Props & Set

In the past four years I had the pleasure of working with several of Baltimore's fantastic theater spaces. After a short stint in the Baltimore film industry in 2011 and 2012 working on a few independent films, commercials and the television series House of Cards as a set dresser, production assistant or props assistant, I quickly realized I was not cut out for the excessive, hierarchical, competitive, 14-hour days that amounted to building something that never gets used nature of commercial filmmaking. That being said, my passion is artfully done documentary filmmaking, but that's a whole other industry I have yet to adequately dive into. I'm sure similar principals apply, but there's a little more room to control the process. To combat the banality of producing useless things for bad films and commercials (except for House of Cards, which I admittedly love) I turned to managing or making props for experimental theater. Below is a selection of projects from 2012-2015. 

 

Annex Theater

I created a series of cyborg characters on a shoestring budget out of mostly cardboard for the play adaptation of the novel Ubik, directed and written by Evan Moritz in the winter of 2012. Original novel written by Philip K. Dick. 

In the fall of 2014, Annex Theater put on an award-winning play adaptation of the Peter Greenaway film, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, directed by Emily Hall. I was delighted to do the props for the show, held at the now closed restaurant, Canteen, along with a four-course meal for the audience during each show. The final dish consisted of a cooked corpse, so my main task was to recreate the main character's likeness into an edible object. This got simplified down so that only one part of the actor would be edible, made out of gelatin, and the rest would be cast in plaster. The images below show in-process shots of the body in my studio. 

 

Baltimore Rock Opera Society

In the summer of 2015 I signed on to create muppet-style hand puppets for the short opera written and directed by Heather Keating, called The Determination of Azimuth, based on the experiences of Katharine Johnson, an African American mathematician who was ahead of her time in the NASA Space Age circa 1950's, and an unsung hero in the realm of math and science. To align itself to the themes of the play, the only white, astronaut characters were not to be played by real people, but by puppets set off-stage on a screen. Photos taken by Heather Keating are below. 

 

Single Carrot Theater

In the spring of 2015, I was the props designer for Singer Carrot Theater's production of Utopia Parkway, by Charles Mee, directed by Genevieve Mahy. I was drawn to this play because Charles Mee is famous for collaging sections of fables, literature, songs, and essays together to create a play, and the company producing the play has extensive control over how it comes together, similar to devised theater. With so many visual collections to be inspired by, I was excited by the challenge of taking three major visual influences and tying it together into one play, set in an unknown place and time. I don't have any photos of the production unfortunately, for now, but it was a great experience and I couldn't help but add it to this collection of work. Here is one photo to give you an idea of what it all looked like, taken by Chris Hartlove:

Three main characters swinging on a tire swing in a Maypole-esque performance with long swaths of fabric. 

Anthropologie Window Display

When the new Anthropology opened in Harbor East I was commissioned by a merchandize designer to do a series of screen paintings for the opening window display.