The Build

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The process of building Lightwire Theater’s electroluminescent characters starts with the creators and the cast. They build everything themselves from the ground up, with each sculpture taking nearly 200 hours of intensive labor. The foundation begins with a base that includes triggers and armatures. They utilize recyclable materials including aluminum rods, election signs, skate board wheels, dryer ducting, plumbing supplies, PVC pipes, fishing poles, duct tape, zip ties and back packs to help define peaks and angles. These common household items help create durable and pliable sculptures that can withstand the movement of the dancers and multiple performances. Black fabric is added to the sculpture for dimension and then lined with electroluminescent wire known as “el wire” which is soldered everywhere the wire is connected. Unlike black lights, “el wire” can be powered by batteries, requires no theatrical lighting and gives a 360-degree of glowing light. Once the character is “turned on” it can use up to 16 AA or rechargeable batteries per performance. The result…anything your inner-child can dream of including 16-ft. tall birds, dinosaurs, ducks, soldiers, swords and more!