A fly system, flying system or theatrical rigging system, is a system of lines (e.g. ropes), blocks (pulleys), counterweights and related devices within a theater that enables a stage crew to quickly, quietly and safely fly (hoist) components such as curtains, lights, scenery, stage effects and, sometimes, people (e.g. in Peter Pan). Systems are typically designed to fly components between clear view of the audience and out of view, into the large opening, fly loft, above the stage.
Fly systems are often used in conjunction with other theatre systems, such as scenery wagons, stage lifts and stage turntables, to physically manipulate the mise en scène.
Theatrical rigging is most prevalent in proscenium theatres with stage houses designed specifically to handle the significant dead and live loads associated with fly systems. Building, occupational safety, and fire codes limit the types and quantity of rigging permitted in a theatre based on stage configuration. Theatrical rigging standards are developed and maintained by organizations such as USITT and ESTA (now PLASA).
Famous quotes containing the words fly and/or system:
“The fly sat upon the axel-tree of the chariot-wheel and said, What a dust do I raise!”
—Aesop (6th century B.C.)
“Some rough political choices lie ahead. Should affirmative action be retained? Should preference be given to people on the basis of income rather than race? Should the system beand can it bescrapped altogether?”
—David K. Shipler (b. 1942)