Archive for the ‘Prop Closet’ Category

Spot the fake!


This is to follow up on my previous post about making “whiskey” with water and food coloring. 
I have been busy experimenting with the formulas.

To 1 liter of water add:
5 drops red
3 drops yellow
1 drop green OR blue

For comparison, the shot glass on the left is jack daniels. The one on the right is the impostor! Did you guess right?

The Awesome Stage Manager


Share and Share Alike

Posted: February 28, 2012 in Prop Closet
Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes you may need 3 or 4 dozen fake bananas or a china pug dog statue for your show. And you know someone who knows someone who thinks another theatre did that show a few years ago. So, you send an inquiry email, but they’re concerned the props might not get returned in good condition. So you send them this: Request for Loan of Props

Now you are responsible for the well-being of said obscure prop, and the other theatre feels better about lending things to you. Hey, maybe you’ll get another gig out of it if they see how professional and responsible you are.


The Awesome Stage Manager

Whiskey and Other Liquor

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Prop Closet
Tags: ,

Need a lot of prop booze for your show? You may be thinking about using iced tea. Which could work. But what if some one in your cast is diabetic or allergic to something in the tea? Or if there’s a lot of drinking going on? Iced tea can bel pretty sweet and might upset stomachs too.

So here’s a great recipe for whiskey from my good friend Ray S.
To 1 liter of water add 2 drops of red food coloring and 1 drop of yellow.

UPDATE!!!!! The correct formula is 5 Red, 3 yellow and 1 blue OR green!
Adjust as needed for other liquors.

Most people can drink water all night, no problem. Just make sure no one is allergic to food coloring.

The Awesome Stage Manager

Fake Newspapers

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Prop Closet
Tags: , , ,


This is the New York Times that I reconstructed for my recent show “Life with Father” which is set in 1880’s New York. (Yes it’s upside down) Back then, they did not have color pictures or full page advertisements for cell phones. So I saved the pages that were mostly text or only had small black and white pictures and cut out blocks of text from the rejected pages. I used a glue stick to cover the pictures on the front page with those blocks of text.

It reads very well, meaning it looks real and authentic if you were sitting in the audience. But up close, you can see the discoloration from the adhesive. A glue stick is the best thing to use because it isn’t runny and won’t cause the pages to buckle.

Conveniently, the header for the New York Times has not changed much, if at all, since the 1880’s. If you need a different newspaper, that could be trickier. You may have to design one from scratch, which you can do in Photoshop or Adobe InDesign, but keep in mind, places like Staples or Kinkos usually do not print on large sheets of newsprint. You may have to go to a specialty print shop.

But if you are able to reconstruct a real newspaper, only use it for the performances. The paper is thin and wears out pretty quickly. And keep your glue stick on hand for any touch ups.


The Awesome Stage Manager

Prop-er Etiquette

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Prop Closet
Tags: , ,


When you have a show that calls for a lot of props, it helps to organize things with a taped out props table. Each item has it’s own labeled spot. And any time it is not being used on stage it should remain in it’s spot. No matter how tempting.


It also saves a lot of prep time. You only have to glance at the table to see if something is missing.

The Awesome Stage Manager

P.S. I made most of the props in that last picture. How-to’s to come.