Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Choosing the Right Stage: Portable, Permanent, or Hybrid?

Portability vs. Permanent: Choosing and Developing Your Stage
In the theatrical world; stage types can be divided into two styles. The portable design is usually smaller and less intensive than its counterpart; the permanent stage. Choosing between these two styles can be difficult and easy decision for any performer.

The Ease of a Portable Stage

Portable stages are perfect for taking to events and giving a performance for your local group. This type of entertainment at events demands a portable stage. These stages are usually smaller in appearance and made of lightweight materials. Canvas, wood, and few large pieces are crafted together to make a basic stage.

The Solidity of a Permanent Stage

A permanent stage can be built into a room of a house or can be designed to be brought out on special occasions. A permanent stage usually features highly decorative features, rich draperies, an amazing lighting system, and can withstand a nuclear blast. While a permanent stage cannot be brought to social gatherings with ease; they can be utilized to provide entertainment at home quite easily.

A Blending of the Styles

Our stage, Teatro Humberto, encompasses both styles; but quite by accident. The stage was originally designed to be portable. However, after a short amount of time the project quickly became more of a permanent theatre with some portability.

For example, the stage is portable because it breaks down into smaller sections, making packing an entire stage that much easier to fit into a trailer...yes, I said trailer. The permanent features are the shear size of the stage pieces; while strong enough to support our weight can be a hassle to transport to all events.

The Future of Humberto

Teatro Humberto is in what we call, affectionetely, phase one. That is, it is our prototype stage. We built the stage and allowed it to evolve on its own. In essence, we understood what we needed and added what we thought we needed as well.

Eventually, the stage will become more portable. Our main goal is to take it to events and entertain our friends. Creating a pleasing portable theatre while keeping with the requirement that we feel make it safe and secure will require more planning in the future.

What are your needs?

Do you need to travel to events with your marionettes or will you entertain guests in a "remodeled" garage? Do you have a large vehicle to haul things in or do you have a motorcycle? Do you want to spend a lot of money or prefer Free Cycle finds?

These questions are very important when determining the type of stage that you need to build. While you may have a very specific type of stage in mind; you may find that you need to alter and tweak it around to make it fit your lifestyle. For example; you may need a portable stage but only have the sidecar on your bike to transport it in.

The solution is to make alterations and change your preconceived notions on what the stage needs to look like or how it needs to be constructed. Make it smaller, out of more durable wood, or add hinges to make it fold up easily. Additionally, using colored fabric decorated with paint can help add to the style of a stage while keeping the weight down considerably.


  1. The stage has always been a symbol of style. A stage gives a person the one thing which everyone craves more than anything else in the world - undivided attention and focus. When you are on a stage - no matter what you do - people will look at you.

  2. Stage platforms, above all must be sturdy. Sometimes, your act may involve performers coming in through in chariots, cars or bikes. For such performances at least, you would require a very sturdy stage. Some performers go all out in their stage designs. You can have stages to look like a part of the universe, paradise, a forest - just let your imagination run wild.