Design and Technical Theatre: Props Design and Set Decoration

Designing props for the theatre can be a wonderful way to challenge and extend your creative thinking. Often time productions are looking for things that are unique, from a different era or non-perishable. Shopping at the local market can only garner a portion of what one might need as a hand prop or set decoration in a show. Creating a prop from found materials or building by hand can be very rewarding. Problem solving becomes the forefront of props design as often when one idea fails, it leads to another as we are always learning from our mistakes. The basics of props design begins with the idea if sculpting or building a structure or base that resembles the item you are trying to portray. With tools such as tape, cardboard, paper mâché, paint and a host of other recycled materials, this process is exciting and challenging at the same time. Design students began with the task of creating realistic fruit that can be used over and over again in a stage production. Sculpting with paper and tape, they made basic shapes, referencing photos for authenticity. Using paper mâché, they wrapped each piece if fruit, smoothing down edges and reshaping as needed. Once hardened, the fruit is painted using scene painting techniques.


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