Props Artisan

This is my fourth season at the Goodman. For me, A Christmas Carol is mostly about maintenance, because we do it every year. It’s still fun though. It’s more of a relaxed atmosphere because rather than a new show where we have to say, “How are we going to pull this off?” It’s just like, “Yay! A Christmas Carol! We know what we’re doing!”

But, we do new little things here and there. We’ve remade Scrooge’s bedspread, added new food props. Last year, we made it so the goose at the Cratchit dinner could be carved up into pieces. We also added lots of fake icicles to the set, which was big project because the clear resin we used is toxic. I had to wear like a whole spacesuit thing while pouring it into the molds. The icicles were three feet long, so it took a while!

My first year, we remade the geese that hang in the butcher shop. Before, they were very rigid and plastic-looking, and I remade them with new necks that could dangle. We got a call from an audience member who was concerned that we had harmed real geese, but it was just foam, rope and some fake feathers. A little too real for some, but I wore that as a badge of honor.

One funny thing to observe as a props person is the scene where Scrooge opens up his presents at the end. Larry Yando practically destroys the boxes every year. The first year I was like, “Can he just NOT destroy them?” But then you see show, and how excited he is to open the presents in that moment. So he tears at them, and I think, “Oh, yeah: he should totally destroy them.”