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  • 1.  Seeking periaktoi advice

    Posted 12-30-2017 10:13
    Hi all -- we're building a couple of 3x8 periaktoi for our one act festival show, and wondering if anyone has design advice. 
    We can make "permanent" prisms, but I'd rather have pieces that could be folded/collapsed/assembled on site for easy transportation.  I also like the idea of being able to swap out sides with different types of flats for future shows. 

    For this show, the pieces would be rotated in view of the audience, which would need to be both smooth and fast -- so using casters, except I'd like to set them inside the peri so that they aren't visible... Except that would make locking the wheels difficult, so I'm worried about the pieces rolling away.   

    We do have a design plan, but this is new-ish territory for both me and my set builder, so any advice or been-there wisdom would be amazing!    

    Josie Tierney-Fife
    English Teacher/Theater Director
    Gorham, Maine

  • 2.  RE: Seeking periaktoi advice

    Posted 12-31-2017 15:10
    We built periaktoi last year and built standard flats and attached them to triangular 2x4 frames top and bottom. This allows them to be broken down for transport or storage and the flats can be used as part of our standard scenic stock. It also allows one flat be removed for repair without taking down the entire periaktoi.

    Maury Hancock
    Richmond VA

  • 3.  RE: Seeking periaktoi advice

    Posted 12-31-2017 22:46
    Wow!  This is a lot!  I wish I could deliver on all your asks, but I don't have a good answer!  I'll just share what we have done.  We have periaktoi we have used for several performances.  We have three 2x4 triangular frames for each periaktoi.  The bottommost frame has a triangular piece of plywood on which three wheels are mounted.  We do not use locking wheels, as the stage is flat and the periaktoi don't hold people!  We use 1x4s for our verticals.  We screw lauan facings (or thin plywood) onto each periaktoi so they cover the view of the wheels, leaving a 1/2" gap up from the floor.  The lauan lasts a long time and can be repainted every show.  The lauan can also be laid out on the floor while painting so the seams match up perfectly once they are screwed on.  I hope someone has an idea for a more 'collapsible'/'touring' friendly method!

  • 4.  RE: Seeking periaktoi advice

    Posted 01-01-2018 13:59
    We are about to build periaktoi, too, and this is all very helpful!

    Lindsay - what are the dimensions of your sides?  4'x8' or something else?  

    Kristin Hall
    Drama Director
    Lincoln Public Schools
    Arlington MA

  • 5.  RE: Seeking periaktoi advice

    Posted 01-01-2018 16:47
    FWIW, I did a blog post on periaktoi a couple of years ago, showing a few ways of getting more mileage out of them. You can see it at

    George F. Ledo
    Set designer

  • 6.  RE: Seeking periaktoi advice

    Posted 01-01-2018 18:50
    There are flanges that have bolts in the center that will rotate.  If you use two of these you could create a periaktoi that spins without using casters.

    Christian Garretson
    Towson MD

  • 7.  RE: Seeking periaktoi advice

    Posted 01-02-2018 11:40
    There is a lot of good advice and information here, so I hope it has all helped. I don't think my reply will be of too much help per se BUT...I love using periaktois and have done do in several productions.  The most recent was in The Frogs (Sondheim via Aristophanes) and I did save two of the smaller ones.  My TD builds strong and so all we've used in the past were too big to store.

    Best invention since sliced bread from those Greeks, eh?

    Good luck and happy 2018 all!

    Valerie O'Riordan
    Drama Director, MFA, AEA, Russi House Provincial
    Archbishop Riordan High School
    Troup 5596, I.T.S.
    San Francisco CA