Prop People across the news

A few weeks ago, at the SETC Theatre Symposium, I met Ron DeMarco, the props director at Emerson University.  He gave me a ton of material he’s collected over the years to use in his class on props. Today, I’m going to point to some of the many news articles he’s found on various props people across the country. I always like reading these because they offer different perspectives on how props people work and think about their craft.

Tom Fiocchi

Tom is the props director at Ohio University, where I spent a brief stint doing graduate work. I worked in his shop a few semesters, and took a class where I built a sword. This article, “Theater props specialist has a thing about Athens“, delves a bit into how he got started as a props artisan. His website has more information about his custom stage combat weapons.

Liza Kindl

Liza also attended Ohio University at the same time as me, and we also worked at the Santa Fe Opera together a few times. “Top of the Props” talks about the beginning of her career as a props artisan.

Sandra Strawn

Strawn teaches props at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. You may recognize her name from the Properties Director Handbook. “UWM Theater Students Learn Their Way Around the Prop Shop” provides a look at her class on properties construction.

Amy Reiner

Reiner has been the props director at Omaha Community Playhouse for the past 8 years. “Theater props master finds something old, something odd” is a look at the endless scavenger hunt that a props person lives in. It also has an interesting sidebar asking other prop masters what the most difficult item they’ve ever had to find was. The first one mentions the iron lung from “City of Angels,” which is one of the props Ron mentioned as a perennially difficult item to acquire.

One thought on “Prop People across the news”

  1. I attended Emerson and studied under Ron, and was the Props Master for ‘City of Angels’ which had the aforementioned iron lung. I ended up finding it because Ron mentioned that another area school had tracked down the son of the inventor of the iron lung, who lived locally, and got a real one.

    I ended up finding the contact by looking up the inventor, finding his obituary in the Boston Globe archives to get his son’s name, and then calling every person with that name in the Cambridge phone-book until I found him. The man was so kind and ended up letting Emerson hang onto the iron lung to rent out to other theatres doing the show.

    The best part? The iron lung is made by the “Emerson Iron Lung Company” 🙂

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