The ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) is responsible for layout and organisation of prop tables offstage. They contain all of the hand props that the actors hold during the performance and are laid out in such a way that it can be clearly seen where each item should go, and whether it’s there or not. The ASM(s) have a pre-show check list which ensures that all props are in the correct location. An ASM may also have a running list which involves resetting props to different locations during the performance, and/or handing props to actors as they rush off stage.
1) Adequate Working Light
Ask the electricians / technicians for a working light above each prop table. Desk-level lamps can be used, but are often too low to be able to light the whole table properly. Blue-gelled lamps should be used, with shades to keep stray light away from the acting area.
2) Clearly labelled areas for props
White paper should be taped to the table-top, with lines dividing it up to show where each prop should be stored. The ASM can clearly see any missing items, and actors will find it difficult to mess everything up.
You can also write on masking tape to divide up areas on the props table, especially if the layout is evolving / not finalised.
More information coming soon