Just Desserts

By Johnson, Bryan | Stage Directions, December 2017 | Go to article overview

Just Desserts


Johnson, Bryan, Stage Directions


Every stage production has a story to tell, and for the props artisan, a new world of opportunity. The chance to design, create, and breathe life into otherwise "normal" and commonly overlooked items that lend themselves to the world you are helping to create.

While a prop request can be challenging, it can also be fun, rewarding and educational. You'll get to learn new techniques and develop processes that can be added to your tool box. Experiences you will definitely use again. Among those tools often called upon are those needed to create non-edible food that makes the mouth water, including delectable desserts. Here are my recipes for two desserts so realistic you will need to put a disclaimer on the prop table.

Brownies

A sweet treat for Sondheim's Company was a plate of delicious fudge brownies. They had to look real, stay in place on the plate, and read to a 1,500-seat house. It was always fun watching people trying to guess the real brownies from the props.

- Use green/yellow medium duty scrub sponges, trimmed to the desired size.

- Using a dark brown or black spray paint, paint the sponges. This takes some time; they are sponges. Be patient. Allow to dry. (NOTE: Do NOT rinse sponges before painting, as they will become thin and brittle as they dry out. The way they come out of the package is ideal for this purpose.)

- Joint compound is used for icing. Mix in some acrylic paint to get the color you want and started icing. …

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