Society of Properties Artisan Managers Announce Grant Winners

by Michael Eddy
Lauren E. Chilton and Samantha Llanes (L to R) are the 2017 S*P*A*M Grant Winners
Lauren E. Chilton and Samantha Llanes (L to R) are the 2017 S*P*A*M Grant Winners

The Society of Properties Artisan Managers (S*P*A*M) announce the winners of their two annual grants for props personnel looking to further their career: the Edie Whitsett Grant and the Jen Trieloff Grant. Both are intended to assist with transportation, housing, or necessities while completing an internship in the field of properties. The winner of the 2017 Edie Whitsett Grant is Lauren E. Chilton. The winner of the 2017 Jen Trieloff Grant is Samantha Llanes.

The Edie Whitsett Grant for Theatrical Properties
The Edie Whitsett Grant is an annual award given to an individual wishing to further their career in theatrical properties, especially but not limited to theatrical props in children’s theater. 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.

Lauren E. Chilton, is a graduate student at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, entering her third year in their Properties Design & Management program. Chilton earned her B.A. in drama and studio art from the University of Virginia in 2012, where she was shuffled into props her second year out of necessity and never left. After graduation, she moved to the D.C. Metro area, where she first completed a carpentry apprenticeship at Olney Theatre Center and then spent a year as a freelance prop master, working with companies such as Folger Theatre, Imagination Stage, Synetic Theater, Forum Theatre, and The Welders, and as a prop assistant at University of Maryland under the guidance of Timothy Jones. She is currently working as a prop artisan for the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV, and is prop designer for The Welders' world premiere of to tell my story: a hamlet fanfic by Alexandra Petri. Next semester Chilton will develop her project and report in large-scale puppetry while designing and building props for Ping Chong's Nosferatu, and in the winter will complete her MFA with an internship at the Santa Fe Opera. Chilton's website, which includes her portfolio and resume', can be viewed at

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

Samantha Llanes is a third year MFA graduate candidate in Prop Technology at Ohio University. She is from Miami, FL where she received her BFA in Scenic Design at Florida International University. Llanes is currently enjoying her summer as the Props Intern at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY. She will present her thesis production of In the Next Room (The Vibrator Play) at Ohio University this Fall. She is grateful for the opportunity to represent S*P*A*M as the 2017 Jen Trieloff Grant recipient and is eager to find new adventures in the wonderful world of props. Llanes' website, including her resume' and portfolio, can be viewed at