Stage Rigging Handbook

Stage Rigging Handbook

Stage Rigging Handbook

Stage Rigging Handbook


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 second edition includes two new parts: the first, and expanded discussion of the forces and loads on stage rigging components and the structure supporting them; the second, an examination of block and tackle rigging. The remaining four parts contain numerous revisions. Explaining his purpose, Jay O. Glerum points out that four main principles make up the core of this book: know the rigging system; know that it is in safe working order; know how to use it; 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 ways of inspecting existing systems.


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. With the dynamics of moving heavier scenery, added strain is placed on building structures and rigging systems. The technology used in such shows as Starlight Express, Phantom of the Opera, and Siegfried and Roy requires an understanding of physics and engineering to the extent that some production companies hire structural engineers to assist in modifying the venue and to design the structure of the scenery.

With increased magnitudes of loads and complexity of movement comes greater risk, as well as greater possibility, for injury. The courts have found facility owners, managers, supervisors, and riggers to be responsible for the maintenance and proper use of their rigging equipment and for providing adequate training of those who use it. Gathering a group of stagehands around the hemp lines to all pull together is no longer sufficient. Technology has progressed beyond that point.

This book is not a course in engineering. It is intended to help you understand theatrical rigging equipment, how to inspect and maintain it, and how to use it. It is your responsibility to use the equipment safely; and when the complexity of a rigging problem is beyond your expertise, it is your responsibility to find a reliable source to help solve the problem. Just as no single stage technician could possibly be expected to have the breadth and depth of knowledge required to understand all of the intricacies of people flying and stage, arena, outdoor, convention center, and ballroom rigging, neither does this handbook. It is a resource that touches on the scope of our profession but does not exhaust it.

The second edition of Stage Rigging Handbook includes two new parts. The first is an expanded discussion of the forces and loads on stage rigging components and the structure supporting them. The second is devoted to block and tackle rigging. Both of these parts are intended to increase your understanding of the equipment you use. The remaining four parts contain many minor revisions that have come about from written comments from read-

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