By: Jackson Rader
A good prop set can add a great amount to a theater work, this has been well acknowledged. What is less acknowledged though, is the life of a prop and the path it takes after its initial use. Many would be surprised as to the system of which the props are brought to life and the many ways they can be repurposed for use, when tasked with the assignment of showcasing a lesser known object in Grandville High School, the intricate and rather unacknowledged life of the stage pieces was landed upon.
The Grandville Theatre Program, long run by Mr Brian Sherwood as well as Mr and Mrs Fischer has had multiple feature plays over the course of the years, the show art in these plays has always said to have been more spectacular, but how do these props come together and what happens to them after their big showcase? Theater director and head prop manager Mrs Fischer was quoted as saying “A prop List is typically Given with a particular script” A theater crew will almost never “free hand” a prop set or put the set together in a sloppy manor, a crew member carefully combs through the script and makes a list of needs and wants for a prop show and that list is then given to coordinators this helps the production run extremely smoothly. When the list of props is eventually formulated the list is brought into the next stage of production, assembly, Mrs Fischer went on to say “Most of our props are bought or pulled from storage, if we do not have what we need we will look at Thrift stores, estate sales, retail sites or a crew member will make it themselves” The budgets for these small High School productions are extremely minute so a “do it yourself” type operation is required to keep the cost or production down. After a play though, what happens to the props after they were so diligently brought to life, Head Theater Director Brian Sherwood was quoted saying “We have many storage areas throughout the auditorium where props are placed until they can be used again” This is an especially effective method of storage as there is a high possibility of the items stored being able to be reused again.
In all, the life of a GHS Theater prop is very short and dramatic. Constructed very quickly to be disposed of very quickly, just to get reused again. It is an efficient system that continues to support the stage life for the productions of Grandville High School