Tag Archives: summit

Announcement: Speaker at the 3rd Annual Props Summit

The 3rd Annual Props Summit will take place Friday, August 26 at the Public Theater Prop Shop in New York City. Shoot me an email if you are interested in coming. This year, Jay Duckworth has secured a guest speaker. Here is what he says:

We have secured our speaker, J. Allen Suddeth. He has worked profession​ally for the past thirty years out of the New York area. For Broadway, he has staged fights for Gem Of The Ocean, Saturday Night Fever, Jekyll & Hyde, Angels in America Part One and Two, Loot, Saint Joan, A Small Family Business, and Hide and Seek. Off-Broadway he has worked on production​s for The Manhattan Theater Club, Playwright​s Horizons, The New Group, Theater For A New Audience, The Public Theater, BAM, Second Stage, Riverside Shakespear​e, Jean Cocteau Repertory,​ The Pearl Theater, and the New York Theater Workshop.

Allen has trained actors for The Juilliard School, Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University​, The Lee Strasberg Institute,​ S.U.N.Y. Purchase, and The Stella Adler Conservato​ry, as well as being a frequent guest artist at major universiti​es in the US and abroad. For television​, he has staged action sequences for over 750 programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, and HBO. He is the author of Fight Directing For The Theater, published by Heinemann Press. Allen has also taught at the National Stage Combat Workshop, currently at UNCSA, for twelve years, and is the founder of the National Fight Directors Training Program. Allen is also a producer of The Complete Unarmed Stage Combat DVD Library. He is ranked as one of fifteen recognized​ Fight Masters in the United States by The Society of American Fight Directors.

Exciting, right? So come on down and join your fellow prop masters, artisans, shoppers and runners for a night of fun and learning.

Dispatches from Props Summit 2010

This year’s props summit was a rousing success. With over forty people in attendance, we more than doubled the attendance from last year. Upon entering, one person exclaimed, “I didn’t know there were so many props people!” In fact, if you look at the picture from the first props summit, you’ll notice quite a few people who were unable to make it back this year; there are also some who were invited but too busy to make it to either summit so far. In other words, this summit still has the chance of growing in attendance.

Attendees at the 2010 NYC Props Summit
Attendees at the 2010 NYC Props Summit

Though this event was focused around New York City, we had folks come from Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and even Boston! The great thing about this event is that all types of props people attended: prop masters, both full-time and freelance, carpenters, artisans, and every combination in-between. What’s great about getting to know your friendly neighborhood props people is that it lets you know you are not alone, and other people are going through the same things as you, and you’re probably not crazy (or we’re all crazy, and getting together just deludes us to that fact). It also helps you out when you’re in a bind; if you can’t find that one strange prop, or you need someone who can sew leather, or you have a great prop left over from a show but no place to store it, these are the people who can help you out.

Whenever a large-enough group of new people arrived, we would go around the circle and introduce ourselves, which led to stories being swapped. Later in the evening, Jay led everyone in a rousing reading of Ron DeMarco’s “Resolutions”. Ron teaches props at Emerson College, and tried to find the perfect script for his students to develop a props list from. Unable to locate such a script, he wrote his own; “Resolutions”, though only four pages long, contains many of the typical prop challenges and questions, and quite a few conundrums as well. Most of the time, though, was spent in simple drinking, eating, mingling and chatting.

I would list everyone who attended, but I’m afraid I might leave someone out. My only regret was that I was unable to speak with everyone there, particularly those I haven’t met yet. If you are interested in attending next year’s summit (or sooner, though it took us a whole year before we had this one), drop me a line.

Upcoming Events

I have just a few brief items to mention today.

First, this Friday will be our second NYC Props Summit. Our hope is for props professionals, both artisans and masters, to get together for an evening of fun and networking. Our first Props Summit was quite a success. If you wish to join in, drop me a line and I can give you further details.

Second, every week, Jacob Coakley hosts a live internet chat on the TheatreFace network. Next week, Wednesday, September 1, he will be talking with none other than Eric Hart, the person who is writing this sentence right now. Be sure to check it out from 2pm-3pm EST, and let me know if you’re having trouble joining the site.

Dispatches from Props Summit 2009

The first New York City Props Summit was a rousing success.

The attendees of the 2009 New York City Props Summit
The attendees of the 2009 New York City Props Summit

From left to right in the photograph are: Rebecca Aldridge, Mark Gill, Sarah Gill, Jessica Provenzale, Natalie Taylor Hart, Kate Dale, Meredith Ries, Scott Laule, Jeremy Lydic, me, and Jay Duckworth. Not pictured are Meghan Buchanan, Eric Reynolds, Sara Swanberg, and Arianna Zindler, as well as Michael Schupbach and Katey Parker from the Puppet Kitchen. (If I missed anyone, let me know!)

Jay thought it was important for the various props professionals to get to know each other, whether props masters, artisans, freelancers, or full-timers. The benefit of this was immediately apparent as half the attendees were currently in tech and needed something built or borrowed. There’s only so many places to store stuff in New York City, so it’s nice to be able to borrow from as many of them as you can.

We are tentatively planning another Props Summit sometime before Christmas. If you live in New York City or the surrounding tri-state area, or if you know anyone who does, drop me a line so I can keep you informed!

First Ever NYC Props Summit

First ever Props Summit
First ever Props Summit

Jay Duckworth, our props manager at the Public Theatre, is throwing a props summit next week, September 4th. His idea is to get together all the props people in New York City, whether it’s masters, artisans, or runners, working either freelance or full-time.

It’s a chance for everyone in this great city to meet each other and see who else is out there. In a sense, we’re all in this together, and combining our resources can only be beneficial in the long run.

So if you want to get involved, and don’t have a personal contact with either me or Jay, leave a comment or send me an email. I’ll let you know the when and where in more detail.