Ever wonder who helps create all of the props you
see on stage during a show? Meet Rachelle Martin, IRT’s Props Artisan! Rachelle is crafter and creator through and through, making her role in the Props Shop a dream job. Learn more about Rachelle, her work, and an insightful tip for when you come to the IRT for a performance in this Staff Q&A!
How long have you worked at the IRT and in what role(s)?
This is my sixth season as the Props Artisan, my only official role here.
What does a typical day look like for you and what do you enjoy most about working in your department?
It's incredibly rare for me to have a "typical" day, each show and its needs is so different from the last. Sometimes I'll go scouting furniture or shopping for most of the day, while other times I'm working on projects in the shop. I love the variety that comes with being an artisan in my department. We get to explore and learn about different styles, time periods and materials. I'm a maker through and through, so this is pretty much my dream job.
What’s one helpful tip you’d offer someone coming to the IRT for the first time?
When you walk into the theatre space, take a moment to visually explore the set, experience the lighting, and give a good listen to the pre-show music (if there is any). What feeling do you get? Designers deliberately set the tone for the very first contact you have with the world of the play, and I think that moment gets lost sometimes. Also, read as much of the program notes as you can.
Favorite Indy restaurant or place to visit or thing to do?
My boyfriend and I love to have Sushi Sunday at FortyFive Degrees on Mass Ave. Highly recommend the Rock'n'Roll!
Do you have a favorite show(s) you’ve seen at the IRT?
One from each season I've worked here--What I Learned in Paris (14/15), The Mystery of Irma Vep (15/16), Finding Home: Indiana at 200 (16/17), Noises Off (17/18), Every Brilliant Thing (18/19).
What’s been one of the most fun or most challenging projects you’ve worked on for a production at the IRT?
For Finding Home: Indiana at 200 the prop shop was tasked with filling ten foot tall letters that spell "INDIANA" with various ephemera and Hoosier-esque items. I arranged and attached all sorts of odds and ends, and when the show closed the Indianapolis Public Library installed them in their Central Branch on the 6th floor. Sometimes I can see them from the highway!
If you weren’t at work, where could we find you and what would you be doing?
I'm a singer in few different bands, I perform and teach improv comedy, and I also teach craft classes and participate in craft markets around town.
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