Those who are fortunate enough to have been behind the scenes know that the glitz and splendor displayed on stage is much less dazzling up close. Naturally, even the richest theater cannot afford real diamond necklaces and expensive performance furniture. We have to make do with props.
The word "props" appeared in Italy to refer to props and decorations. In direct translation, it means "fake", however, a more correct synonym in meaning will be the concept of "dummy". There are many objects on the stage that look like real but are not real.
Why do you need a props?
Props are necessary not only to save on props, although, of course, this aspect is important. Fake objects can be much lighter, stronger, or, conversely, fragile than their real prototypes, depending on the specific requirements of a particular performance. For example, a significant part of theatrical furniture is decorated only from the side facing the viewer. In addition, many fake objects are too expressive, which is why, as a rule, they look ridiculous up close, but they look perfect from the audience.
Almost every theater has its own props shop, which provides performances with the appropriate props. The workers of this workshop are literally “jack of all trades”, because they are required to have the skills of sculptors, turners, handicraftsmen, carpenters, cutters, artists, jewelers. For the manufacture of props, a variety of materials are used: metal, wood, fabric, composite materials, various synthetics. For example, one of the most popular materials that is still actively used is ordinary papier-mâché, that is, glued paper.
Do not assume that props are producing "disposable items." On the contrary, many props are made deliberately more durable than their real counterparts. This is necessary so that the same set of props can be used throughout the theater season, rather than creating a new set for each performance.
Not only on stage
Up to a certain point, fake objects were used exclusively for stage needs, but in the 20th century they found less peaceful use. So, in the Second World War, the parties actively used fake copies of military equipment, tanks, fortifications. This was done to mislead enemy intelligence. Aviation was used to collect intelligence, and from a height of several hundred meters it was not difficult to take a dummy tank for a real combat vehicle. In the modern world, props can also be found not only in the theater. For example, plastic apples in fruit baskets or dummies of surveillance cameras are examples of classic props.