Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Play Backdrops

I am here to share the greatest idea EVER for putting on a play in your classroom! It's not my own, we borrowed it from another classroom teacher. Here goes: use inexpensive rolling garment racks for your backdrops. They can be dismantled after the play, take up very little space in storage (just use a large duffel bag for all the components), and then can be reused for the next play. To make the sets, simply drape a twin size flat sheet over the rolling rack and pin the extra fabric around the back with safety pins. The cheapest sheets at WalMart are four bucks apiece. You can also search the thrift stores or ask for donations of old sheets. After pinning the fabric to fit your garment rack, lift the sheets off and lay them on the floor to paint the sets. When the play is done, take out the pins and fold up the sheets to be used again. They take up hardly any space at all; just stick them in a bin!

Our first play done this way was Stone Soup and so now we have five nice pieces of "town" scenery. These can be used for many other play productions -- so versatile.

We are currently putting on the Nutcracker so we are painting five pieces of "house interior" and five pieces of "candy village". One of the house interior pieces, a fireplace, can definitely be used in other plays as well! We also did an nice grandfather clock.

Be creative -- I got five light blue sheets for the candy village and we only had to paint on the houses and trees because there was already a sky! For the house interior, I got two off white sheets and three striped sheets. The striped sheets are the wallpaper. They didn't need to be painted at all! One of the off white sheets was used to paint the fireplace scene. The other holds the grandfather clock.

We just went ahead and used tempera paint so don't think this will be too expensive. You could also sew some details onto your sets if you were feeling extra creative (and had extra time), such as putting sequins on the snowflakes to give them that added sparkle. Lay your sheets out on a tarp in the classroom for painting and then hang them outside for drying. I hung ours over the chain link fence that surrounds the blacktop, and used more safety pins to be sure they stayed in place while they were drying and didn't blow away. Easy easy easy easy and -- my favorite -- inexpensive! Not only that, instead of using rolls of paper to create backdrops each year, I am ecstatic that we only have to paint the Nutcracker sets once and then we will be done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are planning to do this as well. Do u have any pictures to share?