SRJC Course Outlines

1/25/2022 9:57:05 PMTHAR 127.1 Course Outline as of Fall 2021

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  THAR 127.1Title:  PROPS WKSHP FURNITURE  
Full Title:  Properties Workshop: Furniture and Upholstery
Last Reviewed:4/26/2021

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum2.00Lecture Scheduled1.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled17.50
Minimum2.00Lab Scheduled3.008 min.Lab Scheduled52.50
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total4.00 Contact Total70.00
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  35.00Total Student Learning Hours: 105.00 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade Only
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 

Catalog Description:
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This course provides intermediate instruction in the skills involved in the design, coordination, and construction of stage properties (commonly called props), with a focus on furniture, upholstery and soft goods construction skills.  Students will work on focus-related projects, as well as properties for SRJC productions.

Course Completion of THAR 27

Recommended Preparation:

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
This course provides intermediate instruction in the skills involved in the design, coordination, and construction of stage properties (commonly called props), with a focus on furniture, upholstery and soft goods construction skills.  Students will work on focus-related projects, as well as properties for SRJC productions.
(Grade Only)

Prerequisites:Course Completion of THAR 27
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Inactive:
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
CSU Transfer:Effective:Inactive:
UC Transfer:Effective:Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Certificate Applicable Course


Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
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1. Conceptualize, communicate, organize, and safely construct and/or refurbish theatrical
     props, particularly furniture, upholstery elements, and soft goods used in stage and
     camera productions.

Objectives: Untitled document
In order to achieve these learning outcomes, during the course the student will:
1.   Read and analyze a script with respect to historical period and style, focusing on the
      furniture and soft goods needs for a production.
2.   Conduct and apply historical and stylistic research in the conceptualization of a prop design,
      identifying historical styles of furniture and fabrics used in upholstery and soft goods.
3.   Identify the characteristics of different types of finishes and fabrics, such as strength,
      durability, draping, transparency, and relationship to lighting.
4.   Demonstrate creative problem solving in prop designing, including finding resources,
      adaption, and working within a budget.
5.   Develop strategies for implementing and restoring temporary changes to borrowed or stock
      furniture, upholstery, and soft goods for a production.
6.   Work collaboratively and communicate with a design and directorial team.
7.   Formulate a plan for the selection, protection, and maintenance of furniture and soft goods
      for the run of a show.
8.   Renovate existing furniture props using a variety of upholstery, refinishing, and repair tools
      and techniques.
9.   Apply safety procedures for the handling and storage of tools and materials used to
      upholster, refurbish, and construct furniture props and soft goods for a theatrical production.
10. Mentor beginning students in theatrical furniture and upholstery techniques.

Topics and Scope
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Properties Overview Topics:
I. Introduction
    A. Define stage properties, props master, props manager and props organization
    B. Introduction to historical styles
II. Safety and Standards of Professionalism
    A. Shop safety
    B. Safe use of materials and equipment
    C. Explanation of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets)
    D. The importance of protective clothing and masks
    E. Other standards of professionalism
III. Script Analysis and Strategizing for an Assigned Play
    A. Evaluation of props requirements of an assigned play
    B. Strategizing which props can be bought, pulled from stock, or built
    C. Consideration of the play's period and socioeconomic situation in relation to props
    D. Consideration of the play's style, such as realism vs. fantasy
IV. Research
    A. Investigate sources of historical information
    B. Discuss and investigate creative nontraditional research approaches
V. Purchasing
    A. Budgeting
    B. Buying props
    C. Researching sources
VI. Managing Props in Production
    A. Organization and placement
    B. Tracking
    C. Inventory and maintenance
    D. Working with actors
VII. Working with Stock Props [Primarily Lecture]
    A. SRJC Base stock and users
    B. Considerations before making changes to stock props
         1. Use
              a. How often is stock item used?
              b. How likely is item to be used in current condition?
         2. Condition of item
              a. Is item in need of repair?
              b. Is item usable in current condition?
              c. Will changes improve, sustain, or diminish item's quality?
         3. Value
              a. How much would it cost to replace item?
              b. How feasible is it to replace item (age, rarity, etc.)?
         4. Durability and "Lifespan"
              a. Will changes withstand production demands over time?
              b. Do changes increase or reduce longevity of item's use?
    C. Repurposing stock props
         1. Temporary vs permanent changes
         2. Where will item be stored in stock after changes?
Workshop Focus Topics:
I. Painting concepts and techniques
     A. Color theory
           1. How color works
           2. Paints and pigments
           3. Mixing color
           4. Color wheel
     B. Techniques
           1. Highlight and shadow
           2. Glazing and surface qualities of props
     C. Painting furniture
     D. Painting fabric
II. Furniture
    A. Historic styles of furniture as pertaining to production requirements
    B. Types of furniture materials
         1. Types of wood
         2. Other natural products (rattan, etc.)
         3. Metal
         4. Man-made substances
    C. Furniture tools, materials and resources
         1. Acquisition techniques
         2. Construction techniques
         3. Maintenance
         4. Safety concerns
    D. Furniture restoration and repair
         1. Restoration techniques
         2. Finishing and refinishing
              a. Stains
              b. Paints
              c. Other finishes
              d. Stripping furniture
              e. Protecting porous wood
         3. Temporary vs permanent changes
              a. Distressing
              b. Stain vs paint
              c. Repurposing
         4. Hardware
    E. Safety and usage concerns
         1. Weight capacity
         2. Balance and stability
         3. Production usage demands          
III. Fabric
    A. Historic styles of furniture as pertaining to production requirements
    B. Types of fabrics
    C. Characteristics of fabric
         1. Strength and durability
         2. Draping
         3. Transparency
         4. Relationship to stage lighting
    D. Fabric tools, materials and resources
         1. Acquisition techniques and resources
         2. Construction techniques (other than sewing)
         3. Maintenance
    E. Sewing
         1. Basic sewing techniques for the construction of soft goods
         2. Different types of sewing equipment for soft good construction
         3. Safe use of sewing equipment
    F. Dying fabric
         1. Tools and techniques
         2. Safety
IV. Soft Goods
    A. Historic styles of soft goods as pertaining to production requirements
    B. Practical soft goods
         1. Cleaning cloths (such as towels)
         2. Bed linens
         3. Table linens
    C. Decorative soft goods
         1. Window dressing
         2. Accent pillows, bolsters, etc.
         3. Throws, blankets and comforters
    D. Specialty soft goods
         1. Flags
         2. Bags. satchels, etc.
         3. Other specialty items
    E. Tools and resources for soft goods
         1. Acquisition techniques
         2. Construction techniques
         3. Maintenance
V. Upholstery and Reupholstering
    A. Historic styles of upholstery as pertaining to production requirements
    B. Upholstery terminology
    C. Types of upholstery fabrics
    D. Working with other types of upholstery surfaces (such as leather)
    E. Restoring and repairing upholstery
    F. Reupholstering furniture
         1. Filling material
         2. Structural elements (such as frames and springs)
         3. Finishes (such as trim, tufting, etc.)
    G. Maintaining upholstery
VI. Specialty Skills for Furniture Construction
    A. Electrical wiring for properties construction
         1. Basic electrical process
         2. Wiring a switch and a circuit
         3. Soldering
    B. Foam carving
         1. Safe use of tools and materials
         2. Carving techniques
         3. Finishing techniques
VII. Methods for Assisting Peers
    A. Theatrical furniture refinishing, repair, and/or construction
    B. Upholstery techniques
Unless specifically noted above, all topics are covered in both the lecture and lab
portions of the course.

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THAR 127.1 students will attend class with THAR 27 students and participate in class activities
relating to the properties requirements for the semester's productions.  However, the following
assignments will focus primarily on developing skills relating to furniture, upholstery needs, and
soft goods.
Homework and class assignments:
1. Read 5-10 pages of the required material per week.
2. Quiz(zes): One or more quizzes on assigned reading and/or safety issues.
3. Read, analyze, and research 3-4 assigned plays from a property designer's
    viewpoint. Scripts will include 2-3 SRJC productions for the current semester;
    instructor may select 1-2 additional scripts for class discussion and exercises.
    With each script, the student will:
    A. Identify required and potential props, focusing on furniture and soft goods.
    B. Develop a props list, scene by scene.
    C. Identify the period and style of each play.
    D. Research and collect visual images representing the period of the play.
    E. Research the identified props within the play's period, providing
4. Design Team Assignment
    Students will work in groups of 2-3 to simulate the collaborative process of a
    design team.
    Assignment example:
    A. The team is assigned one or more specific props for an upcoming production.
    B. The team strategizes how the prop(s) will be constructed, selects
         appropriate materials, and applies techniques in the construction of the
         assigned prop(s).
5. Production Attendance Essays:
    A. Attend 2-3 SRJC productions (Note: Students receive one free
         ticket per production.)
    B. Write a 500-word essay on each play, focusing on the props used.
6. Props Purchasing Assignment:
    A. Research 2-4 purchasing sources for an assigned object or material.
    B. Present findings to class, including price, availability and delivery information.
7. Final Project:  
     Problem-solve, strategize, and construct (or refinish) an instructor-assigned
    furniture piece or soft good prop for theatrical use.
     (Instructor may assign a prop for a specific production or independent of
    any specific script or show.)
8. Professionalism - Adhere to the standards of professionalism expected in the field of
    properties and the course syllabus:
     A. Arrive promptly and prepared for all class meetings, participating actively.
     B. Maintain an amiable and supportive attitude when interacting with others (fellow
          students, instructor, technical director, designers, actors, stage managers, etc.)
     C. Work collaboratively with other team members when working on group tasks.
     D. Acknowledging the sometimes stressful and time-sensitive working environment,
          contribute positively by staying focused, listening closely, following instructions
          carefully, and taking initiative when appropriate.
     E. Wear required work attire and safety gear, adhere to safety procedures as
          instructed, and strive to maintain good personal health and safety practices.
Additional Skills-Based Assignments may include:
9. Props Management Assignment:
    A. Develop a problem-solving strategy for organizing and managing furniture
         and soft goods for a production, in theory or practical application.
    B. Document the management strategy in a 500-word paper (Strategy Paper).
10. Specialized Prop Construction/Refurbishing Assignment(s):
      Complete one or more additional prop assignments involving furniture construction/
      refinishing, upholstery, and/or construction of soft goods.
11. Peer assisting in theatrical furniture and upholstery.

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
10 - 20%
Production essays; Strategy paper (optional)
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
20 - 40%
Script analysis, research, strategizing and purchasing assignments
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
40 - 60%
Props design and construction assignments; Design Team assignment
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
5 - 15%
Quiz(zes) on reading/safety
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
5 - 10%
Professionalism (includes participation and attendance)

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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The Prop Building Guidebook: For Theatre, Film, and TV. 2nd ed. Hart, Eric. Focal Press. 2017
The Theatre Props Handbook: 2nd ed. James, Thurston. Players Press. 2000 (classic)
The Prop Builders Molding and Casting Handbook. James, Thurston. Betterway Books. 1989 (classic)
Intructor prepared materials.

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