Props, props, props


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Doing theatre sometimes means you end up doing shows and aren’t sure how. Take now for instance. The theater I am currently stage managing at is also in rehearsal for the next show-and I got wrangled to do props…..again.

The show is The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer, the true story about the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic. It’s set in the early 80’s. Did you know that the GMHC’s first mailout was 36 pages long? And that you can’t find an intact copy on the web? Well, now you do. So I took the few bits available as quotes in other writings and made up a trifold pamphlet….. Which the director then spilled her dinner over the stack of 50 copies. Yeah, that’s what I’m dealing with.

Anyways, there’s food. Joy. He pulls out groceries and throws them around the stage. I wrapped a plastic fish in butcher’s paper, I made a loaf of bread and a head of lettuce and am painting a milk carton to look like its from 1984. The broccoli though- ordered that. Waaaay too hard to make realistic.

The lettuce is a styrofoam ball wrapped in tissue paper that I pinned on and dry brushed white near the bottom, darker green on top and around the edges, and the little brown butt on the bottom.

Not only did Lady glance in the bag as it was waiting to go to the theatre and think AND I QUOTE “So I was just in the kitchen and looked down into the bag with the fake lettuce and thought “Shit! How long has that been there? It’s going to start whilting. Better put it in the– oh.” BUT I also gave it to the actor and he asked why we were throwing real lettuce. Score! He was holding it too 🙂

Stewarts milk looks like its from the 80’s so that what I started with. Studied and replicated the missing children ad and modgepodged that on. Painted over the Stewart’s logo and modgepodged the hell out of it. The inside will be water double bagged in ziplocks and the top resealed. Hopefully it doesn’t explode onstage.

The bread loaf was green foam cut down to shape and painted. ….it sounds so simple but it took me several hours of scissors and sandpaper and paint to get it to look good. I took some skin off my finger from the scissors and didn’t notice. 😦 I started with painting the top yellow, then medium brown over that and down the sides while it was still wet to blend it lighter on top and darker toward the bottom. The bottom and a bit up the sides is dark brown blended in. Looks like a crusty loaf to me.

He eats ice cream. Of course.


I started with a plastic ice cream pint (Lady amd I enjoyed emptying it), sprayed white and made up a fancy label. Madgepodged again, and to get it especially watertight, Lady had a rubber sealant spray! Yay! Except it was black and neither of us noticed till I sprayed it. Boo! Ah well, rip it off and paint again. This way, the stage manager can refill it every night.

So there we go, fake food craft from the insomniac. Hopefully I can get a half hour before we have to get up for works.