In just about every theatrical production, equipment and backgrounds need to be moved on an off stage. Theater casters simplify the process by allowing free movement and maneuverability for large and awkward pieces. While many performers and perhaps the entire audience do not necessarily notice the wheels and the connecting parts, without casters a lot of work and effort would need to be placed into simply transitioning from one scene to another. Casters can improve virtually any theatrical production in any number of ways.
When the curtain is down the magic of the theater does not simply stop. In fact, quite the opposite is likely true because scenery and props are being moved on and off stage to accommodate the next scene. Casters allow for quiet transportation of the potentially huge items, which helps keep the audience in the dark about what is about to happen. Sound is an important factor to consider because it helps the keep the illusion alive.
Dragging and lifting equipment between scenes can require a lot of time. In the world of theater, time matters. Therefore, mounting wheels to equipment and pieces allows stagehands to quickly and effortlessly get the background ready for the actors. Since the time between curtains needs to be measured in minutes, any help is usually appreciated by the people working behind the scenes.
Often the wheels and casters are visible to the audience; however, decorative casters allow for these technical pieces to go largely unnoticed by the audience. Decorative casters are usually a special piece of equipment, which means producers, directors, and set designers need to have a plan in place before the items are ordered let alone installed. Still, a decorative caster can stay well-hidden, which helps keep the audience focused on what is actually happening on the stage instead of looking for technical errors.
In the end, casters help the entire theatrical production. By allowing for fast soundless movement of equipment and displays, the casters keep everything running on schedule. The decorative functions assure that nobody notices the equipment, which is just another element to a production well-planned and developed. While a small piece of the overall play or performance, casters play a pivotal part in making sure that everything goes off safely in the specific amount of allotted time, which makes them invaluable pieces of a much larger puzzle.