This article has a follow-up article here. The follow-up includes better instructions on how to include multiple pages.


This is a set design from 2006 for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It was for Kearsarge Arts Theatre (KAT) Company, a summer children’s theatre program in New Hampshire. They produced in a space with no flies and limited wing space.

I broke down the settings into three categories. Everything happened, in general, in either the village, the woods, or the castle. The foundation of the set design was a set of wings that could transform casually from one of these three to the other. This was managed with a device that I usually call “story books panels.”

We built double-sided 4’x8′ hard flats mounted to pivot on one end like pages. The ensemble turned the page whenever there was a change in setting, and the show did not pause at all. There were, of course, specific settings WITHIN each of these three places. A single projector on white curtains up-center created places within each general setting. The projections completed each look and required minimal added physical scenery.

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Since posting this design online, I get occasional emails asking how we made these panels work. These were based on a slightly earlier design that I did for the musical, “Ernest in Love,” for the Barnstormers Theatre in New Hampshire. Among other elements, there were two free-roaming wagons that acted like miniature box-set rooms.

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Each had flippers on the front and back that were double-sided. This was a cheap, low-tech method of switching locale quickly. We did not use any special hardware. Simple corner-brackets and bolts created the top hinge and a “peg” that the flat sat on. A straight caster on a block gives support if needed and goes completely unnoticed by the audience. The caster and block can be placed on the very end of the flat, or in the middle.

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There were other types of flipper in “Ernest in Love,” and in other shows I have designed, but I’ll keep this video short, and end it right here.
Music for this video: Bass Walker Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
This video was made for Matt Kizer Scenic and Lighting Design © 2019 Matt Kizer All rights reserved.