Church Furniture: All the World’s a Stage
Choosing the Right Stage or Riser for Your Sanctuary
All the world’s a stage, Shakespeare wrote…
Yes, but when you are considering purchasing church furniture, do you wonder how you get stages into your chapel? And do you really want stages or choral risers? Folding or mobile? Stage skirting or not?
Unfortunately, for all his brilliance, Shakespeare did not pen guidelines for furnishing the modern sanctuary. What’s a post-Elizabethan person to do? Fortunately, we are here to fill in blanks that the Bard did not.
Stages and Risers
First, how is a stage different than a riser?
If you have a chorus or band you might want to consider a riser. Risers are made specifically for choruses and bands. They are typically three rows wide and go back in ever-increasing heights, two to four rows high. You can get them carpeted or uncarpeted, with or without guardrails and with or without steps. You can also get them tapered or straight. A single choral platform normally fits four to five adults or six children. Band risers are usually wider, allowing the band members to sit on chairs.
The drawback of risers is when you need an elevated area in your sanctuary for more than just a chorus or a band. You might want a large speaking platform with plenty of elbow room for VIPs or for a band with lots of equipment, or you might even want the platform to double as a dance floor or dais. In these situations, you need a stage.
Mobile or Portable Stage or Riser?
Once you’ve decided whether you want risers or stages, ask yourself if you need them to be portable or mobile. At the very least, a stage or riser should be portable. This means that the legs can be folded underneath, allowing the riser or stage to be transported from room-to-room or into a storage area. Most risers or stages are sold with optional caddies that allow you to stack and roll the whole lot to storage or another room.
Beyond portability, some risers and stages can be mobile, meaning that they have wheels built into them. Not only can you fold them up, but once folded you can roll them without a caddy. Although mobility has its advantages, they tend to be more expensive. Mobile stages are a great convenience and something worth considering. However, statistically most people find portable stages and risers perfectly adequate.
To Skirt or Not to Skirt
Skirting is the tablecloth-like material that surrounds a stage or riser. These come in different styles, but the most popular is box-pleated skirting. Most people choose black for their skirting, but it comes in a whole host of colors. Ask your supplier for a swatch of possible colors. Skirting is an inexpensive way to make your stage or riser look great — and professional.
If all the world is a stage, then your sanctuary needs to be well-equipped with the right type of stage (or riser) and podium. How you furnish your sanctuary can speak volumes about your message without a word even being said.