Spike (stagecraft)

Spike (Stagecraft)

Spike (stagecraft)

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In stagecraft, a spike is a marking, usually made with a piece of tape, although some houses (theatres) use paint pens, put on the stage. This marking is used to show the correct position for set pieces, furniture, actors and other items which move during the course of a performance and are required to stop in a specific location. Usually coloured gaffer, masking or Electrical tape is used. Several companies make rolls of very thin gaffer's or masking tape marketed as "spike tape" specifically for this purpose. When used to indicate locations under dark conditions, phosphorescent tape (sometimes referred to as "glow tape") is used for practical and safety reasons. Performer spikes are generally only used when positioning needs to be precise, either for safety or performance reasons, such as lighting specials.

During the technical rehearsal one of the Stage management team will be ready to mark positions as required. To enable spike placement to be done quickly, staff may precut small strips of tape either by scoring tape still on the roll or by cutting strips of tape and placing them onto a small piece of wood or clipboard (called a spike board). When spiking a position for a performer, a small cross is typically used. For furniture items and trucks the marks are usually two pieces of tape laid at right angles at two points on the item. Usually this will be the upstage side to minimise the visual impact for the audience. In larger productions the......
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