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Who would you say is in charge of Props??


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Hi, Im doing a Production Btec ND and for our final assement we are doing a production of Grease!!

We dont really have a set designer (well we should have but been problems, a long story!!) So now we are working through rehearsals and now have come up with a groundplan then we add to this during rehearsals, we have our basic set for each scene then we will bring on furnture, and fly in some pieces to represent locations. However my problem lys with because of no designer props and Furniture have not really been decided on. Im DSM and through rehearsal reports I give props the director asks for. I also did a basic production analayis with some props on. However who should be sorting out the props and what other ones we need (not just the ones the director has told me-as we prob needs loads more) Who should be doing this? I feel over worked already, should someone else in stage management do it? Then the obtaining and making of props as well as tarting up and sorting out what wings they need to be at, who's job? Props is starting to become a issue!

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As with most things to do with stage management, who does what varies with each company / production, but there are some general guidelines which may help.


As Peter said, if you have an ASM, that person is generally in charge of sourcing (i.e. hiring / finding / buying / borrowing / making) props & getting them into the rehearsal room. The Stage Manager (if not in rehearsal) will often help with this when not doing the other 1001 things they are responsible for. Generally, the ASM would be responsible for keeping all lists up to date & details of sources for future productions / returns lists for the end of the run & the SM responsible for the overall props budget (although of course the ASM must also keep an eye on this).


A DSM in the rehearsal room would generally be the one making notes about what happens to the props during the run of the show, e.g. where they come on from (and with who) / where they go off (and with who) / any major action in between, i.e. if destroyed on stage / if needs to be practical (e.g. lighter) / food eaten etc. etc. From this, the DSM should be able to generate a basic settings list / furniture plot which will help the SM sort out how best to organise the scene changes. The DSM also needs to make other departments aware (generally through rehearsal notes) of any particular action / issues which may affect the choice of prop, e.g. big heavy actor standing on delicate hired prop / light to come out of fire / potential spillages on costumes etc.


I have sometimes worked as the only SM person on a production, responsible for all prop-related things as well as general SM duties, but if there is a team of you there, I would recommend you have a brief meeting to delegate specific jobs to each person & have regular progress meetings so any potential problems can be highlighted before they become impossible to deal with.


Hope this helps - good luck!

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