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Answer Box

  • Answer Box: Angel Wings

    Jay Lasnik | Answer Box | May 25, 2021This story can be read by clicking the image above, or reading below, or in our June 2021 digitial edition I want an 18’-wingspan. Big. Like albatross wings,” Angels in America: Millennium Approaches director Rick Lombardo says at our first group angel meeting. The desired effect entailed the roof and ceiling crashing in, the angel descending, […] Read More...
  • Answer Box: Tackling a Challenge Head On

    Jay Lasnik | Answer Box | May 12, 2021When one works long enough in prop and costume crafts, you get to a point where you just start seeing the same mistakes over and over. This happens a lot with puppet heads and masks. One wonders why, since the human body hasn’t changed all that much in 50 years; people needed to see, hear, […] Read More...
  • Answer Box: The Spinning Disco Ball Hat

    Jay Lasnik | Answer Box | April 1, 2021When you’re a props & costume crafts designer and artisan, you can never say, “Well, now I’ve seen it all!” because inevitably something even crazier than your last crazy project will come along soon enough. Just after I moved back to the San Francisco Bay area from Las Vegas, (where I was the Props Lead […] Read More...
  • Uncorking a Carrot

    Jay Duckworth | Answer Box | March 3, 2021This story can be read below or in our March 2021 digitial edition                     I never understood the phrase ‘time is money’ until I became a props master and saw how long it took to get final drawings from designers! There’s a trickle-down effect if the drawings […] Read More...
  • Ford’s #FinishStrong Initiative Shares Easy to Assemble COVID-19 Air Filtration Box Fan Solution

    Stage Directions | Answer BoxIndustry News | February 3, 2021Ford’s #FinishStrong Initiative is sharing an inexpensive open-source design for a fan and HVAC filter combination that could help reduce virus particle concentrations in enclosed spaces, such as classrooms and shop spaces. Easily assembled, the COVID-19 air filtration box fan solution developed by Ford is an air filtration solution that people can make at home […] Read More...
  • Proptologist Video: Strawberry Casting with Jay Duckworth

    Jay Duckworth | Answer Box Video | January 31, 2021Casting is a great skill to have as a prop artisan, but for many it seems expensive and really complicated to get started. Some people want to try it but the initial cost of just starting it up—the cost of materials—puts folks off. To really do it right, you do need to make sure you […] Read More...
  • Natural Inspiration: Using Biomimicry in Theater Design

    Jay Duckworth | Answer Box | January 6, 2021The hardest part is starting. I see it in my friends, and I see it in my students. There are so many options out there that it’s hard to take the first step. In my last article from December 2020, I talked about pulling all the information that you can from a script in order […] Read More...
  • Digging Deep: Breaking down a script for prop design

    Jay Duckworth | Answer Box | December 2, 2020“It’s just such a strange location, and oddly specific.“ “What is?“ I asked my boyfriend. “The show I’m working on has the location as 2.5 miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas.” Just as a wild guess, I asked him to look up the geographic center of the United States, and boom, that was it.  There is […] Read More...
  • Answer Box: Setting Standards For Accuracy and Ergonomics

    Jay Duckworth | Answer Box | November 4, 2020I was watching a mother/daughter home flipping show. They had repurposed the under cabinets from the old kitchen to make an office space just off the new kitchen space. When they capped the renovation off and put the chair in place, this ‘workspace’ was almost as high as the back top of the chair. Way […] Read More...
  • She Kills Monsters Car/Claw: Using Puppets to Convey Deep Emotional Content

    Jay Lasnik | Answer Box | September 30, 2020In June of 2019, I was onstage at Penn State University’s Playhouse Theatre with large pieces of foam core and sections of PVC pipe. I was there with two directors, a dramaturg, a stage manager, a ‘dragonographer’ and about 10 students. We were putting the director’s vision onstage for the first time. The concept of […] Read More...
  • Lessons Learned

    Jay Duckworth | Answer BoxCurrent Issue | September 2, 2020After 12 years as the Resident Properties Master at The Public Theater, Jay Duckworth has chosen to leave The Public to pursue the next act in his career, teaching. “With all theater shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I took this opportunity to really do some reflection on my work as well as my teaching […] Read More...
  • Don’t Touch the Props: Thinking about backstage safety in a post COVID-19 world

    Jay Duckworth | Answer Box | May 22, 2020Though it’s been said—many times—seriously, don’t touch the props. We will be getting back to work; I don’t know when, but theater is resilient, and we’ll be back. I hesitate to use the word return; a lot of things will be different. There should be and will be some new safety protocols and considerations for […] Read More...
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