At most theatres, the stage is cleared immediately following the final performance.  Some organizations prefer to schedule strike the following day and in that case, the props should be stored in their normal and usual show run storage position unless other arrangements have been made with the prop department.

During strike, all props and set dressing must be removed to facilitate other department’s strikes and to guarantee the safety of the props.  Usually the prop crew is the first on-stage to remove their items as the other areas clear back stage areas and prepare for the load-out.  In order to facilitate all areas and allow the strike to progress without delay, dressing items are often stuck to a secure area where they can be packed in boxes or onto a cart for return to the prop shop for cleaning and final storage or disposal.  Furniture is removed from the stage.  Hand props are loaded into boxes and returned to the prop shop.  Once all stage props have been cleared, the scenery and electrics strike can continue without fear of damaging the props and without the prop crew being onstage when lights are flown in or scenic pieces being removed.  This is for the safety and security of the crew as well as the props.  Flown props such as chandeliers or dressing on flown scenic items are removed as the pieces become available during the strike.  The electrics crew usually removes any additional wiring apparatus or rigging prior to returning items to the prop shop following strike.  Items borrowed from costumes for dressing should be laundered as needed and returned to the costume shop.  Personal props stored with the costume are picked up from the dressing rooms or costume shop. 

A written strike plan aids in completing an organized and efficient strike giving each artisan a list of specific responsibilities during the strike by priority.   

Click on ladders to see examples of a “Strike Plan”



 Following strike, all prop rentals and borrowed items should be returned.  All stock props should be cleaned or laundered before returning to stock.  This is especially critical for items that have been in contact with food, been contaminated during the action of the play, or may have utilized floral putty or other substances to secure set dressing.  Soft goods should be laundered, china and dishes washed, furniture wiped down or vacuumed as needed, and weapons cleaned and oiled.  All props should be returned to their proper storage location and if a prop inventory is maintained, it should be updated to reflect the most recent adds, alterations, or cuts.


Prop furniture storage- Seattle Rep

Click here to view sub-topics:


        Load-in        Consumables        Technical rehearsal        Open/run       

Click here to view sub-topics:


        Load-in        Consumables        Technical rehearsal        Open/run       


Strike cart used to move props to/from hand prop storage, Seattle Repertory Theatre

    In the case of some shows, which may be stored for a re-mount at a later date or may travel to other theatres, the show will need to be packed in an appropriate way.  If items are boxed be sure to label the box with the name of the show, include an inventory on both the inside and the outside of the box, and mark which side is UP.  For larger items such as furniture or dressing items it is handy to sew lightweight muslin covers stenciled with the show name to be tied over the piece to keep off dust.  Props returning for re-mount such as "Christmas Carol", which many theatres run each winter, may be stored in a separate storage area often with the scenery and not mixed in with the usual prop stock.  Props being sent on for use in a co-production may be boxed, labeled, and put on a palette or in a moving container for transportation to the next site.

Click to see next “chapter”: The Prop Shop