Wild Abandon Wings

For the Wild Abandon show, my director wanted the main character to have wings that appear at the very end before the final blackout of the show.

The biggest issue was figuring out how to create wings that can appear from no where, while none of the cast members left or entered the stage.

The entire show took place inside a box built out of 2x4s and covered in a black tarp material. there were no backstage or wing areas or any areas that were off stage. There were a few slits cut in the material where hands would appear with smaller props.

My director wanted the wings to look like bird wings and be onstage the entire night without anyone knowing they were there. So I built a folding mechanism based on actual bird wings.

I built the bones/frame out of plexiglass rods, fastened everything together with hockey tape, velcro and ribbon. I cut and painted the fabric into feathers. I sewed the all the parts of the wings together.

For the backpack that they came out of I had a lot of work to do. First I removed all the logos and labels, then I removed the zipper from the main pocket and cut the whole backpack clean in half. Then I attached strong velcro to the top of the bag and connected both halves of the bag together. then I attached weak snaps all the way around the edge of both sides to keep the bag together in a way that can come apart easily but keep everything tucked away.

I created a pocket system on the inside of the bag that the bone/frame fits into. That way I can remove the wings, repair them and put them back.

After everything was finished and folded and ready to go I assembled it all and closed the bag up. Then I remembered I needed a way for the wings to come out of the bag. So I attached long ribbons to the bone/frame. That way the actor can hang onto them and pull and the wings unfold and spread out to around a 8 foot wing span.

Below are pictures of my planning journal. They are sketches that I did throughout the process as well as colour palettes and inspiration.