Props

A Look at the Masks and the Puppets in The Lion King

via www.stage-directions.com It was this week 21 years ago, Oct. 15, 1997 to be precise, that The Lion King played its first preview and audiences first saw the beautiful and intricate costumes, masks and puppetry so central to the narrative and to the unique experience of the production. Adam Savage and the team at Tested went backstage at The Lion King during its run in San Francisco in this video visit to the musical’s puppet shop, where puppet supervisor Michael Reilly walked them through the numerous intricate and varied puppets and masks used in the performance and showed how they’re maintained in their traveling workshop. The production and design credits for the show when it opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre were: Scenic Design by Richard Hudson Costume Design by Juli...

Register for the LiNK Grad School Auditions & Interviews! (Hosted by USITT & SETC)

Where Master’s Candidates and Recruiters Connect SETC and USITT partner each fall to bring graduate theatre degree programs together with people considering options for interviews, auditions, and information exchange. Connect with more than 50 programs across theatre disciplines including Acting, Design, Technology, and Management. Explore your options for advanced education and find your dream grad program in one convenient, affordable location. 5th Annual LiNK When: Nov. 9-11, 2018 Where:  Crowne Plaza Hotel Atlanta-Airport  |  Atlanta, GA For Candidates Register early with your resume, portfolio, and head shot for advance review by recruiters. $50 Early Registration: Aug. 1 – Sept. 12, 2018 $75 Late Registration: Sept. 13 – Oct. 24, 2018 $95 Onsite Registration: Onsite...

Props Fabricator: Fur, Foam & Focus

BY: MICHAEL EDDY via www.stage-directions.com In The Shop with Props Fabricator Zoë Morsette Zoë Morsette knew at an early age that she wanted to work in the theater. Inspired by a childhood filled with art and summer theater on Cape Cod where she grew up, Morsette completed her BA in theater and dance at Skidmore College in 1973 and then moved to NYC. She worked as a milliner at Radio City Music Hall for two years and then as a shop supervisor and fabricator in the display industry for five years. Freelance since 1984, Morsette has built props, models, costumes, and puppets for 51 Broadway productions, dozens of commercials and print ads, feature films, television shows, theme parks, ice shows, ballets, operas, and the Macy’s Parade. Morsette spoke with Stage Directions to discuss her wor...

A Day in the Life of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Head of Props

BY KATE YOUDE  via www.inews.co.uk It’s a little bit like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get,” says Alan Smith of his job. A pig’s head takes pride of place on one of the cluttered benches in his dark workshop, while a hound’s skull peers down from a shelf. Both are fibreglass – for Smith is head of costume props, footwear and armoury at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he brings designers’ artistic visions to life. He made Captain Hook’s hook for Wendy & Peter Pan and Miss Trunchbull’s prosthetic body for the original production of Matilda the Musical. A gold lamé bondage suit sticks in his mind, although he can no longer remember the show it was for. “I’ve done some very strange things,” he admits. Recent project...

Employment: Actors Theatre of Louisville – UPDATED 06.05.18

WORKING AT ACTORS THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE – UPDATED 06.05.18 We invite applicants for the following positions to join us in supporting our vision to build a home for inspired collaboration that helps to shape the future of the American theatre. Actors Theatre is committed to recruiting and fostering a diverse community of staff and students. Individuals from traditionally under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. AA/EOE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR The Artistic Director (AD) will lead the development and evolution of the artistic vision for Actors Theatre. In co-equal partnership with Managing Director, Kevin E. Moore, the AD will also lead the organization to ensure the theatre company’s success – as measured by its artistic excellence, its engagement and impact in the community, its fis...

How -To: Benches from ‘Beautiful Star’

BY ERIC HART via http://www.props.eric-hart.com A few months ago, Triad Stage put on their Christmas show, Beautiful Star. Though it was a remount, it had some major design changes this year. For the props shop, we needed to build six church benches that could be rearranged throughout the show to create various “locations.” For the quatrefoil cut-out, I laid out the pattern with a compass and cut it with a jigsaw. I sanded it smooth using a sanding drum that was nearly the same diameter as the individual circles in the pattern. Cutting the quatrefoils I took the time to make one of the quatrefoils as perfect as possible, and then used a pattern cutting bit on my router to cut the rest of the side panels. I needed twelve panels for the six benches I was making. So many panels The team wante...

Props from Hamilton & More Featured Up Close in New Exhibit

BY RUTHIE FIERBERG via www.playbill.com Pieces by the Public Theater’s Jay Duckworth and other prop masters will be on display in the new exhibit Props and Fine Art From Movies, Television & Theatre at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, opening in March. A hero prop is any item meant to be used by a show’s leading actor. That could be a letter, like the one Phillipa Soo burned in Hamilton, or Shylock’s money box, like the one Al Pacino held in The Merchant of Venice (both featured in the exhibit). Props are the object you don’t think about—and aren’t supposed to. “I’m sure you have seen my team’s work before, but I hope that you have never noticed it,” says Duckworth. “Unfortunately, that is the goal for a props master is to be so seamless our work only catches the eye whe...

Don’t Glue Anything! ….Unless You Have This Handy Chart

via www.makezine.com For years I wondered why all my beautiful small-scale models kept falling apart. I underestimated the most important factor: adhesive. You can glue almost everything with super glue — but some materials just won’t stay together. Is it possible to glue rubber to glass? Will plastic stick to wood? Once you mix several different materials, it can get really confusing. For those moments it’s convenient to have a handy table that gives a quick overview. View Original Article

How to Make Breakaway Glass with Isomalt

BY ERIC HART via http://www.props.eric-hart.com Now that the holidays have passed, I am back to posting companion videos for my upcoming book, The Prop Effects Guidebook. The latest is on how to make a breakaway glass using isomalt. Isomalt has a lot of advantages over cane sugar, and it is not much more expensive. Most of the work in this video was done by my assistant at the time, Lisa Bledsoe. We needed a breakable whiskey glass for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, so she made a mold of a real glass and figured all of this stuff out. I bought the isomalt from Make Your Own Molds, which also has some great tutorials to help you get started with making breakaway glass. I will be releasing more of these companion videos as we draw closer to the book’s release. You can watch all of them on YouTube. T...

How to Rig and then Quickly Restore a Falling Bookcase

BY: JAY DUCKWORTH via www.stage-directions.com “And that my friend is why I’m never allowed in Cook County without my state issued ID and an International Order of Odd Fellows ring.” “I hate to interrupt such an interesting story,” Alex said, “But we just got an email from the stage manager. Looks like they want the stage right shelf over the computer to fall and then restore in a six-second blackout.” That’s the shelf with all the teaching books on it, yeah?, I ask. “I’m afraid so, and if it falls all the way down the weight will break the computer monitor on the desk below it.” Let’s noodle on this tonight and see what we can come up with, I conclude. Alex mocked up a shelf the same size as the one on the set so we could try a few things out. Sce...

How The ‘STRANGER THINGS’ Upside Down Tunnel Drawings Came to Life

BY: MATT PATCHES via www.thrillist.com A mosaic of psychically illustrated drawings depicting the interdimensional tunnels under a small, Indiana town doesn’t just crayon itself into existence, you know. Someone has to draw it. In Stranger Things 2, that someone is Will Byers. While obsessives of the Netlfix series are eagerly awaiting Stranger Things Season 3 and some firm answers on what (or who?) the Mind Flayer really is, why it’s obsessed with the nerdy kid, or what its master plan for our Earthly plane will be, one thing they did learn in the series’ second installment is that when a shadowy monster gets in a person’s head, the host becomes a prolific, Crayola-wielding Willem de Kooning. Throughout Stranger Things 2, Will cranked out our first glimpse of the &...

Upholstering a Chaise

BY: ERIC HART via www.props.eric-hart.com I just finished Buyer and Cellar at Triad Stage. We needed an all-white antique French chaise. I could not find any within our budget, especially since I knew I would need to reupholster anything I found. One of the great prop secrets is that you can order furniture frames from companies that sell to professional upholsters. I found a company that made a chaise in the style I needed. You can order a frame unfinished and knocked down, which means it arrives without any paint or stain, and it is completely unassembled. The cost is a fraction of a finished piece (and the shipping is far cheaper, too). Unboxing the chaise The frame came flatpacked just like a piece of IKEA furniture, only instead of allen keys, it fit together with glue and dowels. Ass...

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