Hanging a theatrical backdrop can be a demanding task, familiar to many who work in theatre backstage and the main reason for it is the backdrop’s size. One backdrop can be 16 feet wide and at least 8 feet high. That is a lot of material. Hanging it usually requires more than one person, especially full-size backdrops used in large theatres. But let’s be real, it is not mission impossible, and once you get a hang of it, the process becomes smooth and fast.
Grosh backdrops are rentable, which means that you are probably not the first or the last person to hang them, which is why hanging them properly is important. To avoid possible damage or confusion, we made a tutorial on how to properly hang a theatrical backdrop.
How to Hang a Theatrical Backdrop?
On a clean, dry surface, unroll the backdrop and place it on the floor below your raking system. If you choose to use rubber tip clamps, start from the center of the pipe. Begin clamping the drop about every foot or so.
If you choose to use the ties, like using the clamps, start at the center of the pipe. Once you’ve tied it off in the center, begin tying the drop on the pipe. Make sure the lines are tight, so the drop is even at all tie points. Be aware of how the backdrop hangs on the pipe. You may see some drooping. If so, adjust the clamps or tie and drop accordingly.
Need a Few More Tips on Smoothing Out the Backdrop?
Here are a few options to go with.
- Push the drop bit by bit. This will help you see if the clamps or ties need to be adjusted further. Adjusting them will smooth out the wrinkles and fold lines.
- Leave the drop up for as long as you possibly can – 24 hours or more would be best.
- If neither of these is an option, you can place sandbags along the bottom of the drop. This will help smooth and minimize the lines and fold marks.
How to Bring Down the Backdrop?
To bring down the backdrop, begin by taking a corner of the backdrop and slowly bringing the drop-down to the floor, face up. This will keep the face of the backdrop from touching the floor and easier to collect the drop when you’re ready to fold it back up.
And there you go, that’s how you hang a backdrop.