1. Become thoroughly familiar with the play. Obtain a copy of the script for you and your crew’s use.
2. Attend all Production Meetings.
3. Obtain a copy of the script for your own use and make a list of all properties including set props (furniture, rugs, mirrors, drapes, etc.), hand props, costume props and food stuffs. Check this list with the Scene Designer and Costume Designer to determine which props they will be responsible for on the list.
4. Check next with the Director and obtain from him/her a complete and accurate description or sketch of each and every item
(s)he wants in the show and the allowable minimum (s)he will settle for if the wanted item is unavailable. Consider lengths, widths, depths, style, color, material from which it is made, texture, added decorations, sound, condition (shabby-elegant, old-new, soft-hard, flexible-rigid, etc.), use or strain to which it will be put, trick effects or anything else that may apply.
5. Check again with both the Designers to ensure correctness of historical accuracy and visual effectiveness of the Director’s needs and wants. If a dispute arises, let them settle it between them and notify you of the decision.
6. Go with the Property Master and only examine at this time all items in property storage that can be used in the show, and check these off you list. Have him/her reserve these for you.
7. Repeat above with the Costumer and check off usable costume props.
8. Determine what the budget is for properties from the Technical Director.
9. Break down the complete prop list into four separate lists: things in stock. things to buy, things to make, things to borrow.
10. Post property-crew calls on the Call Board if appropriate.
11. Check with the Director to find out essential rehearsal props the actors will need.
12. With the Theatre Technical Director, plan work space, time schedules, what materials are available for your use, formulas, working methods or procedures to use, and current ground rules for the shop.
1. Fashion or furnish reasonable substitutes of the real item for use as rehearsal props.
2. Get prop cabinet keys from the Theatre Technical Director and secure all props including rehearsal props at once and always.
3. Check out all department props with the Property Master. You will be held responsible for each prop checked out to you and for item return in good condition.
4. Repeat above with the Costumer.
5. Begin work of making props by starting on the most difficult ones or the most time-consuming ones first.
6. Begin the search for borrowed or rented items.
7. Buy necessary items; see the Theatre Technical Director for purchase options.
8. Make complete check lists of props on the stage and their exact placement; those off-stage right, left and elsewhere; when, which and where props are struck; the same for those which are placed on stage or shifted; and who is responsible for edibles. Note: Wash all food containers, glassware or silverware that an actor is to put to his/her lips, and maintain sanitary conditions around them as you would in your own home.
Technical, Dress Rehearsals and Performances
1. Replenish expendables. Food, cigarettes and other goodies are not to be consumed off-stage by actors or stagehands. Keep your purchase of these items to a minimum (bare necessity) and keep
2. Check in with the Stage Manager at least one hour before curtain. If the show opens with the curtain up, allow enough time to set up props so that the House Manager can open the house 3/4 hour before curtain.
3. Secure all props each night in locked areas. Any broken or damaged items must be repaired in sufficient time for the next performance. Consider the drying time of paints and glues.
1. Strike all props immediately to their proper place and in their proper order. Check in appropriate departmental props to the Property Master or Costumer.
2. Secure all borrowed props until they can be returned to the owners on the first weekday following strike.
3. Check out conditions with the Stage Manager before you leave strike.
4. Return all borrowed or rented props, and clean out all cabinets. Everything in them has a place of repose elsewhere.