Beauty and the Beast

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Project by tooldad posted 04-11-2009 06:24 AM 2278 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is what has been keeping me in the workshop, but also killing me in the workshop at the same time. It is our school’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The castle is 28feet long, 16feet tall, and 4 ft deep, plus a 8ft run on the grand stairs,making a total of 12ft deep. That was always on stage, but behind the middle black curtain during the town scenes.

The tavern is a rolling 6pc set with a theatrical fireplace that uses lights, fans, and a cloth to simulate a flame. The main tavern is 20ft long, and is 11ft tall at the peak. The Bar is 2 pcs that are 8ft long and then there is Gastan’s chair/throne. I didn’t build the chair, it was borrowed from another school. All of that was set up in approximately 30 seconds twice per show for 4 shows.

Chips cart is a 3/4 plywood frame, pocket screwed together with a painted luan side on casters. The bottom is open so the actor can “Flinstone it” as the director called it. The “headdress is borrowed” and my son was trying on the costume.

We had an audience of 1350, not too bad. Considering our attendance in the fall for Diary of Anne Franke was about 500.

The non-structural wall parts of the set are 1×3 wall “flats” with a sheet of luan. The structural walls are 2×4 studs 24” on center with luan sheeting. We build in 4×8 sections to keep it modular and reusable.

It took 2 months to build with about 12-15 hours after school each week with about 6-10 people working (adds up to about 100 hours per week) We call it a 3D puzzle since we do not actually get to set it up until the week before performances. It took about 12-16 hours on stage to assemble with approximately 20-30 actors, crew, and parent volunteers. The sad thing, it was all taken down 8 days later in 2 1/2 hours and is now back in storage awaiting a new paint job for next fall.

9 comments so far

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4793 days

#1 posted 04-11-2009 06:28 AM

PS. The library is several scraps of luan cut in various sizes, painted in various colors, stapled to the wall with a 1×1 shelf front.

It is a relief sometimes to due play sets. My first couple of plays it was hard to get out of the craftsman woodworker mindset and get into the set building mindset. In plays it is the “rule of 50” which means it has to look good from about 50feet away since that is all the closer the audience will get to it.

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 4792 days

#2 posted 04-11-2009 06:31 AM

What a great build. Nice job!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 5080 days

#3 posted 04-11-2009 02:33 PM

What a great way to pay it forward. Nice job and a better “effort” – thanks so much for working with the kids.
Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5296 days

#4 posted 04-11-2009 03:42 PM

If you ever move to the New Orleans area, I can find you lots of set-building work. Nice job!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View macmaniak's profile


9 posts in 5155 days

#5 posted 04-11-2009 03:51 PM

Pretty cool. Sometimes those kind of projects are more gratifying than your own.

-- Larry, St. Louis,

View clieb91's profile


4261 posts in 5013 days

#6 posted 04-11-2009 04:22 PM

Great looking set. I miss being involved in the tech work of the theater sometimes but by frind in Jersery calls me up every so often to get involved in something or another. Wound up building him a magic mirror for his production of Beauty & the Beast. Always a lot of fun.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4655 days

#7 posted 04-11-2009 05:35 PM

View FJPetruso's profile


331 posts in 4788 days

#8 posted 04-12-2009 08:26 AM

It looks & sounds like there’s a lot of great talent working on that set! Great Job!

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

View DMc1963's profile


5 posts in 445 days

#9 posted 02-18-2020 05:43 PM

That’s quite a project! love the way you were able to tie in the two sides with that stair case. Creativity is an awesome thing that so many people today just don’t give us credit for…

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