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Stagecraft Week 10:  What's BACK there? 
(Stage Managers & Props)
April 3-7, 2023

Important terms are in RED.

Google Classroom assignments are in BLUE.

If ABSENT, you are REQUIRED to read / understand / do all activities posted for that day, even if it's not an "assignment".  

DAY 1: Props (Senior Skip Day / Seniors are responsible for all of the learning from today)

1.) Introduced this week's CLASS focus:  Problem Solving

2.)  Started new unit:  WHAT'S BACK THERE?   (If absent, read:) 

  • If you went backstage during a production, what might you see?  What types of people would you see doing what types of jobs? 

    • running/deck crew helping to "power" all the scene changes and "magic" that happens during a show;

    • props hand-offs and preparation;

    • the "coordination" of entire crews following a stage manager's cues

3.) Watched a video (Props with Austin - Phantom of the Opera) and discussed all the tasks and skills of a props master that were highlighted in the video.  (Also, what all is considered a prop on stage?)   (If absent, be sure to watch on your own.)  Note:  Austin is a former student of Ms. Price!  :) 

5.) Discussed: WHO is in charge of acquiring or making all the props & set pieces for a show? (Props Master)

6.) Discussed:   (If absent, read)  

  • If you had to gather or make props for a show, what is the FIRST thing you'd probably need to do?  (Read the script in order to create a Props List)

  • AFTER creating a props list of everything the script says you need, what might be the NEXT step before finding/acquiring props?  (Research)

7.) Watched a video (Working in the Theatre: Prop Masters from 2:10-10:26) and discussed.  (If absent, be sure to watch on your own; you are responsible for understanding this information)  

8.) Students were given a Props Table Project that requires...

  • gathering props

  • organizing props (in "show order" on props tables)

  • using smart "tips" when making a props table

  • problem-solving & creativity to solve or make a specific prop

7.) Students were divided into groups and were given individualized props lists (with various props listed) that you and your group must either make or acquire from the props room.  (We will begin next class.)

8.) Analyzed various Props Tables from shows and discussed commonalities and specifics.

9.)  Each group was given a table that they covered in paper (securing the edges, etc.) in preparation for creating group props tables.


DAY 2: Props Storage / Scene Shop (Due to Senior Skip Day yesterday, Seniors stayed with KP & rest of class went to Scene Shop / Seniors learned about our Props room and re-organized all hand props) 

DAY 3: Props / Stage Management 

1.)  Reviewed new unit:  WHAT'S BACK THERE? 

  • If you went backstage during a production, what might you see?  What types of people would you see doing what types of jobs? 

  • This week:  Props, Stage Manager, Crew

2.) Discussed: 

  • Besides the director, who else is with a show from the pre-show, through the show,  and even post-show? (Stage Manager)

  • What do you think a Stage Manager DOES? (discussed) 

3.) Learned about  and discussed the role of a Stage Manager.  Watched a video (Working in Theatre: Stage Manager) and discussed. (If absent, you are expected to watch on your own & know this information.)

4.) Discussed:  

  • Who is in charge in the REHEARSAL space?  (Director)

  • Who is in charge once the show hits the STAGE?  (Stage Manager)

(Seniors went to scene shop / remainder of class worked Props Project)

5.) Learned about the organization of the OHS props room worked to find your needed props (in groups) - in order to create a show-worthy props table for those props.

DAY 4:  Props / Stage Management


1.) Reviewed what we learned last class the role of SM's (Stage Managers)

  • Overall function:  Facilitate, supervise, and help make a director's vision reality

  • Pre-Production:  a lot of PAPERWORK (schedules, scene breakdowns, script copies, props lists, etc.)

  • Rehearsal Process: keeping show on track (facilitates director)

  • Once On Stage:  Oversee cast, tech, crew, etc. (fully in charge)

  • Once Show Opens: keep everything "frozen" (same every night) / Maintain director's vision / Call cues

2.) Watched a teaching video that discussed additional roles of a Stage Manager & also introduced types of Props.  Took notes in Google Classroom CLASS NOTES.  (If absent, be sure to watch this on your own and take notes in Google Classroom.) 

3.) Watch two videos of SM's "calling cues" DURING a show (if absent, watch at least 90 seconds of each).  

Discussed as a class the following:

  1. What, specifically, do you notice about HOW each SM calls cues during a production?

  2. What do you notice about WHAT each SM was watching while calling the show?

  3. What SKILLS do you think are needed to "call" a show well?

(Seniors went to scene shop / remainder of class worked Props Project)

4.) Received Props Table "Tips"  (if absent be sure to read) 

  • Be sure it's ORDERLY

    • Arrange props in show order (in a show you'd may also have SL & SR tables)

    • Put very bulky/large items under the table (such as suitcases, if there is not enough space)

    • if using paper over the tables (instead of spike tape on the tables), be sure to tape down the paper edges

    • Be sure to maximize space (keep things compact, and don't leave any large blank spaces)

  • Be sure it's VISIBLE to actors

    • install back stage blue lights​

    • put taller items at the back of the table so they don't block view

  • Be sure it's SAFE

    • put breakable items near the back so an actor reaching for a prop doesn't knock over​

    • don't lean items that could fall

    • others? (discussed)

    • prop weapons? (discussed)

5.) Completed Props Tables (will be graded on Monday)


Explore More (Optional):

Additional Videos on Stage Management:


Additional Videos on Props:  

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