A Cyclorama is a large piece of fabric or curtain situated at the very back of the stage. When lit correctly is used to represent a backdrop like a sky or open space on the stage. The fabric is usually held concave to create the illusion of depth and distance or unlimited space.
Cycloramas, known as “cyc”, can also be projected on to create additional effects, common uses of this include clouds or stars to connote the night’s sky, green spaces or masking backdrops.
The cyclorama dates back to the 19th century, where it was popular in the German theatre. A cyclorama is usually canvas (large stage) or muslin (smaller version). The best for theatre use is a lightweight woven material. In order to best achieve this effect cycs must be seamless, so we suggest using filled cloth or seamless white canvas when manufacturing yours.
It is hung at 0% fullness (flat). When possible, it is best to stretch it on the sides and weight it on the bottom to create a flat and even surface. As seams tend to interrupt the smooth surface of the cyclorama, it is usually constructed from extra-wide material.
There is also the infinity cyclorama, commonly used in television and in film studios. It features a smooth curve at the bottom which meets the studio floor. This gives an effect of a corner-less joint and an infinity floor illusion.
Lighting designers work with cycloramas to create amazing and exciting backdrops on the stage, using different colours, light and patterns.
A cyclorama can be front lit or, if it is constructed of translucent and seamless material, backlit directly or indirectly with the addition of a white “bounce” drop.
Or for a simpler use, they can simply be painted to fit a show or scene, commonly known as the classic ‘backdrop’.
Let us bring your theatre to life with our wide range of backdrops, by contacting our specialist team today.