A shorter day at the theatre today due to a couple of lectures at uni this week, but interesting as always. Today the task at hand was twenty milk bottles that needed to look like they had milk in them for the kids in Forty Years On to pretend to drink. This involved diluting paint, carefully pouring in the paint and twisting and turning the bottle to get an even coat, allowing the paint to spill out then placing into the oven to allow the paint to dry quicker (images below).
When this was done, there didn’t seem to be much else to do in the workshop, so I was taken to the Tech Rehearsals for Forty Years On. A Tech Rehearsal includes the entire cast and crew, and they do a complete run through of the show to work out all the bugs that might present themselves. It was fascinating to see how all the separate aspects of a production work together, because when you go to see a show you don’t see the director coming on stage, working with the performers and talking through what the scene needs to improve.
Something that is really apparent within the prop department is the vats amount of knowledge that everyone that works there possess. When a problem arises, for example, when an entire weeding scene needs food for platters, plates etc but everything on the table needs to be throw. You then need to start thinking about what materials are not going to hurt any actors in the scene when throw? what you are able to paint to make it look as realistic as possible? Also what can allow you to make a lot of quickly? The prop team take all of this in and start brainstorming and experimenting with processes and materials to find what the best is not only practically but will also be visually realistic and pleasing.
I think that sometimes when I’m in my studio and I come across a problem it’s of only me sitting there staring at it trying to figure out what exactly I need the work to do and how I can to accomplish it. It has been really amazing seeing a creative team work together to solve problems first hand.