Plasma-Cutting Through The Jungle Book

by:  Nick Hernon, Scenic Carpenter at 08/26/2013

Scenery Mechanic Jesse Washburn, slicing through the brush of the jungle with his handy plasma cutter

What helps the Huntington take a show built by our Chicagoan comrades and fit it into our own home-on-Huntington-Avenue?

What can eat through half-inch steel, spitting the sparks out like so many watermelon seeds?

What fourth state of matter exists in neon signs, stars, and the Huntington Theatre Company's metal-fabrication shop? The answer to all three of these questions is plasma.

Here's our very own Scenery Mechanic, Jesse Washburn, using a plasma cutter to slice through half-inch steel and build a part for one of The Jungle Book's scenic effects. The plasma cutter uses an electrical arc and compressed air to generate a narrow stream of super-heated gas (plasma) hot enough to melt metal and fast-moving enough to blow the molten metal out of the cut.

That is what makes the plasma-cutter work. What makes Jesse work is 10 years of experience as a theatre technician, eight seasons with the Huntington, and a serious appreciation for ice cream.


  1. A great website with interesting and unique material what else would you need.

Post a Comment


Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
Main: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 | 617 266 7900 | BOX OFFICE 617 266 0800

© 2017 Huntington Theatre Company. All rights reserved | Trouble viewing this site? Please download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.