Pippin - The Magic Box

Technical Director

The Director envisioned a darkened theatre where a boy unknowingly enters and becomes ensnared by the Leading Player and her cult of actors. The central scenic element was a 12’x8’x10’ box that would transform and open up in different configurations.  Over 25 illusions were built for this production, but the Magic Box is the most prevalent and exciting, providing our scene changes, as well as our grand finale where Pippin must jump into a pit of fire as he nearly falls victim to the suicide cult’s final push for his soul.



The base of the box was welded out of 2x2 box steel, and the walls and canopy made from 1x1. 4” casters were welded onto six legs, and a central pivot point was welded to the center of the box to be bolted directly into the stage deck to act as a giant turn table. inner walls were then inset on the 8’ sides for stability and to allow for hidden scenic elements to be revealed from double doors. Troughs were created in each corner for actors to hide behind when activating our illusions such as a kabuki drop and the ramp.

the ramp

The ramp was constructed out of 1x2 square tube steel and set into the frame with heavy-duty hinges. Two ZFX pulleys were installed to support the weight. The lines were run with cable keepers and installed with proper shackles, thimbles, etc. to resemble a drawbridge. Sandbags were then used to counterweight the ramp on the inside corners of the box upstage. When the door closes, two gate latches engage for safety.

the hearth and the chapel

The Hearth and Chapel are both seen for a short amount of time on stage, but their appearances come late in the show. For the Chapel, we installed a light-box to resemble a stained-glass window, and on the the Hearth side,  we laid in vac-u-formed stonework for the back wall, and built a fireplace with simulated embers.




Short North Stage, Spring 2019

  • Directed/choreographed by Edward Carignan II

  • Scenic Design by Jon Sabo

  • Lighting Design by Bowen Moss

  • Costume Design by Liz Bourgeois

  • Sound Design by Pat Ward

  • Music Direction by Zac Delmonte