**The above photo was taken by the super talented Jerri Shafer and all rights belong to her! Thank you JAMS Photography!!
This month’s Create Date was a little different than in the past because we were completely in charge. My husband was playing the part of Concord in Spamalot this summer for Pickerington Community Theatre and he needed an arrow rig so he could appear to be “shot” on stage. We had a very basic idea that we could use a mousetrap as the base of the rig, but everything else was completely made up. And we couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out!
As you can see in the above photo, we ended up attaching a lot to the mousetrap. The first step was to take off the part that would hold the cheese and the part that would hold the trap open. This left us with just the bar that would normally catch the mouse and the springs that “loaded” it. We then attached a one inch section cut from a 1×2 board to stop the action of the bar with the arrow pointing up. We cut off the rest of the mousetrap back that extended beyond this piece of 1×2 and attached it to the bar with small zip ties. This helped give us something to attach the arrow to and it helped keep the bar from pulling out of the wood. We needed the rig to last at least 4 rehearsals and 6 performances, so we had to do all we could to make it more durable.
The whole mousetrap was then attached to a paint stirrer to stabilize it against my husband’s chest more while he wore it. It also provided something to sew lengths of elastic to so that we could add it and remove it under his costume easily. A couple of quick coats of spray paint so the rig was more subtle and we were in business!
I was able to use my seam ripper to make a long slit down the front of his tunic costume. We then disguised the slit with big patches and a panel of fabric that was behind the arrow rig but still attached to the front of the tunic. This made it possible for him to hide the rig better when he first appeared on stage and made it less likely to show his black under-layer and destroy the illusion when he fell. (The fabric panel and spray paint were unfortunately added after the top photo, but we were very much solving problems as they arose at that point.) We added a black binder clip with a cord that ran out a hole in the side of his costume so he could trigger the rig at the appropriate time and it was done! We were so proud and relieved to have been able to make something that lasted the whole run of the show! It is always fun to be part of stage magic. 🙂