Society & Culture & Entertainment Performing Arts

How to Make Theatre Props

    • 1). Ask the director of the theater production to provide a copy of the props list and script as far in advance of the performance as possible. It may be up to you to assemble the props list from the final script. Breakable items require a backup or two for each show and this must be reflected in the prop quantities on the list.

    • 2). Visit the theater and place on the stage a series of three or four items that range in length between 6 and 18 inches. Sit in the seat that is most distance from the state to see how well you are able to see each item. All of the props must be made larger than the smallest item you are able to clearly see.

    • 3). Review the settings and character information in the script to add descriptive details to each item on the props list. Props such as phones and other electronics, for example, must be true to the time in which the play is set.

    • 4). Shop at thrift and discount stores and garage sales to find items that can be refurbished, altered or combined to make props. Some prop makers take along printed pictures or drawings of the pieces they hope to find.

    • 5). Refurbish any items that need work and use craft materials to make props that could not be located.

    • 6). Run the props through the actions they will endure on stage during the performance to test their strength and functionality. Props that come apart at the wrong time may disconnect the actors or audience from the material in the stage production.

    • 7). Submit completed props to the director for approval. Make any changes or additions they deem necessary to make the props have the right look for the play.

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