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Stagecraft Show Project: 


For this project, the student will create a properties plot for the current OHS show and design a specific prop needed for the show.  The prop that the student plans to build MUST be approved by Ms. Price first and show-worthy quality is expected (i.e. it needs to be professional enough that it could/would be put in the show).


In order to design a prop, you must...

1.) first read (and listen to) the entire show

2.)  Re-read the musical with props in mind, and complete a TYPED “Properties Plot” (see example below) for the show.

3.)  Gather 10 props needed for the show and create a small props table for those props (see example below).

4.)  Come up with a concept for design of a specific prop (the prop you plan to design must be approved by Ms. Price first...see below for an example prop built by a former student of Ms. Price.)

  • NOTE: In deciding which prop to design, make sure that you’ve chosen a prop that would take more than a few hours to design & build.  This is NOT just bringing in a prop (like a broom, or bucket).   Remember, your grade is riding on the level of difficulty and quality of design/build.  Don’t be afraid to think “unconventionally”, or to use unconventional materials, but make sure that the prop fits the descriptions and intended uses described in the script.

5.)  Sketch out your prop design (can be a rough sketch).

6.)  Build the chosen prop. 


For your presentation to the class, be sure to have the following:

1.)  Your props table completed & your built prop.

2.)  Your director’s concept and how it influenced your design

3.)  Your designer’s notebook, your typed properties plot, and any inspirational images or pieces that directed you in your design

You can use powerpoint, videos, or any other creative ways you choose to present your designs, but whatever you do, be sure to prepare an actual PRESENTATION of your work.  (Don’t “wing” it.)



A properties plot is a list of ALL the props used during a production.  In order to create a properties plot you should…

1. Read the entire script.

2. While reading, mark (or create a list of) all the props used, by whom, and in what scene/what page.  (see below for an example of how to set this up)

3. Type up a neat copy of your properties plot for the entire show.

Example of properties plot (shown below) is for one scene only:










A properties table is used in rehearsal and production to organize all the props for the show.  They are often covered in white paper, (or taped out with spike tape) and each individual prop is outlined (or placed in a spike taped area) so that props masters can look at the table before and after the show, and immediately know what props are missing.  It is also beneficial in training actors to know exactly where to find their props, since entrances and exits on stage can sometimes be quick or chaotic (especially if they involve costume changes, etc.).  Below are pictures of portions of props tables from Oxford’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank.  Four 8’ props tables were used for that production.  "Props-heavy" shows can have several tables for props - both stage left and stage right.  It all depends on the show and the show's needs. 




(props design/build for the musical big - a Zoltar machine built by a sophomore @ Rockford High School, 2008)










For description of the role of a props designer, click HERE.


Responsibilities of a props designer in PRE-PRODUCTION, REHEARSAL, and POST-PRODUCTION.


Video:  Overview of Prop Department at “National Theatre”


Video: Process of Sourcing Props at “National Theatre”


Video:  Making props for The Wizard of Oz (shows examples of various props being built)

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