Does your community theatre have a designated person to organize or design props?
"Each of our 5 productions has a props "designer" who is in charge of gathering, tracking, purchasing, and buiilding the props. We do lend our props out to local theatres and we have a computer (barcode)system for that which we have not yet found the personpower to install."
Does your community theatre rent out your owned props?
If so, do you have an inventory or catalog of the items you own?
Do you buy props online? If so, what resources do you use?
What is the most challenging prop your community theatre has ever had to purchase?
We never found a Meccano set version of the Queen Mary for You Can't Take it With You. We fudged and used a Meccano set of the Empire State building, and just swapped the lines in the show that refer to both
Working water pump
None thus far
We rented Audrey in three sizes for Little Shop of Horrors. The person responsible for the prop room does not keep an inventory, yet.
What is the most challenging prop your community theatre has ever built?
Milky White the cow (for Into the Woods) was pretty tricky. We built all our puppets for Avenue Q, as well, a huge task
A car for Grapes of Wrath
Too numerous to list but a working stagecoach comes immediately to mind
Fallen redwood tree for My Only May Amelia
A well for Man of La Mancha
We built a small airplane for Drowsy Chaperone. It had to fold the wings and the stage had to open up to "land" it. A fold down bed was built to hide a woman in it before it folded down with her in place smoking a cigarette. Mostly the difficult stuff is built into the stage
What local community resources do you use for prop research or purchase?
Lots of thrift shops
None. We do it all in house
Thrift stores, yard sales, other theater groups
Facebook page: Sacramento Theatre Share Exchange
Other high school and community theatres; borrowing from people we know
Second hand stores, garage sales. Right now I am having a couple of props made from a local artist for Young Frankenstein the Musical. We also use many local artists. The props person does not do design, just keeps the prop room organized.
Do you use your cell phone to take pictures of props when you are shopping for props?