Petal Drop Design Challenge

The director and design team for a production of Much Ado About Nothing have decided that during the wedding scene, they’d like to see a beautiful “rainfall” of flower petals over the lovers. It is your responsibility to make this happen. Here are some things you know about the effect:

  • It takes place center stage.
  • The area the petals should cover as they fall should be an approximately 3-foot diameter circle.
  • The petals used for this effect will be silk flower petals, approximately 1½” x 1½” in size.
  • The petals should fall gently, slowly, and continuously for about 30 seconds (note that neither the director nor the designers have been specific about what “gently” or “slowly” means; you’ll need to make some educated decisions).
  • The total distance the petals must fall (between the level the lovers stand on and the lowest masked place the petal drop device can exist) is 15 feet.
  • The petal drop device itself will hang on a 1½” Schedule 40 batten, and must have a footprint not greater than 20” by 20”.
  • The petal drop device, once installed, will be inaccessible to stage hands or crew, unable to be lowered, and must be reloadable from the ground without using a ladder or lift.
  • The petal drop device must be operated from 25 feet offstage of the effect; the operator will be on a level 15 feet below the level of the petal drop device.
  • The petal drop device must be reloadable in less than 10 minutes.
  • The moment in the play when the petal drop is in use has some musical scoring, but it is light and airy—meaning the petal drop device should be relatively silent.
  • The producers are interested in any device you design being reusable for other drop effects, including snow, confetti, and ping pong balls.