Wire ropes are an important part of any theatrical stage and entertainment rigging. Stage rigging is vital for raising and lowering stage curtains, adding decorative set pieces that dangle from the ceiling, or even allow actors to swing onto the stage from above for a dramatic entry.
The theatrical industry has made many innovations over the past couple of years to improve the quality of their productions and stage designs. The use of wire rope will always be something to keep in mind if you want to give your performances a much-needed reliable solution that opens up many more possibilities.
Understanding Stage Rigging Basics
What is stage rigging?
Wire rope in a stage setting will be constantly stressed. You’ll see them dangling things from the roof, holding up heavy props, and even lowering people from higher points of the stage using manual hoists or other rigging systems. Durable wire ropes will ensure all of your actors are safe even when they’re performing a death-defying move, and it will ensure that it can hold up any stage props necessary for your show. In addition, it will also prevent your crowd from being injured, especially if you need to perform unique and extravagant set pieces no one has ever seen.
However, there are many different types of wire rope, and they’ll fit different purposes for your show. No matter if you’re putting on a theatrical performance or are part of a circus troupe, here are the wire rope varieties that we can recommend.
Stage rigging rope
General purpose rope is available in a number of different strengths, diameters, and sizes. It’s flexible, durable, and is commonly found in a number of different industries. For the entertainment sector, it’s the most common rope used to hold up props that you do not plan to move, such as static background pieces or for curtain use.
Galvanized wire rope shares a lot in common with general purpose rope. However, the big exception is it’s coated with zinc to make it less vulnerable to corrosion. This makes it perfect for outdoor shows that could happen in the rain or if water will be used in general for your performances.
Much like the galvanized cable, stainless steel boasts similar performance but are even more resistant to corrosion, making them fantastic for shows that use liquids or waters as the main component.
Tech-35 is a wire rope that offers a lot of rotational resistance. This means it’s perfect for props on a rotating stage or to attach to harnesses used by the actors as they perform incredible stunts and movements in the air.
Other theater rigging tools
Along with the above-mentioned types of wire rope, there are other stage rigging basic tools used in a stage rigging system. Counterweight fly systems use wire rope to help with larger loads being lifted on stage. The top of the counterweight arbor in a counterweight lift system is permanently suspended by several wire rope lift lines which then goes to the top of the fly tower and back down to load-bearing pipe battens.
Point hoists use wire rope because of their common use needing to be high speed. Looking up these different kinds of stage rigging systems can help you decide what rope is best for your entertainment rigging needs.
Theatrical Rigging Companies with the Best Wire Rope
We hope these wire rope stage rigging basics will help you pick the best entertainment rigging supplies for your next show. A ton of planning, science, and math goes into making the right selection and we here at Silver State Wire Rope are here to help with any rigging questions you may have along the way. Break a leg; but not with the literally by using the best wire rope in the business from Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging!