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RE: [teacherartexchange] need help with theatre prop


From: San D Hasselman (shasselman_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 24 2008 - 13:19:39 PDT

Considering this "bit" will be a quick change for the Roman bust and is definitely NOT the focal point of the show, I wouldn't be so concerned about what would be "visible". What I mean to say is this, do it as easily as possble, velcro, and then paint over the velcro. Paper mache sounds about right, and you can use a form of smaller holed chicken wire if you need to. Since you have the manikin use that as the form. The trick to props is three fold a) it must be durable, b) It must be easy for the actor to manipulate, and c)Paint, paint, paint (shadows, or faux marble, or whatever you choose to use). Go to your art history book and find a picture of a Roman female bust and use that as your guide. Remember to exaggerate as well, because people in the "cheap seats" need to see it as well.
Remember all theater is an illusion.

San D

> Hi,
> I've been asked to help the local theatre with making a prop for 'something
> happened on the way to the forum'....they need a (fairly lifesized) roman
> female bust (which is easy enough I suppose), but during the show, the nose
> needs to be damaged so that the husband must "take it to the forum to get
> the nose resharpened"......So, I suppose we could make two full busts (but
> that would be hard to make them identical) with one with a damaged nose and
> one without......OR.....make one really good bust which somehow has a
> detachable nose......I thought of velcro, but that would be visible when the
> nose it off......the nose has to fit so well onto the face that it's not
> obvious that it's attached, and then easily detached......
> As for how the bust is going to be made - since that might affect the nose -
> I have two options really.
> Option A - take a paper mache cast off of a manikin that I have, and then
> use cardboard, fabric, etc. to 'sculpt' the base and the details.....then
> more paper mache etc.
> Option B - start with a styrofoam head, and then paper mache all the rest,
> using cardboard, fabric, etc. as the form.
> Any ideas???
> sue
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