Theatre: Origin of "prop"?

I never thought about this before, but I rceently heard “prop” may be short for “property”? Is that correct? - Jinx

that is correct, prop is short for “theatrical property”, a property being any object smaller than a set, basically.

Yep, we’ve got a “Properties Master” who overlooks wineglasses, tables, important letters, and the like.

There are few things more awkward than going on stage without a required prop. Luckily I’ve never experienced that, though once I dropped a prop and it was left behind on stage after I’d exited.

Oh, I forgot my point, which was that a Properties Master is absolutely a required member of the crew.

I know I’ve posted this before. but…

You’re familiar with West Side Story, right? Tony thinks Maria was shot by Chino, and so runs out onto the street shouting “Chino, come get me too!” Chino pops out of the shadows and shoots Tony. Then Maria comes out and picks up the gun and says “How many of you can I shoot? And still have one bullet left for myself?”

I once met an actress who was in a community theatre production of this. One night, Chino went to the props table to get the gun, and it wasn’t there. Not knowing what else to do, he picked up a switchblade, and went out and stabbed Tony. Maria picked up the gun, and said “How many of you can I stab, and still, er, uh, have, er, stabby… thingy…”

Knife. She picked up the knife. There was no gub.

Sheesh, an amusing anecdote shot–er, stabbed–to hell.

But at least she was able to abt naturally.

It was Once Upon A Mattress, senior year in high school. I was Prince Dauntless, Katie was Winifred (who hoped to be married to me and thereby become my Princess). We’re discussing the tests that my mother the Queen makes all the prospective princesses take. I am supposed to turn around, gesture towards a barbell laying upstage, and struggle to lift it, at which point Katie picks it up one-handed and totes it around stage for the next few lines.

JURPH: And even if you do pass the memorization of the myth of Fafnir, my mother makes all of the girls pass a test of strength. She makes them all lift this–

(turns, sees no barbell, turns back arms spread wide)

–this HUGE weight! … I mean it’s HUGE.
KATIE: Pretty big, huh?
JURPH: You have no idea. It’s HUGE. (gestures again, something between a “thiiiis big” and a “my hands are empty / why me”)
KATIE: (completely ad libs) Well, I’m sure it won’t be any problem. I’ve been working out.

At the end of the scene during our stage kiss in the dip at the end of the big dance number, she smooched me for real (swoon! she was a hottie) and said “NICE cover.” I think I mumbled back something like “Nice work yourself. We rule.”