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the role of the PROPS designer

If you chose to serve on the  PROPS DESIGN TEAM for this semester's Advanced Acting show, you are responsible for participating in design team meetings as well as growing as a designer during the rehearsal and performance process.


If serving on the Props Design Team, you are ALSO responsible for independently learning about the role of a props designer as outlined below. 


Please be sure you use your  Process JOURNAL throughout the process (to reflect on your process/journey).



(learning & applying)

​​Task: INDEPENDENT LEARNING/GROWTH  (Weekly Formative Grade):  Each week, you  must complete at least ONE reading/video, (or video series) listed below ​and respond in your Advanced Acting PROCESS JOURNAL.

  • You don't need to complete in order. You can pick/choose what is most interesting and/or useful to you each week.

  • You MUST watch/read each learning activity with a star (*).  You can decide which week(s) you watch/do the starred items



*Video: Props Design & Fabrication (2:05)

Journal Title:  Main role of a Properties Designer

  1. What is the main role of a props designer?  

  2. In what specific ways can designers accomplish this?  (give specific examples from video)

  3. In what ways can YOU better accomplish this goal while working on OUR play?  (give specific examples using script as guide)

  4. What "period decor" might we need to consider in OUR show? (Review props list you made, and list specifics.)

*Reading Series:  Hand Props

Journal Title:  Hand Props

  1. What is a "hand prop"?

  2. What are "adds" and "cuts" and how might you, as a props designer, be best prepared to handle these?

  3. Consider the pros & cons to using the "real" prop vs. the "rehearsal" prop in rehearsal.  (Create a pros/cons chart in your journal for use of real vs. rehearsal props)

  4. What is important to consider when making a preliminary props list?

  5. What is an example of at least one "support prop" in YOUR script?

Set Props

Journal Title:  Set Props

  1. What is a "set prop"?

  2.  Who generally communicates the needs of "set props" to the Prop Designer?

  3. What are the biggest challenges with set props?  (see paragraph after the pictured groundplan)

 Stage Dressing

Journal Title:  Stage Dressing

  1. What does "stage dressing" encompass and what does it help to convey?

  2. For decor such as curtains and furniture pieces, designers often utilize photos or drawings to show what they intend.  Observe closely the photo collages provided on this page, since you will be making your own Props Design Board (collage).

*Reading Series:  Reading a Script for PROPS

Journal Title:  How to Read a Script for Props

Make a list of the things you should/shouldn't do when reading a script in search of props needed.  (Do two colums - on

Video:  Props Manager

Journal Title:  The PROCESS & SKILLS of a Props Manager

1. While listening, jot down the PROCESS of props management as described in the video.

2. While listening, jot down SKILLS needed for a props manager.

3. What new and/or important things did you learn about or hadn't previously thought about when it comes to props?

Video: Props for the Theatre

Journal Title:  How props support the story 

  1. Name 4 things that prop designers DO to support the story of the play (1st paragraph)

  2. What was the analogy shared to define "what is a prop"?

  3. How can the props in OUR show give "clues" about WHO the characters ARE?  (Spend some time with script and in design reflection and list at least 5 specific prop examples from OUR show.)

  4. Observe closely the photos provided.  Notice the differences between the set after load-in, and the set after it's "dressed".  (No need to write a response.)

  5. What are the 3 types of props a designer must gather/create for a production?  (see blue band across the webpage)

Read:  Props Shop Skills

Journal Title:  Prop Skills

  1. What are some different "names" for the head of a props team?  

  2. List as many SKILLS as you can find in this reading that are mentioned as helpful for any props designer.  

  3. What does Jim Guy consider to be the best "technology use" on stage?  Why do you think that is?

Video:  This Prop Master’s Work Is Hidden in Plain Sight (5:31)

Journal Title:  Paper Props

  1. What do you need to know/figure out when creating paper props? (be specific)

  2. What, from this video, can you apply to paper props needed in OUR show?

*Video:  Working in the Theatre: Prop Masters (19:54)

Journal Title:  Being the Best Props Master Possible

  1. List the top 5 things you learned or were reminded of in this video that cold help you in OUR show.

  2. Describe the importance of "mock-ups" and list props that actors could benefit from a mock-up during our rehearsals.

Video:  Working in the Theatre: Specialty Props (23:31)

Journal Title:  Problem Solving with Props

  1. Describe several things you found MOST useful in this video - for understanding problem-solving and how it applies to OUR show.


(This list will be added to over time.  Let KP know if you find any helpful information that could be useful to future Advanced Acting students.)

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