The Madness of Props

One of the fun parts about doing a period play is finding juuuust the right props, sets, and costumes.  Fortunately, Los Angeles is a trove of hidden treasures.

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We found this 1910 violin case for our gangster, purchased from a man who collects, restores, and sells antique violins.  These cases don’t offer much in the way of protection compared to modern day cases, so he frequently sells them.  It is all wood and called a “coffin case.”

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Turns out the last person to purchase such a case from him was going as a gangster for Halloween.

Kevin found a 1923 Dictaphone someone had been storing in their garage for years.  It’s hard to find old Dictaphones with the hose and horn still intact.

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Other props we’ll be pulling from the store room include an old manual typewriter, a vintage briefcase owned by the playwright’s grandfather, and a classic adding machine (purchased for use in GTC’s previous production of The Adding Machine.)

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All these vintage finds add authenticity to a play and help the audience believe in the world.  Plus, it is sort of lovely to think about all of these old workhorses who were destined for a scrap pile now being given a new lease on life and a glamorous career in entertainment.  That’s certainly music to our ears.

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