Theatrical property

movable physical object used on a motion picture, television, or stage set that are not costume

A property, commonly shortened to prop (plural: props), is any object used in performing arts during a performance. They are used on the stage in theatre, and on the screen by actors in movies and television. A prop is anything on a stage or a set that is able to be moved. It is different from the scenery, costumes and production equipment.

A prop table used in the musical Oliver!

Anything that is used but is not part of the scenery (the set) is a prop, e.g., furniture, a book that an actor pretends to read, a pipe that they smoke. Food appearing in the production is also a prop.[1][2][3][4]

Props are looked after by a properties master. Sometimes, for small things like books or fans, it is the actor who is responsible for making sure he has the prop. This is called a "personal prop".

People have been accidentally killed by props. One case is from 2021.

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  1. Nesfield-Cookson, Mary (1934). Small Stage Properties and Furniture. London: G. Allen & Unwin. p. 11.
  2. Conway, Heather (1959). Stage Properties. London: H. Jenkins. p. 11.
  3. Govier, Jacquie (1984). Create Your Own Stage Props. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. p. 8. ISBN 0-13-189044-1.
  4. Harris, Margaret (1975). "Introduction". In Motley (ed.). Theatre Props. New York: Drama Book Specialists/Publishers. p. 7. ISBN 0-910-482-66-7.