I was lucky enough to spend part of my morning with Coutrney Strong our Props Designer. She took me around the prop shop and explained some of the prop-making process to me! I learned that things are not always what they appear. For example, from off-stage, food often looks like real food… well, it’s not! It’s fake! Often made of some strange materials.
This “Great Stuff” is used to make all kinds of things. Like this food:
It’s definitely not edible! That green cake is foam underneath and then sculpted/decorated with clay. How cool is that?!
These tastey cucumber and egg sandwiches are wooden, and all hand painted!
Here, you can see that this glass appears to have a pink drink in it. From off-stage, that’s exactly how they want it to appear. In reality, though it’s just lightly painted on the inside so it looks like it has something in it!
See? Just a little pink paint goes a long way!
Alissa, one of our property artisans, was working hard on chairs for A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. The chair she is sitting on is how they originally looked, then they were painted and are now being distressed using sandpaper!
The prop department is always looking for new things for the shows, but on a budget. Courtney took me around to a couple of local thrift stores – it was really cool to see how her mind works in regards to seeing something in its current state and imagining what it could be and how it would fit into one of our shows. For instance, most anything can be painted. The chairs Courtney was looking for at the store were orange, but to suit a show like A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC or LES MISERABLES, fancy dining chairs would need to look like natural wood or be painted cream like what Alissa has done above.
Another thing that has to be considered is the practicality of a prop. In A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, at one point a character breaks a glass. Now, you can’t break real glass on stage – that would make a mess and be very dangerous! The prop team is currently looking into alternatives, like a breakaway glass made of sugar. How cool is that?!
It was a fun morning! Thanks, Courtney and Alissa for showing me around!