What do fake dead bodies, a carve-able turkey, and the physical puppet of Donkey in Shrek: the Musical have in common? They are all examples of what makes the world of Specialty Props so fascinating. This very special field in the theatre requires an expertise in fine art, but also one with knowledge of the dramatic structure. These designers have the challenge to both dazzle and inspire audiences, without interrupting the show or movement, a skill that requires collaboration with the creative team of the show.

Watch Mary Creede, Zoë Morsette, and John Jerard sculpt, sew, hammer, power, design, and ultimately create iconic specialty props.

Special Note: Many of the props that Zoë Morsette discussed working on including Les Misérables were built during her time working at McHugh-Rollins studio.

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Working in The Theatre

American Theatre Wing PRO

Working in the Theatre shares the stories of the people that make theatre great and provides our audience with the most comprehensive and in-depth conversations, interviews, and resources about American theatre anywhere online. Our growing library of…


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Working in the Theatre shares the stories of the people that make theatre great and provides our audience with the most comprehensive and in-depth conversations, interviews, and resources about American theatre anywhere online. Our growing library of films include more than 900 guests and have been broadcast to over seven million households and viewed on the web over 50,000 times per month.

The American Theatre Wing’s Working in the Theatre receives leadership support from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation and is also supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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