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Stage Designs

Trucks

A truck is a piece of scenery that can stand independently from other pieces. It has a base and is usually on wheels.

Unlike flats, trucks are by their nature more solid pieces of set. They are used when either a performer or other piece of scenery needs to stand on, enter through or lean against something. They are also useful in scene-changes because they can be quickly wheeled on and offstage.

In Stage Design with the Court of a Castle, the two darker pieces of scenery, one mid-stage-left and the other down-stage-right, would have been trucks. Each staircase would bolt to its relevant truck inside of which would be built a platform and treads for access offstage.

Because it contains a door and needs to brace the arch to its right and the flat to its left, the centre section of Serafino Brizzi’s Designs for Stage Scenery would also have been a truck. Like the other trucks it would have comprised a three dimensional wooden frame with cladding on the down-stage area. A small set of steps would have been built inside the doorway to give the audience the illusion they lead up into the fortress, but once out of view these would have changed into a small platform with treads leading back to the stage floor. Alternatively, if a performer was required to appear at the window, the steps from the doorway would have lead directly up to an imaginary first floor level, where a platform with another set of treads would have existed to take the performer back down to the ground.

In Brizzi’s Interior of a Gothic Fortress the slightly onstage sections of side-walls would also have been trucks. In this case trucks would have been favoured over flats because the design requires these sections of wall to curve at the base, mirroring the line of the arch. To support these arches adequately they would almost certainly have needed to be three dimensional, solid pieces of set.

In Giuseppe Jarmorini’s Architectural Capriccio design the down-stage section of set would also have been constructed from either one or two trucks depending on the scale of the arch and columns. If it were two, the join would have been in the middle, hidden behind the centre stone.

Although we do not have the drawing for the truck used with Ferdinando Tacca’s Design for a Stage Setting, it is highly likely that one of the same design as the pillars in the colonnade would have been set down-stage-left.

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