The use of scrims in the Carousel of Progress

SOURCE - Photo: Bill Young © 2002 Bill Young, All Rights Reserved

Scrimmed side theater

The highly reflective nature of a scrim can be seen in this flash-photo of the 1940s kitchen. Even though the action is lighted behind the scrim, the flash reflects off the scrim the way normal stage light does to obscure the action behind it.

The Carousel of Progress sets made use of a theatrical device called "scrims" to conceal smaller rotating stages at the left and right sides of the main stage in the Act I, II and III theaters. This allowed multiple scenes to be played out in each theater. A scrim is a gauze-like curtain with a weave that is wide enough to allow the action behind it to be seen when the lights are lowered on the main stage. When the lights are up on the main stage, the audience sees only a painted background. When the main stage lights dim and the action is lit behind the scrim, the audience sees the previously hidden stage.


More Content