Tag Archives: Society of Properties Artisan Managers

How’d They Build That Prop?

In this month’s S*P*A*Minar, join Jay Lasnik, Props Supervisor and Props Teacher at Penn State University School of Theatre, as he shares how he and his crew of Penn State prop artisan students have built props for such shows as “She Kills Monsters”, “Angels in America”, “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”. He’ll discuss his process of building props from the initial design presentation all the way through opening night.

Find out how the Penn State prop shop has tackled such projects as

  • a 6′ talking eyeball!
  • 3′ tall magic mushrooms
  • an angel with a 18′ wingspan!
  • lightweight, (but strong) light-up boxes!
  • life-size bull puppets
  • and half of a dead dog!

When: Sunday, February 20th at 8pm EST

REGISTER here: https://bit.ly/PennPropsReg

We are once again requesting pay-what-you-can donations to support this S*P*A*Minar programming. All money collected will be used to offset webinar operation costs with additional funds going to our annual grant program for early career prop people. Suggested donation amount is $3.

Donations can be made via PayPal Money Pool here.

Registration will remain open until 6pm EST on the day of the event and a link to the Zoom S*P*A*Minar session will be sent out to all registered attendees 1 hour before the start of the webinar.

All S*P*A*Minars will be recorded, and the video will be shared on YouTube the week following the event.

Decorative Flyer that lists the same information as in the post.

Angel wings designed by Kayli Warner for “Angels in America” (photo: William Wellman)

Vera, the Beholder designed by Bekah Ackuff for “She Kills Monsters””

Boxes designed by Rozy Isquith for “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time”

Giant Lily Flower designed by Tania Barrenechea for “A Year with Frog and Toad”

SPAM Grants Deadline Change

The following is an official announcement from the Society of Properties Artisan Managers (S*P*A*M), of which I am a member:

S*P*A*M has decided to temporarily suspend the awarding of the Jenn Trieloff and Edie Whitsett Memorial Grants.  Many producing organizations operating on a Summer schedule have suspended operations due to the uncertainty created by the global pandemic and its economic fallout. Theatres that normally begin producing in the late summer and early fall are in a state of flux and unsure of when – or even if – they will be undertaking their 2020-21 seasons.  It is for these reasons that the Society of Properties Artisan Managers has reluctantly reached the decision to postpone the deadline for and presentation of the  Jen Trieloff and Edie Whitsett Memorial Grants. The new deadline and presentation date will be announced as soon as possible.  All current applications will remain active and we encourage the submission of new applications.  Because of the uncertainty surrounding employment opportunities, we will be adding an additional requirement to the application process.  In addition to providing a cover letter, résumé and  link to a portfolio, before the grant is awarded we will ask for confirmation of the internship or apprenticeship from the applicant’s employer.  We believe that it is not only possible but vitally necessary for theatre professionals at all levels to remain strong and hopeful and to support one another as we navigate these uncertain territories.  S*P*A*M regrets any confusion or inconvenience caused by this change in plans.  Stay safe, be kind to one another and Prop On.

2020 Grants for Early Career Prop Professionals

It’s grant time again! Announcing the annual prop grants honoring Edie Whitsett and Jen Trieloff! Times are very uncertain right now, but most of us will be back to work by the summer or fall. If you have a props apprenticeship or internship lined up, then you should definitely apply for these grants.

The Jen Trieloff and Edie Whitsett Grants are annual $1000 awards given to individuals wishing to further their career in theatrical properties. These grants are to assist with expenses related to completing an internship, such as transportation, housing, or other necessities.

Jen Trieloff was Properties Director for American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Forward Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin and 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.

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. To honor Edie’s commitment to children’s theatre, this goal of this grant is to award it to someone who is interested in working with children’s theater, but it is not limited to only that.

This grant is overseen and awarded by the Society of Properties Artisan Managers and is for $1000 towards internship expenses.

Individuals wishing to apply should submit the following:

  • Cover Letter including details on your internship (where and when), any additional compensation that might be receiving during that time and an estimate of anticipated expenses.
  • Resume
  • Digital portfolio of recent properties work (a PDF with portfolio images or a link to a website).

Please submit application to: Jim Guy, SPAM President, at SPAMgrants@gmail.com.

All items must be received by May 15, 2020 and grants will be awarded June 15, 2020

For a full list of member theatres, please see our website at www.propmasters.org.

2019 SPAM Grant Winners

The Society of Properties Artisan Managers is proud to announce the winners of their fifth annual Jen Trieloff and Edie Whitsett Internship Grants. Congratulations to Emily Davis and Kenly Cox. 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.

2019 Jen Trieloff Grant recipient: Emily Davis

Emily Davis
Emily Davis

Emily Davis graduated from Florida State University in May of 2019 with her BA degree in Theatre. Her time spent volunteering in the scenic and props shops were the most formative of her time at FSU and inspired her to pursue a career path in Props. She is currently working as a Properties Artisan Apprentice at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA. Emily is incredibly honored to be chosen to receive this grant and would like to thank the S*P*A*M community for this wonderful opportunity.

You can see examples of Emily’s work at: www.emcdavis.com or @em.c.davis on Instagram.

2019 Edie Whitsett Grant recipient: Kenly Cox

Kenly Cox
Kenly Cox

Kenly Cox is a 2019 graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art, specializing in metal and ceramic sculpture. Shegraduated with a minor in Drama Arts in Theatrical Production, discovering her passion for Stage Properties as a work study student at PlayMakers Repertory Company at UNC. There she gained valuable skills and everlasting friendships. Kenly discovered that her talents as a fine artist could be applied to the theatrical world and serve as a plausible career path. She is now working for the summer as a Stage Properties Apprentice at Wolf Trap Opera in Vienna, Virginia, expanding her knowledge and skills as a Prop Artisan. After her work is done with Wolf Trap, Kenly will be returning to PlayMakers Repertory Company as a part time Properties Artisan for the 2019-2020 season.

You can see Kenly’s work on her website: https://kenlymcox.wixsite.com/kenlycoxart/theatre

Props in the News Today

The Society of Properties Artisan Managers Offers Some Advice – Here are 32 pieces of advice from veteran prop masters to burgeoning prop artisans.

For a Hollywood propmaster, it’s the little things that make ‘Big Little Lies’ a success – Jane Gulick’s job is to make sure the Monterey area in Big Little Lies looks like the real town. She uses a ton of local products to help flesh out the world.

An American Theatre Wing Working in Theatre Video: Specialty Props – Mary Creede, Zoë Morsette, and John Jerard create some of the most unusual and iconic props on Broadway. Check out this video to see the shops where they are tasked with creating all the things that don’t currently exist.

Broadway Design On Display At McNay Museum – If you are in San Antonio, TX, before June 30th, check out this exhibition of theatrical and film designs. The show features models and renderings from some of the 20th and 21st centurys’ most prolific designers.