Who Sits on the Iron Throne?

Who sits on the Iron Throne in our production of The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood?

Not me.

Instead I was busy this week taking orders from a 17-year-old stage manager who had a list of set construction projects for me to complete. šŸ˜œ

With no one in the auditorium I’m afforded a few moments to sit in the Iron Throne. But since the cavernous space that sits over 1,400 is empty, it’s not much of a kingdom to rule over.

In her defense, it was actually a pretty good list. All things I was planning to do but hadnā€™t started yet.

The Sherwood set has a raked front that pivots on piano hinges. She wanted a way to secure the raked portion in the upright position when it wasnā€™t on stage.

If you are new to theater terms, you would call the “raked” part of the set a ramp.

She also wanted me to shorten the stands that keep the two free standing castle walls upright. At eight feet long, they were creating both a tripping hazard and a collision risk with the castle when not being used.

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Robin Hood confronting Prince John and the Sheriff as the fawning ladies watch.

Other projects (not our her list but mine) involvedĀ sheaving the remaining sections of the castle in foam board. The castleā€™s turrets which are shaped like an octagon proved to be extremely time consuming.

The outlines for the stones have to be projected onto the foam board with an overhead projector, traced with a permanent marker, cut with a soldering iron, and textured with a heat gun. Next, came cutting the sheets of foam board to the appropriate size with the table saw blade set to an angle of 22.5 degrees.


With the pieces cut, they were dry fitted into place and then glued and tacked into their final resting place. The castle is nearly complete with then recently added sections of foam board awaiting paint to complete it’s transform into stone.

Once that’s done, the last piece will be the set dressings to really sell the illusion that there’s a 12th Century castle on stage.

Show Me the Money!

Being a greedy jerk, I thought that Prince John needed some sacks of money to have laying around his throne room that Robin Hood could steal. So I made these burlap sacks.

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Sacks of money.

I’m pretty slow at sewing so I used a hot glue to attach the sides together. After the glue cooled, I turned the sacks inside out, stuffed them full of newspaper, and zipped tied the ends shut. The Art Club was kind enough to paint giant dollar signs on them. We had discussed doing the British pound sign (Ā£) instead, but decided that elementary students attending the show might be confused as to the purpose of the funny looking L.

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Can you tell which sack as a foot stool inside?

I thought staging the throne surrounded by sacks of money would be a nice effect. At one rehearsal I noticed Braeden Weaver who is playing Prince John trying to use the sack of gold as a footrest. I thought it was a great idea except being filled with newspaper, the bags collapsed under the weight of his feet. To solve that problem, I made another bag but this time large enough to hold a small foot stool I had at home.

Here’s a nearly completed castle that’s only missing a few pieces of foam board.

Odds & Ends

One of the last pieces I needed to build were a pair of stained glass windows that will go in Maid Marian’s bedroom. Robin Hood climbs through them when he comes to visit her. I built the frame for the windows using furring strips and lattice fencing to create the diamond pattern in the center. Once these pieces are painted, I’ll cover the back with colored gels to make the stained glass.

The lauan scrap on the floor in front of the windows will be painted to look likeĀ hand hewn logs to go around the doors and windows of the castle.

Dungeon of Demise

At one point in the show, Robin Hood gets captured and tossed into the “Dungeon of Demise.” It’s a funny scene so I won’t spoil the details.

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Dungeon of Demise

To build the jail cell, I completed bought local hardware store, G.R. Mitchell, completely out of 3/4″ PVC pipe and connectors. It was a relatively easy project that involved cutting the PCV to length. After cutting everything to size in the school’s wood shop, I took the pieces home for the weekend to glue and assembly there.img_9426img_9423img_9425I was glad I did because PVC primer and cement makes a mess. By the time I finished gluing everything my hands looked likeĀ Violet Beauregarde’s from Willy Wonka after she tried that three-course dinner chewing gum.

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Here’s Benson testing out the Dungeon of Demise.
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Here’s my team of set builders trying out the cell. John is even attempting a jail break.

Mark Your Calendar

Performances will in the Lampeter-Strasburg High School Performing Arts Center on November 9, 10, and 11 at 7 pm with a special matinee performance on Saturday, November 11 at 2 pm.

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