Picture of Rehearsal Cubes - for acting
A cube by any other name is a cube but this is a rehearsal cube.

They are used as stand-in props to help block out or act out a scene. There are endless combinations and with a little imagination, they go a long way. Stack up two cubes for a table. Use one as a chair. Put three of them together on the floor to make a bed. Turn one up so the open end is facing the audience to act as a TV set or cupboard. Use them as podiums or soapboxes to stand on. Stack three, two, then one to make a staircase or represent mountains. The possibilities are limitless.

Caitlin's gifted program at school has interaction with TADA! Youth Theater performing arts program which sends out a "consulting" team to help classes write, produce and perform their own original play or musical. TADA! does have a catchy theme song that grows on you, I must say. Her school is fortunate to be able to provide such enrichment to those fourth and fifth graders in their daily course of study.

I had volunteered to build six cubes to help with this year's production, a musical with "King Tut" as the theme. (No, Walking like an Egyptian is a pop culture thing). In researching what was needed I found that commercially built cubes or modular set pieces are quite expensive. Many other starving artists and production companies have always rigged a few up. There are these acting cubes but with my limited budget, frugalness and having volunteered to do this for the benefit of the kids, this is what I came up with.

I will add more pictures later if I can to show the cubes in use or abuse.

Disclaimer: Any references to brats, preteen monsters, or similar are meant in a loving way.

Really, these are the best bunch of kids in the world. They just need to be yelled at once in a while. That's entertainment.
kaelibc11 months ago

Can you make these in a rectangular shape? Needing to mimic storage trunks.

caitlinsdad (author)  kaelibc11 months ago

Sure you can. I had made everything cube shape because I would set one measurement on the chop saw to cut all the pieces easier. If you were going for a rectangle, I would still put in some center braces like you are putting together two cubes side by side to retain the strength if you were to stand on it. The top would be a longer piece of plywood. For a storage trunk sized piece I don't think you will have any problems in just expanding the cube shape. Just test it out when framed up and you will know if you have to reinforce it some more. Good luck.

Not knowing any thespians, nor having been one (besides a little experimenting in college) I (foolishly) thought the cubes were soundproof boxes that you put your head in in order to rehearse lines or sing or something of that nature, without driving neighbors or other thespians up the wall before the production even opened. After viewing your ible, I like your idea better. Hahaha yeah, I'm a fool, but one day I'll make an instructable that will benefit fools like myself. Of course they won't know it at first glance and it will be entirely useless to normal people. But if I can help one person to see as I see, I will not be alone. We will. Nicely done.
Thanks so much for this! This is exactly what I was looking for.
Good job done by you. Thanks
StoryAddict6 years ago
It's nice to see others using this box method! I just stage managed a production of "Nickel and Dimed" this past spring with a local college troupe in Indiana and our basic set/props were something akin to this - but rather heavy boxes. Needless to say, the boxes did wonders and helped make sets for every scene or were simply stacked to the sides if necessary (our director's vision was very Brechtian, so absurdity and outlandish props were the goal). They built all the boxes (although I think one was previously built as a type of trunk so we just had to paint it) extremely sturdy to take a beating though, so you could stand up any one of them without fear of falling.
caitlinsdad (author)  StoryAddict6 years ago
Thanks for sharing. These cubes got a workout at their production. The kids were commenting who had the best idea of arranging the cubes when they were choreographing or marking the layout? The other class stacked them 3 - 2 -1 in a pyramid shape tower. The singers sat on each plateau. Other times they were used as "solo" risers to get the main players up from the crowd. They were used as vendor stands in the marketplace scene. I did make a treasure chest prop out of cardboard/hotglue/gold paint. I should put up a pic.
lemonie6 years ago
These look robust, I can see them kicking around for years. They'll be some kind of legacy L
caitlinsdad (author)  lemonie6 years ago
They are rock-solid if you jump or sit on top of them. I've used the pocket-hole-screw method on a variety of projects and they have held up quite well. I'm pretty proud of how they turned out considering it was designed as I went along looking at my lumber pile and wondering if I will run out of material putting me way over budget if I need to purchase more.
spiffytessa6 years ago
We use those in drama class... Nice job, I would never have thought of making my own!
caitlinsdad (author)  spiffytessa6 years ago
Thanks, I guess you improvise without them but always nice to have.
NachoMahma6 years ago
. Great job!
gmjhowe6 years ago
Nice work! and well documented.
caitlinsdad (author)  gmjhowe6 years ago
Thanks. A more thespian inspired ible, I daresay.
good work non the less