Even in this day and age, theatrical productions are still a great form of entertainment and a great way to showcase talents and art. There are still some things which the movies cannot replicate, such as live acting. If you are planning a theatrical production, however, you will need to create appropriate stage props. Here’s how.
- Planning. The first step to making the props is to carefully plan. There are almost limitless items that may be used for props, which is why it is best to start with a good plan that will define exactly what needs to be done. Make sure that you rely on the storyboard so that you understand what scenery you are trying to replicate, and what items the actors will need during the play itself. As much as possible, you should also coordinate with the director and the set designer who will give you ideas on how the props should look like.
- Purchasing. After noting and listing down all of the items that you need, the next step is to buy the actual materials that will be used to create the products. There are many inexpensive materials that you can use to make almost anything. The basics that you need to purchase, however, are cardboard boxes, fabrics, paint, glue, nails, pieces of wood, paint brushes, sticks, and Styrofoam. With these basic materials, you can create almost anything starting from prop cars to prop living rooms.
- Cutting. Next, create a plan for each item that you will need to build. For example, if you will create an artificial fireplace, you will need to create a box that will be painted black, and where you will put artificial logs that may be made from rolled up newspapers that have been painted brown. To create the fire, you can use red, orange, and yellow plastic sheets that have been cut into flame shapes. Attach these on top of a box that has light bulbs underneath and a fan. When you turn on the light bulbs and the fan, the plastic sheets in the fake fireplace will flicker and move like natural fire. Do a plan for each item that you will need for the props.
- Assembling. After planning each item, delegate the creation of the items to the members of the prop committee. If you are tasked with creating the props yourself, create a time frame so that you will have a schedule to follow and so that you will be able to finish the props on time. Make sure that you allot enough time not only for cutting, sewing, gluing, and nailing the parts together, but that you also allow enough time for paint to dry, in case you are painting the props. This is important especially if you are working on paper mache products that will need two drying times – one from the paper mache to dry, the other for the paint to dry.
With these in mind, you should be able to create your own props for a stage play theatrical production. Try to get as many people to help, so that you will be able to finish the props as soon as possible.