling. However, there was a slight problem. I forgot that the purple fabric was too short. (I already knew the gold one was. It was all the fabric store had.) We kind of fudged things by weighting them on the drum riser instead of the floor. You can kind of see how the purple fabric doesn’t quite reach the floor!

Notice our high tech methods. We weighted down the fabric with cinder blocks. In fact, this whole design was nothing but fabric, griff clips (to tie the fabric to the cyc booms), and 4 cinder blocks. That’s it!

By that time I was beat so Peter graciously let me go home. He did the lighting himself and did a great job! The finished set:

I really like how the fabric looks opaque on top but by the bottom you can tell it is sheer. Also you can’t tell from the pictures, but there is glittery stuff in it so up closer it looks a little sparkly. The back fabrics look dark in the picture here but in person you can see them more clearly.

Later I was reflecting how these designs are really like creating altars to God — an expression of worship, as he is the ultimate author of creativity and beauty!

Now if only we could get rid of our pink carpet…


A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

10 comments to “Another new stage design”

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  1. Albert - August 8, 2011

    Beautiful! I especially like the bits of dried green noodles in the carpet 😛

  2. Albert - August 8, 2011

    Isn’t it funny how we all have different areas of expertise? Your post is so detailed about “griff clips” (what IS that anyways), and “semi-sheer panne velvet”. But when it comes to food, it’s “blah blah blah chicken”. And when it comes to bikes, it’s “blah blah blah wheel”. The stage design is beautiful, but to me it’s “blah blah blah cloth.” 😀

  3. Carmen Lin - August 8, 2011

    I think the design is beautiful, but, Albert, you made me laugh again.

  4. Wendy - August 13, 2011

    Okay first of all our carpet isn’t pink it is a nice burgundy…geez you and Peter. But I have to say lighting make a huge difference. When Peter showed me the stage before he had the lights set up the greens blended but when you adjust the lights and use gels it makes a difference.

  5. Dorothy Holland - November 19, 2011

    What a wonderful design.
    I deal a lot with cloth, griff clips and safety pins. LOL
    Just in case, check Walmart for cloth. They are slowing bringing back their fabric department. They have good deals (pirces) and often you are able to get 20 yeards at a time.
    I will be back when you post new stage designs.

  6. A Yee

    A Yee - November 19, 2011

    Thanks for the tip on Walmart! I’ll have to check it out!

  7. Kathy - February 13, 2012

    Hi Angela,

    We love this design and want to use a similar look. Two questions: Where was the lighting for the fabircs placed? Behind the fabric? and, how far out from the stage curtain was the fabric placed?

  8. A Yee

    A Yee - February 13, 2012

    Thanks, Kathy!

    The lighting was in front of the fabric shining down. Then we put some lights on the floor slightly in front of the transparent fabrics as well.

    The fabric was different depths but the farthest point was about 8 feet in front of the back wall.

  9. lee garth - September 27, 2014

    How wide was the fabric for each drape?


  10. Lori - February 19, 2015

    Great inspiration

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