Do-It-Yourself Prop Making with Joseph Culpepper 

Do-It-Yourself Prop Making with Joseph Culpepper
Photo provided by Joseph Culpepper


Sunday, September 27, 2020,
From 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EST)

Registration deadline

September 23, 2020



Maximum number of participants



Members: 0.00$
Non-members: 0.00$


Lockdown is a great time to re-imagine, tinker, and design props. Participants will reflect upon their props and the importance of those props for their performance. The group will collectively think about how prop usage, storage and training needs have been impacted by confinement. Identifying these needs will fuel a rethinking of our props and how to adapt them to the limitations and opportunities of 2020. Creative exercises and collaborative brainstorming sessions will then be used to adapt and/or create props on paper during the first half of this workshop.

The second part of this workshop will move from conceiving the prop on paper to tips for its physical creation. Participants will be provided with tips for turning anything from a small apartment to a larger living space into a prop laboratory. Resources for learning how to source required materials at little or no cost, how to acquire necessary tools, and how to fabricate early versions of experimental props will then be shared in relation to props that have been successfully designed for a number of circus artists and companies. Participants will leave this workshop with new tools for their own projects with an emphasis on sustainability.

This workshop is open to all interested in sustainable DIY prop design (artists, performance-makers, instructors, social circus practitioners, designers, etc.) and is offered online in partnership with the St. John's International CircusFest.


Workshop instructor: Joseph Culpepper is a magic consultant, magician, and researcher. He is a postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University and an associate researcher and instructor at the Center for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer (CRITAC) at Montreal’s National Circus School. He has designed 19th-Century stage illusions for contemporary performances, received a Black Rock City Arts Honoraria Grant to create a participatory optical art installation at Burning Man 2019, and developed hybrid magic-circus props for Cirque du Soleil. The title of his current research project is “Adapting Human Performance Techniques, Illusion Aesthetics, and Specialized Apparatus from the World of Stage Conjuring to Contemporary Circus Disciplines.”


Required materials

Computer (with a camera option for Zoom) and wifi connection.

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Registration for this workshop is now closed.