props table?

i've got a little problem, for an up and coming show i am now stage manager for the first time at this theatre, there is very little backstage space. so what should i do with my props table? should i let the actors look after their own props, which i know is very risky, actors lose/swallow them alot. or basically block up prompt corner, or any other suggestions? its only a meter squared table but it's quite awkward and gets in the way. :oops:
Shelving is wonderful - my school has castered prop cabinets, we use them for almost all the major shows here (10-12/year). See if you can find something with wheels. They make storage SO easy! Just make sure it has a lock... then you can put your kit in there as well, and just roll in into the dressing room at the end of reh or performance!

We have a table and a cabnet. The table one on each side has a sheet of paper on it where all the props are outlined in black and on the inside it is written what scence/act they are need in the aat INTERMISSION the paper is changed if needed. After the show all the props go into the cabnet and locked. The outline is nice so at a glance you can see if something wasnt returned or is needed
At our school theatre we have a separate props commitee that is in charge of the smaller items. The actors are told that if they don't grab a prop, then don't count on it getting out there. On some occaisions, an actor won't be able to get off stage, changed, grab the prop, and get back on stage in time. If they ask me nicely and aren't ignorant or cocky, I usually do what I can to help them out. In some cases, an important prop won't get on stage so I make sure that it gets out there (usually I have an actor take it on because they are all taught how to improv. if need be). Even though they can improv. , it looks silly when they don't have a major prop (like one that is actually talked about in the dialogue).

I guess I'm lucky enough that both backstages in my school are connected to a hallway that I can use to put my prop table if need be. I'd suggest though making the actors check every night to see if their props are there anyways. I've found that, although they may not care about other people's props, they do care if theirs are not there for fear it may mess up their scene. If I don't get a props manager for a show I usually delegate that responsibility to a member of my backstage running crew. That way I'm not always going back there myself to check on them as well plus at the end of the performance that night I know that there's someone who I trust hunting down the missing props that never made it back offstage or disappeared right before they went onstage.
I'd definatly shelve if there's really no space though.

Users who are viewing this thread