Barbie’s Lost Her Head


What can I say? The props shop is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots in the theatre…

I headed down to the basement to see how Mark Bissonnette, Butch Kane and Ian Stillman (Geva’s skilled props artisans) were doing with the thousands of religious icons they’re making for Freud’s Last Session. And I found Butch Kane (pictured at left) practically giddy with delight at the task before him. “Well,” he explained, “I’ve always been in awe of antiquities. Even as a kid, I was fascinated by things like this in museums. And when I read this play, it was like ‘Oh, yeah!'”

There’s a growing pile of doll heads next to Butch’s work space, which would be disturbing in a child’s bedroom, but here, it’s just another day at the office. With time quickly running out to complete the creation of Freud’s shrine to religious artifacts, Butch is continuing to turn children’s toys into ancient artifacts. “When pieces like this are one or two thousand years old, unless they were sealed in a tomb, they tend to get damaged, lose arms, heads, legs, etc. And they lose their detail. So we add clay to smooth out the features, we break off limbs and paint the clay to give it an earthen appearance.”

Some of the objects onstage are based on objects that Freud had in his office, and those, Butch has carved out of foam, as described in a previous post. Check out some of this week’s new creations – can you find Barbie and Ken in the images below (hint, hint: they’re in the same photo…)?



This vase is graced with the addition of some hieroglyphic stamps Butch found several years ago. The same stamps make up the clay image to the right.






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