We are so excited to be working on our fall show, The Shadow Box! To celebrate, we’re kicking off a new series of posts to give you a sneak peek into our weird and wonderful world of theatre. First up, Haley Mankin, our freshman props designer!
I’m Haley Mankin, your friendly Front Row props designer! My job consists of procuring everything that you see on stage that isn’t part of the set. In fact, anything that the actors interact with on stage—whether to take out of a bag, write on, or throw at one another —is my responsibility. At the first read through, I underlined everything in the script that needed to appear on stage. Cookies. Medicine. A giant ham. The task seemed overwhelming at first, but with the help of Front Row’s amazing cast and crew, the props began to coalesce.
The first resource I was excited to discover was the PAC shop. I expected a storage room where I might be able to salvage a prop or two. I was mainly hoping to happen upon one key prop, Felicity’s wheelchair. The staff helped me find the wheelchair within minutes, and proceeded to give me a tour of the expansive warehouse. Over the course of three visits, I was able to find almost all of the props I was looking for. These ranged from a checkers game, to milk glasses, to a 90’s style tape recorder.
Most of my other props came from one very strange trip to CVS. I probably looked like I was preparing for a hurricane as I stocked up on jarred goods, office supplies, and several large weekly medicine cases. Some may have been curious as to why a girl could ever want so many tic tacs. I began to question some of the convenience store’s organization methods, but eventually I was able to find almost everything I needed.
The last step of my props quest, and perhaps the most gratifying, was creating the googledoc for contributions from the cast and crew. I posted a list of the remaining items that I couldn’t find in my own basement during fall break, and requested help from everyone involved in The Shadow Box. Seeing the offers appear, along with thoughtful questions and suggestions, was yet another sign of FTC’s kindness and tight knit feel. I can’t wait to see what these props look like in the talented hands of our actors!
Hope to see you at the show!