The Prop Maker will work with designers and directors from all areas, to produce what is required for each individual outcome. It is rare to make the same thing twice and, as such, the Prop Maker has to be ingenious, quick thinking, explorative, dextrous, enjoy problem solving and have a love of materials and all things three-dimensional.
The work can range from small intricate hand held reproduction props, to large-scale articulated structures, but will always require excellent artistic and creative skills. Working independently or as part of a team, accurately and to deadlines, the Prop Maker will cover the broadest ranges of materials and techniques.
On the course you will gain experience and a high level of technical competence, working with a wide-range of prop making materials and techniques, including sculpting skills, casting techniques, welding, polystyrene carving, vacuum forming, carpentry, life casting, paint finishing and texturing.
You will develop skills in research, analysis, collaboration, design interpretation, as well as strong technical drawing skills and an understanding of colour theories and working to scale. You will also cultivate a broad understanding of period styles and aesthetics.
Central’s Prop Makers develop into highly technically skilled, creatively inventive, collaborative and informed individuals, able to contribute effectively and professionally to any production and its team. During your time here you will have a range of opportunities to develop excellent and comprehensive prop making skills both as part of a prop making team on public productions, working closely with students of all other theatre disciplines to contribute to the overall understanding of performance and theatre production, as well as on placements in the industry.
You will take classes and workshops in sculpting, mould making, casting, fibre glass and plaster work, vacuum forming, paint effects, construction, design interpretation, welding and polystyrene carving. Working to a professional designer’s designs, you will produce props for a public show at Central or external industry event, as well as working as part of a team building or adapting props for an internal or external event or production. During this year you will also learn text analysis and research skills.
This includes skills sessions and workshops in body padding, advanced mould making, silicone and resin work, advanced sculpting, fabrication and model making. You will learn about design interpretation, time management, self-management and budgeting. You will also undertake an industry placement and work as part of a team on public productions internally and/or external projects.
You will take on the role of Head of Department on a production in the Embassy Theatre, one of the studios or on external projects, managing other students producing props, and coordinating with all the other members of the creative and production team. You will develop further links with the industry through placement work. You will focus on developing specialist skills informing strategies for future practice beyond Central, as well as realising a new media profile.
The course has extensive links with the entertainment industry in London and beyond. Through project work and regular close contact with industry professionals, including recent graduates, students are well prepared to enter the industry by their final year.
From the second year onwards you will have the opportunity to arrange placements. These include a variety of genres, such as live arts, devised and collaborative works, text/character-based play productions, film, large-scale community arts events, museum installation and television. The opportunities offered through placements ensure that each student leaves Central with a full and professional CV, showing a wide range of industry contacts and dynamic experiences.