Props Safety in a Post COVID-19 World

Prominent Props Master, Jay Duckworth, discusses what backstage safety may look like post-pandemic. It is obvious that crew members and actors are in close quarters backstage, so what steps can theatres make to ensure the safety of all involved? Duckworth looks into the ideas of: Planning Ahead Laminating pre-check lists for easy disinfecting Prop Sanitation Handing-off props Stocking Up PPE & Sanitation supplies What additional efforts can we make to better prepare once theatre re-opens? VIEW ARTICLE via

Podcast Recommendation: Silk Flowers & Papier Mache Hearts

Calling all props makers, artists, and designers! Looking for some inspiration, education, or want to learn more about your craft? Check out the podcast Silk Flowers & Papier Mache Hearts – A podcast which discusses the world of props in the performing arts and beyond, and features interviews from professionals from Broadway, regional theatre, and more. Silk Flowers & Papier Mache Hearts has new episodes out every Tuesday. You can listen to the latest episode HERE. You can follow the podcast on Twitter here: @SilkMache The podcast is co-hosted by prop master Eric Hart ( Prop Building Guidebook: For Theatre, Film, and TV, and The Prop Effects Guidebook: Lights, Motion, Sound, and Magic) and prop master Ashley Flowers. Learn more.

The Fake Food Cookbook

The Fake Food Cookbook: Props You Can’t Eat for Theatre, Film, and TV created by Karestin Harrison and Tamara L. Honesty from Focal Press is a handy new resource for prop makers in all areas of the entertainment industry. Learn more and give it a try: READ ARTICLE via

Head Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna Talks ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald’

via To celebrate the final trailer for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” Warner Bros. hosted an epic fan event in New York City on Monday, September 24. After getting all of the scoop on the costumes from Colleeen Atwood, we headed to the other side of 38 Parlor Loft to The Wand Room. Here all of the key wands were on display and Head Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna gave us some insight into his work on the film: The Knockturnal: Did you work on the last film as well? Pierre Bohanna: I did, yes! Luckily, I did the last film. We also did all of the Potter films as well. The Knockturnal: So you’ve been doing this for years? Pierre Bohanna: Yes.  Somehow I’ve made a career out of it. The Knockturnal: That’s incredible. And so tell me about the vision for the part...

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

via 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 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 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 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 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 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

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