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Sand And Stones Problems


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I am a student. I am going to use sand and stone on the satge. Can anyone kindly tell me that:


1. What prblems will sand and stones create?

2. How they affect the perfomer like singers, dancer and actors?

3. Are they needed to be treated before use?

4. How to strike them out (esp. sand. using vaccum cleaner?)

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Sand can be a problem because of the slip hazard and can burn dancers feet.


Stones dependant on size may present a trip or fall hazard / stubbed toes.


Sand will never ever get completely removed from your venue, it will be there for life!


I have never treated sand or stones prior to use except one show where the sand was glued to a floorcloth as an effect!! (don't ask me why)


Sand is best having a floorcloth underneath, remove as much as possible with a brush and shovel, then brush again, and again, and again........... when you have most of it up a good mop will attempt to remove some of what's left.


Just my experience of these matters



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I'm sure you've thought of this, but be sure to get something like playpit sand or builders sand....I've heard of someone (illegally) just digging up part of a beach and ending up with all kinds of unpleasant creatures crawling out of the sand later. You also need to think about whether you mind the sand being wet - you'll need to get dried if you don't.
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It did strike me when I was out earlier - would your production suffer from the sound of people walking over stones during the show?


I mean with a loud rock gig this will not be a problem but a quiet wordy drama might go something like this:


Gardener enters stage left to find the lady of the manor singing.


Lady: traa laa laa (crunch crunch crunch)


Gardener: Morning marm.


Lady: Hello don't let me stop you gardening with your large wheel barrow, I will stay here and sing a little... lllaaaa laaa laa


Gardener : Fanks awfully (crunch crunch crunch, squeak squeak squeak.)


Now act two.... kinda see what I mean? Hamlet played out on a gravel path.



On a similar vein what would a one man band bank robbery and get away sound like?

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I did a similar thing for a production of blood wedding, we laid floor cloths (over a waterproofing thingy) and shovelled about a ton (metric...hehe!) of sand onto it and lined it with gravel edges... now the thing is, the gravel for some unexplainable reason had to be washed (!) and to stop the dust from the sand getting too much it had to be dampened before each performance and in the interval... apart from looking bad, the lights dried it out so fast it did become more of a liability than practical.


but anyway, I wouldn't reccomend it, but it did look good! so erm... my point is, I don't have one (a point that is!)... its up to you!


confused?? iam!!


for some reason I'm just typing a load of balls tonight!


oh well

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now the thing is, the gravel for some unexplainable reason had to be washed


Having just laid a load of cobbles in my garden I can testify that they ( and I'd have thought gravel is the same) come very dusty. If you were using them on stage I'd suggest giving them a rinse first.


I did a show with lots of coal on stage, all of which had to be washed before it could be used and then again at each new venue.

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Have used both in many productions......and it always leads to a nightmare scenario!!! :blink: Make sure you think about how much sand / stones you are bringing in and that the weight can be taken by the stage (remembering traps etc) especially if the sand is going to be wet.....the weight can soon add up. As others have said before - use a floor cloth of some description - it will help in the get out.....personally I would recc. using play pit sand rather than builders sand - it is a lots softer and not as gritty, although it is more expensive. Have never treated any of it as far as I remember ....

Thats all I remember for now.....

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I only read the initial post in this topic so apologies if this is a repeat but I feel it needs to be said.


As a Venue Manager I will not let sand into the venue.

This is a lesson I have learned the hard way.


sand will dry out completly over time and become an even finer dust. This dust will NEVER completly leave the building and will work its way into ALL of the venue equipment. you will have to have ALL of that equipment serviced and cleaned, and not just the week after the show, but several weeks later.


I will not let sand into the venue.



not to mention the effect of this dust on peoples lungs.........


Stephen Bourke

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I did a production where we created a sand dune on stage.

we put carpet underneith as this helped to contain the sand better than a floorcloth. we used coarse builders sand and didn't have a big dust problem with it

and best of all as a lighting designer sand takes colour really well


cheers tony

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I will not let sand into the venue


A great post there explaining the reasons why not to use sand.


I think the worst floor covering I have ever used was straw for a themed party. It was only a couple of bales of hay around a studio complex but what a mess. I had nothing to do with spec'ing the show so I would have guessed that the straw hadn't been treated with flame retardant. Ok it wasn't a show but it was around in areas where people where smoking and also lanterns where around on floor bases.

The de rig for that evening took around 2 hours after a full days fit up, but it took another 4 hours to get rid of the straw.

So I have always said no to straw.

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