Vice Squad

So, one of the things that made Bloody Bloody such a fun show to prop was how much of the props and set dressing were related to sex, drugs, alcohol, and general vice, evil and political commentary.

Here are some highlights:

The Drug Ledge.

So, this is actually a pretty central spot on the stage, and the pile of coke in the middle of the photo kept disappearing after we would install it. So, we ended up having a Coke Pile Competition in the prop shop, which Eric Hart eventually won with the concoction of spray adhesive and plaster that you see here. But it was a pretty hilarious work table in the shop for an evening:

Ok, so thats drugs covered, on to sex.

One of our focuses was on things that look like penises. There was some experimentation with foodstuffs (sausages, hot dogs and the like), but my personal favorite was an addition to an Andrew Jackson paper doll of an ear plug and two marbles. Adorable!

But, my personal favorite one is in a corner: on top of a pile of Budweiser 30-packs there is a copy of Penthouse, a half-eaten sandwich, and a roll of duct tape. I guess I’m into the story element of this: it feels like the remains of someone’s life… and you get to imagine what they were doing… or not, for decency’s sake.

Another kind of visual joke thats made on the set is political: right after the Health Care bill was signed, “Big Fucking Deal” appeared scrawled in sharpie on the wall.

But this one is my favorite:

Yes, that is a copy of Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” tucked underneath a horse’s ass.

I think as a props person you are constantly making jokes with things in your head: I definitely find myself wanting to arrange set dressing in compromising positions. Theres something really exciting about using objects to make puns. Whats so successful about the dressing in Bloody Bloody is that it really thoroughly explores all of the ways that that can work, ranging from funny stuff (ie the marble-penis), to narrative moments (like the porn/sandwich combo). The dressing is also not always super-constructed (the Palin book moment, for example, is a really simple gesture), but it requires a lot of thinking and collection. I can imagine that creating this show without a prop stock would be a much more difficult proposition. We were able to create a lot of this from stuff we had around, but there was still some shopping for very specific items (marbles and so forth)… and we spent a fortune on duct tape.


About meredithries

Meredith is a set designer living in Brooklyn, NY. See her work at: This is a repurposed old blog. Because continuity is important. Malaprop is a malapropism
This entry was posted in Animal Cruelty, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, penises, porn, props, Public Theater, puns, set design, set dressing, Taxidermy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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