Backstage can often be hectic, and it’s easy for props, especially smaller ones, to be misplaced, lost or broken. Our top tips for creating and organising a props area will help you take the stress out of your next production.
Create a Props Area
The first job to getting your props organised is to create a designated props area. This may be nothing more than a table or set of shelves backstage. However, by establishing a specific props area, you have a far greater chance of keeping tabs on everything.
If space is limited, then a simple fold-out table may be ideal. Using labels and coloured tape, mark out sections on the table where each of your props should be kept when not in use. This makes it quick and straightforward for performers to use when in a rush, and it’s also easy to identify any props that haven’t been returned.
Lay Down the Law
As we all know, as soon as you set up a table, it becomes a dumping ground for everything other than what you intended it to be used for.
Make sure everyone is aware that the props area is for props ONLY and that any items left in the area that don’t belong will be disposed of immediately.
Consider Your Arrangement
When it comes to arranging your props, choose a set up that makes sense for the production. Frequently used items should be quickly accessible, rarely used props can be placed further back in harder to reach places.
Larger, more cumbersome props should ideally be placed on the floor whereas smaller props should be placed higher up.
Create a List
Perhaps the most important step you can take when creating a props area is to have a master list that details every prop used in the production.
Ideally, the list should contain the prop name, a brief description of the item, the quantity and the performers using the prop. This final piece of information makes tracking down missing items much quicker.
The props most likely to vanish after a performance are the small items such as jewellery and coins. These types of things are best kept in plastic containers in a specific section of the props area. Not only will this help reduce lost items, but it will also protect the small props which are often fragile.
Illuminate Your Props Area
To help performers quickly find the props they need, ensure the area is well lit. This can be something as simple as a desk lamp, as long as it provides enough light for props to be quickly identified.
Specialist Prop Makers
At Promotional Props and Costumes, we’ve been designing props for all sorts of purposes for over 25 years. Our expert prop makers can help turn your ideas into glorious reality, or we can help you come up with some brand new and fresh ideas. Contact our team today to discuss your requirements.