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Education Program Partner


Design and create your own props under the guidance of professional Stratford Festival prop-builders Michelle Jamieson, Kathryn Kerr and Matt Burgess. In each of these hands-on sessions, you’ll be invited into a virtual work room, where you’ll be guided through specific techniques to realize your own finished prop.

Sessions run from 2 to 4 p.m. on November 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29

Register for one or all five!

November 1 – Exploring Shadow Puppetry                                                 
Michelle Jamieson
After analyzing a selected Shakespeare scene, you’ll undertake the process of designing, drawing, creating and manipulating shadow puppets to tell the story.

November 8 – Fun with Fake Food                                                               
Michelle Jamieson
A rich tradition in the world of prop-making is creating fake food that will look real on stage. In this workshop, you’ll prepare several inedible but delicious-looking dishes!

November 15 – The Distressing Art of Furniture Breakdown                     
Kathryn Kerr
Learn the tips and tricks of making even the nicest furniture look terrible. Explore the full range of furniture breakdown, including creating wear and tear, stains, rips, dirt and bulges.

November 22 – Sculpting Picture Frames                                                    
Matthew Burgess
Sculpting with clay, you’ll learn how to build an ornate, three-dimensional frame for a picture or mirror.

November 29 – Creating Sculptures from Toys                                          
Michelle Jamieson
Using a fairly simple technique that has multiple applications, you’ll discover how to create soft fabric or foam sculptural shapes starting with a small toy or sculpture.

Registration Details
All workshops are Pay-What-You-Wish (PWYW), with a minimum payment of $10. If you're able to give more, please consider doing so in order to pay it forward.

Registration is available until noon on the day of your workshop. Please note that the Zoom link will be sent to the email address associated with your Stratford Festival account on the day of the session.

All ages are encouraged to participate in these prop-building workshops, but children under 12 must take part with a parent or guardian.

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Required Technology

  • A computer or tablet able to run a recent version of a web browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox, with a webcam (internal or external), digital camera or similar device to stream video and a microphone (internal or external), plus speakers or headphones
  • A reliable high-speed Internet connection
  • Other materials specific to each session, as found below and on this printable Supply List. All of these supplies can be found at a dollar or craft store.

November 1 - Exploring Shadow Puppetry

  • Two to three sheets of black cardstock or Bristol board
  • A roll of clear packing tape
  • 10 to 40 split-pin paper fasteners
  • A black Sharpie marker
  • Several bamboo skewers or sticks
  • A sheet of white fabric (to hang for a screen)
  • A single light source (such as a lamp or flashlight)
  • A pair of scissors
  • Optional: a hole punch, an X-Acto (or similar) utility knife

November 8 - Fun With Fake Food

  • A caulking gun
  • One tube of brown paintable acrylic caulking
  • A small piece (about one foot)of blue or pink insulation foam
  • One square foot of 1"-thick upholstery foam
  • A small amount of rough sandpaper or a couple of nail files
  • A handful of toothpicks
  • A few bamboo skewers
  • Some parchment paper and aluminium foil
  • A few acrylic paints (raw sienna, burnt amber)
  • A couple of small paintbrushes (1/2" and 1/4")
  • A few mini aluminium pie tins
  • A piece of beige felt
  • A piece of red or fruit-coloured fabric (one square foot)
  • A glue gun and a few glue sticks
  • An old pen or small stick
  • Several disposable cups
  • A roll of masking tape
  • An Olfa (or similar) knife
  • Optional: sawdust or wood shavings, sparkles, plates

November 15 - The Distressing Art of Furniture Breakdown

  • A small piece of furniture (e.g., a stool or a chair with upholstered seat and/or arms) that you don't mind distressing
  • A small amount of sandpaper (1/4 sheet each of 100 grit and 180 to 220 grit)
  • A couple of small paintbrushes (1/2" and 1/4")
  • A few acrylic pains (raw umber, black, burnt umber, and raw sienna, ochre or white)
  • A few yogurt-sized containers and lids to hold water and paint mix
  • A few handfuls of fiber fill or cotton batting or kapok
  • A needle (2" to 3", strong and sharp, curved if possible) and thread, ideally matched ot the upholstery colour of your project
  • A small pair of sharp scissors, a craft knife or a seam-ripper

November 22 - Sculpting Picture Frames

  • A small portion of clay
  • A small hand-held mirror
  • A sculpting tool set
  • A small bowl with water
  • A clean rag
  • A utility knife
  • Paper towels
  • A small paint brush

November 29 - Creating Sculptures from Toys

  • A small toy (animals, figurines, ornaments or fantastical beasts no smaller than three to five inches)
  • Some cellophane
  • A roll of masking tape
  • Some fabric (up to three metres; depending on how large you want to make your final sculpture, you may need more)
  • A black Sharpie marker
  • A handful of pins
  • A sewing machine
  • A computer program that will allow you to scale up a drawing
  • A printer