Tag Archives: SPAM

2017 Grants for Prop Interns

The Society of Properties Artisan Managers (S*P*A*M) is once again offering two grants this year: the Edie Whitsett Grant for theatrical properties and the Jen Trieloff Grant for theatrical properties.

The Edie Whitsett Grant for Theatrical Properties

The Edie Whitsett Grant
The Edie Whitsett Grant

The Edie Whitsett Grant is an annual award given to an individual wishing to further their career in theatrical properties, especially but not limited to theatrical props in children’s theater. This grant is intended to assist with transportation, housing, or necessities while completing an internship in the field of properties.

Edie Whitsett was the longtime property shop manager and a frequent designer at Seattle Children’s Theatre. She also created sets for Village Theatre, Seattle Opera, ACT Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet and other arts entities. Whitsett’s honors included an Artist Trust fellowship, a commission for an art installation at the Seattle Public Library’s central branch and two Seattle Times Footlight Awards.

This grant is overseen and awarded by the Society of Properties Artisan Managers and is for $1000 towards internship expenses. Individuals wishing to apply for should submit the following:

  • Cover Letter including details on your internship (when and where), any additional compensation you might be receiving during that time and an estimate of anticipated expenses.
  • Resume
  • Digital portfolio of recent properties work

Please submit items to: Jim Guy, S*P*A*M President at jguy@milwaukeerep.com

All items must be received by May 15, 2017 and grants will be awarded June 15, 2017.

The Jen Trieloff Grant for Theatrical Properties

The Jen Trieloff Grant
The Jen Trieloff Grant

The Jen Trieloff Grant is an annual award given to an individual wishing to further their career in theatrical properties. This grant is intended to assist with transportation, housing, or necessities while completing an internship in the field of properties.

Jen Trieloff was Properties Director for American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Forward Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin and has served as Prop Master and Prop Designer for Madison Rep and Madison Opera and Ballet among others. He was an accomplished craftsman and scene designer whose work was seen on stages inside and outside of Wisconsin.

This grant is overseen and awarded by the Society of Properties Artisan Managers and is for $1000 towards internship expenses. Individuals wishing to apply for should submit the following:

  • Cover Letter including details on your internship (when and where), any additional compensation you might be receiving during that time and an estimate of anticipated expenses.
  • Resume
  • Digital portfolio of recent properties work

Please submit items to: Jim Guy, S*P*A*M President at jguy@milwaukeerep.com

All items must be received by May 15, 2017 and grants will be awarded June 15, 2017.

2016 SPAM Grant Winners

The Society of Properties Artisan Managers is proud to announce the recipients of their second annual Edie Whitsett and Jen Trieloff Memorial Grants. Congratulations to Madeleine Winward and Jose Nunez. These grants are awarded to individuals wanting financial assistance with transportation, housing or other necessities during an internship in theatrical properties. You can find out more about these grants and other resources at the S*P*A*M website. You can also “like” their Facebook page to stay up to date with news and announcements.

2016 Edie Whitsett Grant recipient: Madeleine Winward

Madeleine Winward
Madeleine Winward

The Edie Whitsett Grant is an annual award given to an individual wishing to further their career in theatrical properties, especially but not limited to theatrical props in children’s theatre. Edie Whitsett was the longtime property shop manager and a frequent designer at Seattle Children’s Theatre. She also created sets for Village Theatre, Seattle Opera, ACT Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet and other arts entities. Ms. Whitsett’s honors included an Artist Trust fellowship, a commission for an art installation at the Seattle Public Library’s central branch and two Seattle Times Footlight Awards.

The 2016 winner of the Edie Whitsett Grant recipient is Madeleine Winward. Madeleine recently graduated from Southern Oregon University with a BA in Theatre Arts. Passionate about theatre for many years, she began working as a Prop Master early in her college career, working on such shows as Cyrano, The White Fugue, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Upon graduation she served as a properties intern for Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Summer Season, where she was fortunate to work with S*P*A*M member Elizabeth Friedrich. She is particularly passionate about children’s theatre, both in its creative possibility and ability to enrich lives. In addition to Seattle Children’s she served as Prop Master at Village KIDSTAGE in Everett on Young Frankenstein and Seussical Jr. She is very excited to join the team at Center Stage in Baltimore this fall, where she will be working under S*P*A*M member Meghan O’Brien. She feels incredibly honored to have been chosen for the Edie Whitsett Grant.

2016 Jen Trieloff Grant recipient: Jose Nunez

Jose Nunez
Jose Nunez

The Jen Trieloff Grant is an annual award given to an individual wishing to further their career in theatrical properties. Jen Trieloff was Properties Director for American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Forward Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin and has served as Prop Master and Prop Designer for Madison Rep and Madison Opera and Ballet among others. He was an accomplished craftsman and scene designer whose work was seen on stages inside and outside of Wisconsin.

The 2016 Jen Trieloff Grant recipient is Jose Nunez. Jose is preparing to enter his third year as a graduate student at Ohio University, where he is pursuing his MFA in Production Technology with an emphasis in Properties Design. Jose graduated with his BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland in 2010. It was there that he first honed his propping skills under the tutelage of his mentor and SPAM member Timothy Jones, Properties Master at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. He owes his addiction to propping to Timothy Jones. Following graduation from the University of Maryland Jose freelanced in Washington DC and was the Properties Master at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD for two years, after which he entered graduate school at Ohio University. He now studies under Thomas Fiocchi. This summer he is working as the Properties Artisan at Barrington Stage Company Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Congratulations to the winners of the second annual SPAM Grants!

2015 SPAM Conference

This past weekend I attended the 22nd annual S*P*A*M Conference at the University of Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. S*P*A*M is the Society of Properties Artisan Managers, and its members include the heads of the props departments at most regional theatres, universities and operas throughout the US (and one in Canada).

S*P*A*M business meeting
S*P*A*M business meeting

This year’s conference was attended by 43 prop masters, making it among the largest conferences. The members have a combined 879 years of experience. The mornings of the conference were spent in business meetings, where we shared what we learned in the past year and planned for the future of the organization.

Touring the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Touring the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

We spent a portion of the day Friday touring the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, where the conference was being held. Timothy J. James, the props shop manager, gave us a tour of the props shop, and we got to see various other shops and performing spaces throughout the massive center. On Saturday, we also received a tour of their props storage, which is held offsite.

Puppets and headdresses by Marie Schneggenburger
Puppets and headdresses by Marie Schneggenburger

On Saturday, we had two presentations. The first was by Marie Schneggenburger, the props master at Ford’s Theatre and puppet maker extraordinaire. Her work is amazing, her stories were incredible, and she had a lot of techniques that most of us were excited to try out. She also had the enviable side gig of making cozies for satellites at NASA.

Thinking outside the box with a CNC router
Thinking outside the box with a CNC router

The scene shop gave a presentation on the experiments they are conducting with their CNC router. Besides the typical cutting and carving that most shops do, they are working with a lot of 3D applications. The picture above shows one experiment where they scanned in the scene designer’s model and used the CNC to build a full-scale structure that they could then cover and coat.

22nd Annual S*P*A*M Conference
22nd Annual S*P*A*M Conference

All in all, it was a very successful and productive conference. I want to thank Timothy and his staff for pulling it off. It’s not an easy task herding 43 props masters without losing any. Here’s to next year!

2015 SPAM Grant Winners

The Society of Properties Artisan Managers (S*P*A*M) has just announced the winners of their first grants. Congratulations to Jeffery Bazemore and Lucy Briggs, winners of the Jen Trieloff Grant and Edie Whitsett Grant respectively. I wrote about these grants previously on this blog; they are awarded to individuals wanting financial assistance with transportation, housing or other necessities during an internship in theatrical properties. You can find out more about these grants and other resources at the S*P*A*M website. You can also “like” their Facebook page to stay up to date with news and announcements.

Jen Trieloff Grant – Winner – Jeffery Bazemore

Jeffery Bazemore
Jeffery Bazemore

Jeffery Bazemore recently finished the second year of his MFA in Properties at Ohio University where he’s been studying with Tom Fiocchi, Properties Technologist. While at Ohio, Jeffery acted as the Graduate Assistant Properties Master on 2 shows, including As You Like It, and as Graduate Assistant Properties Artisan on 7 shows, including The 39 Steps, Cloud 9 and Metamorphosis. Prior to his time there, Jeffery accrued a wide range of properties experience after graduating in 2012 with his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Berea College, including working in a Properties Assistantship with S*P*A*M members Jim Clark, Properties Director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Tim Hogan, Properties Director at Pacific Conservatory Theatre as a Properties Artisan. This summer he will be returning to PCPA to study with Tim Hogan once again, this time in a properties internship, after which he will be heading back to Ohio University to finish up his graduate degree.

Edie Whitsett Grant – Winner – Lucy Briggs

Lucy Briggs
Lucy Briggs

Lucy Briggs recently graduated the University of Michigan with a BFA in Theatre Design & Production – Set Design, where she studied with S*P*A*M member Patrick Drone, the Theatrical Properties Manager and Sarah Tanner, the Associate Theatrical Properties Manger. During her time at U of M she was a paid Properties Artisan on 20 shows over two years, and was able to learn and refine skills working with metal, soft goods, finish carpentry, set decoration and faux finishing. She spent the summers of 2012 and 2013 as a carpentry intern and then a carpenter for Williamstown Theatre Festival and then she took her carpenter skills to the Spoleto Festival for the 2014 season where she worked as a Carpenter Apprentice. Lucy can currently be found at the Guthrie Theater as the Properties Intern working with S*P*A*M members Patricia Olive, Sarah Gullickson and Seán McArdle. From there she will move to Louisville to be the Properties Journeyman at Actors Theatre with S*P*A*M members Mark Walston and Joe Cunningham.

Interview with Monique Walker

The following is one of several interviews conducted by students of Ron DeMarco’s properties class at Emerson College.

Interview with Monique Walker: Prop Master of Village Theatre

by Coco Nakase

Monique Walker
Monique Walker

Monique Walker, the current props master for the Village Theatre in Washington, answered the phone one February afternoon with encouraging enthusiasm, eager to speak about her rich history of work and the art of props. Monique began in theatre as a high school student, primarily acting in plays and working on the sets in her small town Iowan high school. She had always had an interest in drawing and painting, so when she went to college at University of Northern Iowa, she first majored in Interior Design. “It was in the Home Ec department. And I was like, really? This is awful! It was just decoration, it had nothing to do with architecture or anything like that.” Continue reading Interview with Monique Walker