Martin Jaquish, masquerade
The performance area of the stage will be 36 feet wide and
approximately 24 feet deep (the diagram shows 26 feet from front edge of
stage to backdrop, 2 feet of space is allotted for the backdrop). This is
the part of the stage that the audience will be able to see. The full
stage will actually be wider (60') to allow for stage-level backstage
space to the left and right, so that contestants will have space to ready
themselves between moving up the backstage stairs and walking out before
There will be multi-colored theater-style lighting (white, blue, red, amber) and two spotlights available. The stage will "go to black" between each act to add drama, however, it will not be total blackness, but as close to it as safety permits.
The stage height will be 42" from the arena floor, requiring contestants to move up a set of double-wide stairs. For costumes that utilize oversized feet, stilts, tentacles, hooves, and so on, if they are unable to navigate steps, they may go up to stage level without them, and then use the backstage space concealed from the audience to put them on, and afterwards, to remove them. These backstage spaces are usually called "wings" in theater terminology. They will have rails around them for safety. We are sorry, but ramps are not practical given the design of the arena. Tall costumes will have all the headroom they need, and more.
Standard stage entry will be stage-left (in other words, if you are on the stage facing the audience, entry is to your left), and standard exit will be stage-right. Groups may enter and exit from both sides if they like. There will be a string of lights along the front of the stage for safety, and some big guys in black crouching on the floor in front of the stage to warn you if you walk too close to the edge, and to endeavor to catch you if you stumble off. Standard format is that your lighting / sound will be faded up/ started just after your introduction is read by the M.C. and you enter the stage, and faded out as you exit the stage. If something different is desired, contestants may of course request whatever they like on the technical form filled out at the convention. There will be space behind the backdrop for contestants to store large props and set pieces ahead of time if they wish, so that they will already be at stage level.
Contestants will have the back rooms of the arena (AR1 & AR2) as a large changing area and Green Room (for those new to masquerades, a Green Room is the collective waiting room / lounge for contestants.). Some pipe and drape will be set up in areas to create semi-privacy for those that desire it, and there will be large contestant-only bathrooms for additional private changing and make-up needs. There will be mirrors and some food snacks in the Green Room, as well as a costume repair kit for emergencies. Electrical outlets will be available (for sewing machines, glue guns, hair dryers, etc.) Contestants need not use the Arena rooms for changing if they would prefer not to, and are welcome to change elsewhere (such as their hotel room), as long as some measure is taken to cover their costumes as they go from their hotel to the arena (a bulky coat, wrapped up in a blanket, etc.). The Green Room will be available all day long Friday, so contestants may start getting dressed (or make last-minute assembly of their costumes) anytime. Items may be brought in early in the day for storage until later on, but with many contestants and staff going in and out of the room all day, we cannot guarantee flawless security every minute. If you have show items to store Wednesday night and/or Thursday night, we can probably accommodate you with those as well.
During the day, contestants should access the Arena using the North doors out of the Spaceport Lounge / Underbelly Bar (these doors lead into the middle of the Arena). After 5:00 p.m., contestants should use the security point at the corridor just to the west of these doors to gain access. This corridor curves around behind the stage. If it is 5:00 p.m. or later, please report directly to the staff in the Green Room so we know you have arrived. Once contestants are fully in costume, a reference Polaroid picture for the judges will be taken. For the show itself, contestants will be escorted from the Green Room through the back corridor to where the curtained-off backstage areas are. There will be an official photographer along the way, and contestants will be asked to pose for an archival picture in front of a backdrop. While these are large corridors, in a couple of places there are signs hanging overhead that make for a brief vertical clearance of 8'. However, most of the corridor has more headroom and large costumes should have no problems at all. After their appearance on stage, contestants will travel through the corridor again to the main Photo Area stage to pose for a few dozen "fan photographers". Note that contestants are not obligated to pose in that area, but it is hoped that all will choose to enjoy doing so. For loading / unloading very large items from vehicles, contact the Masquerade Director for arrangement to use the arena loading dock.
contestants are to either return to the Green Room, or, if there is convenient seating still available, will be allowed to watch the rest of the show from a section of the audience, as long as they keep show staff appraised of their location at all times. Before the end of the judging intermission all contestants must be back in the Green Room so that they may be escorted back to the stage to receive any awards bestowed them. They may, if they are so inclined, then return to pose again in the Photo Area with their awards. Once all awards are presented, the show is over.
There will be a small room dedicated to locking up valuables
(such as purses, cameras), however, it's best to try to bring as few
valuables with you to the show as you can. We will do our best to secure
your valuables in the lock-up room (some of our stuff will be there, too),
but cannot be held responsible of something is lost or stolen.