Stage curtains provide an aesthetic that cues the audience that they are about to be transported to another place or time. Beyond the beauty of stage drapes, many types of curtains fill important functions that are integral to a production.
Of all the types of drape curtains in theaters, the grand curtain has the most impact. It is the heavy drape at the forefront of the stage that creates a separation between the audience and the elements of the play.
The grand curtain is usually made of fire-retardant velvet and is often a vibrant color such as red, gold, or even purple. Many grand curtains are travelers that have a vertical separation at the center and open with a pulley system from side to side. However, there are many other design options:
- Venetian and Austrian drape curtains are single-panel grand curtains that open upward through several pulls that gather it into an intricate scalloped swag at the top of the proscenium.
- Tableau grands are opened by ropes that run diagonally through the curtain. The fabric creates a frame for the stage that looks similar to home draperies that are tied back at the sides.
- Guillotine grand drapes are an option for theaters that have a large fly space above the stage. The entire grand rises vertically into the fly space until it is no longer visible.
Regardless of which type of grand curtain a theater uses, most theatergoers and owners alike would consider them to be an essential component of the magic of the theatrical experience.
Legs are a type of masking curtain that is almost always black. They are slender and do not travel. Legs hang in a row across the left and right edges of the stage and their purpose is to mask the outer walls of the stage and to hide actors and set pieces that are waiting in the wings to go on. Crossing from the wings onto the stage is one possible origin of the phrase, “Break a leg.”
Masking travelers are black drape curtains that are split at the center and can be opened or closed to hide or reveal entire sections of the stage. Travelers are often hung on a track at the center of the stage space to segment the front and rear half of the stage or sometimes at the rear of the space to mask backdrops until it is time for them to be revealed.
Shop Drape Curtains Online
Purchasing drape curtains is a significant investment for most theaters. Buying quality items from respected manufacturers is important since these curtains will be in constant use for many years to come. Many renowned makers of stage draperies have online portals that allow customers to get a detailed look at the type of draperies on offer, the fabrics available, and informational articles to help guide their choices. Take a look at what these manufacturers have available and get a quote on your stage curtains today.