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Nobody Looks Up: The History of the Counterweight Rigging System: 1500 to 1925 is a must-read for all who work in and around technical theatre - stagehands, crew, manufacturers, designers, suppliers, consultants, and most importantly, those who are teaching the next generation of technicians.
The counterweight rigging system has dominated the theatre fly tower for the last half of the 20th century. And yet, the history of its evolution has been lost, until now.
In this first ever written history of the counterweight rigging system, author Rick Boychuk upends two core theatre myths. Stage rigging did not grow from a nautical tradition and counterweight rigging did not evolve from the hemp system. Boychuk neatly identifies the origins of the myth of the sailor-flyman and leaves no room for doubt. Counterweight rigging emerged from a European tradition of 17th century Torellian stage machinery. Hemp rigging was a side show.