Monday, December 6, 2021


The first thing you need to perform a play is an area for your actors to stand on. This is referred to as an "acting area." On a large stage you may have multiple acting areas, where on a small stage you may only have one. Each acting area needs to be lit, and dressed for the scene you will perform there.

But what if you don't have a stage at all? Say you are renting space at a community center, or you are a theater teacher and all you have is your classroom. 

Never fear! In this article we will teach you how to build a simple platform that will become your acting area or mini-stage. You can tailor the dimensions and number of platforms to fit the space you have available. This design can also be used on a larger stage to help break up your acting areas. You can even stack them to create a dynamic set for your actors to perform on.

The Build 

Most dimensional lumber in the USA comes in 4x8 foot dimensions, so we will use that as our template for this build. If you have a different size available, tweak the plans to fit what you have.

Standard floors have rails running under them with a skin of sheet lumber on top. These rails are usually spaced 16 inches apart. The shorter the run, the stronger these rails are. So, with that in mind we want to build our frame so it looks like this:

In our case, we built the frame using 2 x 4s (1.5 x 3.5in actual measurements), and put runners every 24 inches. Once we added the 1/2 inch plywood to the surface and nailed it to the runners, the result was a sturdy 4 inch riser. 

If you want your platform a little taller you can add six feet to the bottom using the same 2 x 4s. We made our platform 12 inches tall, so our cuts were 11.5 inches long. We placed our feet on the 4 corners and the outer edge of the center runner.

Build List

8ft rail x 2

3ft 9in rail x 5

8 x 4ft sheet of 1/2 or thicker plywood x 1

11.5in feet x 6

This is for a single platform, if your space allows, you can make more than one and get an 8 x 8ft stage, or 4 x 16ft stage, etc... You could even add a 4 x 4ft platform to one end of your stage for an even more elevated acting space.

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