Technical Theatre

Celebrating the Silly Side of Theatre

This post is not for the weak of stomach, but it is about theatre and it is quite silly. You have been warned.


One of the things I absolutely love about theatre is the notion of grown adults doing very silly things at times. For a living.

Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage is making the rounds of regional theatres at the moment and it features a moment where a character vomits uncontrollably, specifically “a brutal and catastrophic spray of vomit.”

Stage directions like this are a dream for the tech crew because they get to be kids again. They get to don their labcoats and invent a whole system for making this work successfully, believably and repeatably on stage. Here’s a great article from the Winnipeg Free Press about one such production. It also has some backstage video showing their particular solution to the problem.

I did a show a couple of years ago where two of us had to smoke marijuana on stage. Neither of us were smokers and I remember the props people bringing in different herbs and such that would smell reminiscent of pot, but wouldn’t make us high or sick. We spent a very silly afternoon of rehearsal learning to smoke oregano on the theatre’s loading dock.

What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever found yourself doing to get a show up?

About the author

Craig Mason

1 Comment

  • there is some silly thing attached to almost every production.
    We just closed South Pacific…I had to go to the kitchen before each performance and whip up a bowl of shampoo to a frothy foam for “wash that man…”