Behind the Curtain: Molding and Casting in the Properties Shop

Take a look Behind the Curtain as Properties Master Jane Kline and her team took on the exciting process of molding and casting actor Michael Watt's head for the Studio Theatre Production of Rough Magic.

Trish Agrell-Smith & Jane Kline - 12 April 2024

After weeks of preparation, research and testing to make sure they had the science exactly right, Properties Master Jane Kline and her team undertook the intensive task of making a mold of actor Michael Watts' entire head. This mold was used to make a cast and subsequently create the prop of Caius' dismembered head for the April 2024 Studio Theatre production of Rough Magic

During the hour and a quarter-long molding process, everyone in the room had a specific job: mixing media, applying the product, documenting the process, and ensuring the subject remained safe and supported throughout. The enthusiastic team included Michael Watt (subject, BFA Acting 2024), Jane Kline (Department of Drama Properties Master), Ankita Yadav (Set, Costume & Props Designer for Rough Magic, MFA Production Design 2024), Ryan Halun (properties assistant), Tiffany Martineau (properties assistant), Jacquelin Walters (safety support, BFA Acting 2024), and Christine Brubaker (photographer, Director for Rough Magic).

Materials used were: Lifecasting Silicone Rubber for the mold-making medium (green) and Gypsona Plaster Bandages to create the mother mold. Casting was accomplished using Flexible Polyurethane Rubber, which, once cured, would have a mass similar to that of an actual human head. The resulting prop was painted by designer Ankita Yadav and finished by Jane Kline, and was received with horror and delight by performers and audiences alike throughout the run of the show.

Molding photos are courtesy of Christine Brubaker
Casting and Painting photos are courtesy of Jane Kline
Production photos are by Brianne Jang, and show Lily Davies as Sasia, Mark Guerrero as Chet, and Michael Watt as Mageara.