The Ideal Property Manager at Bemidji Community Theater

The Property Manager is the person who collects purchases and/or creates the props for a stage production.


  • Have an "eye" for bargains.
  • Have excellent organizational skills.
  • Have the ability to communicate effectively.
  • Have design and/or carpentry skills.
  • Learn the history of the play's era.
  • Meet with the production team to determine budgetary needs and any limitations.
  • Establish a schedule of expectations.
  • Read the script, noting all references to props.
  • Attend rehearsals.
  • Become familiar with stage directions:
  • Upstage/Downstage, Stage Right/Stage Left.
  • Take note of what the actors are using.
  • Make a list of required props, using your initial list from the script as well as discussions with the director.
  • Ask the actors and crew
  • Communicate with other theater/performing groups and venues.
  • Shop vintage stores, antique stores, thrift shops, rummage sales, Goodwill.
  • Ask everyone.
  • Build or create as needed.
  • Keep receipts for all purchases.
  • Create a prop log or worksheet:
    • USED BY
  • Establish any special acknowledgments; get names to the director for the program.
  • Substitute or “working” props can be used by the actors as soon as possible.
  • Actual hand props need to be available and ready at least 2 weeks prior to opening.
  • Coordinate the placement and track the movement of the props.
  • Engage an assistant if needed to help with backstage activity.
  • Establish backstage prop tables or designated areas with labels for proper placement.
  • Accountability and responsibility for stage props must be communicated to the cast. Often, a prop manager will need to repeat this information several times. Props must not be handled by anyone other than the actor(s)designated to use them. Actors are responsible for placing and checking their own props prior to the start of the show--this includes rehearsals.
  • Use the prop worksheet to track the return of all props.
  • Check and confirm the condition of the prop, noting any damage.
  • Promptly return any borrowed items.
  • Return receipts to the Production Manager.