Prop Puzzles

Quickies Prop & Set Designer Robin Macartney on the puzzle that is finding Quickies props:

There is nothing more fun than the challenge of a good prop. Most often, that fun is tempered by a healthy dose of fear and incredulity as you realize that, yes: the director really DOES want a giant Playboy (true story), or three identical briefcases, one containing Broadway Playbills, one with a bomb, and one filled with Catholic School Girls’ panties (also true).

Whatever the prop list, it’s always a good day when I can set out on my traditional shopping route; Party City, Michael’s, the Dollar Store, and of course, every thrift store within 30 miles. This years’ shows had me running all around the city, scouring the thrift stores in Burien for just the right couch, then running up north to buy a corn cob pipe in Lynnwood. Yes, one can always look online, but where’s the fun?! Part of the thrill of a props list is trying to puzzle out what you can buy to create your very own 1945 beer steins with a budget of under $100. Plus, you don’t get to have amazing conversations like this:

Home Depot Employee: Can I help you with the spray paint, ma’am?
Robin: Yes.  If you were a gun in a zombie video game, which color would you be?
Employee: (no hesitation) The hammered brass. It looks like it’s been beat up and in the wars.

Maybe I lied: there is nothing more fun than seeing the nerf gun that you snatched from under the nose of a bratty ten year old and spray painted the right color onstage in the hands of a talented actor who knows exactly how to sell it!  Quickies brings all the craziness together, with a couple hundred superman paper dolls thrown in for good measure.


Need more Quickies goodness!? Visit the Quickies 13 blog for more from the cast and crew!