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Topic: Almost, Maine props

1.  Almost, Maine props

We are planning on doing Almost, Maine this fall and I'm looking for a cheap source for the red " bags of love". I can make them, but fabric (and time) is expensive so I was wondering if anyone had any ideas. Thanks, ------------------------------------------- Holly Thompson Worthington OH -------------------------------------------

2.  RE: Almost, Maine props

I struggled with creating the "bags of love" too. I looked for red trash bags (couldn't find them); then someone told me that they used read plastic table cloths and taped them together, but this was not as easy as it sounds to accomplish. Finally I sewed large pieces of  felt together and filled it with old T-shirts. The shirts made the huge bags heavy so that the tiny actress I cast really had to work to bring them on. I think it helped build her character. The felt was pretty cheap. I think I made the bags for under $10.

I love Almost, Maine and so did my students.

Break a leg!

Marla Blasko
Theatre Arts Director
Columbia MD

3.  RE: Almost, Maine props

Hi Holly,
We purchased shiny red paper shopping bags from Amazon. They worked well because they looked like mall-type shopping bags, that fit well with Gayle, and were easy to carry because of the handles.  We had Gayle carry 4 in each hand for each entrance so they made an acceptable pile.  They cost something like $.30 apiece.  Have fun with the show!  We like John Cariani more and more as we work on his plays. 

Richard Osann
Theatre Teacher
Standish ME (nowhere near Almost)

4.  RE: Almost, Maine props

I thought and thought and still couldn't figure out what to do until I opened the Sunday paper and saw an ad for Walmart that had pillow cases on sale. That was the answer - red pillow cases stuffed with shirts and towels and whatever else we could find. Try it. ------------------------------------------- Larry Hart Biloxi MS -------------------------------------------

5.  RE: Almost, Maine props

I used Victoria's Secret Bags filled with pillows and fluff.  Worked great since they have handles and are easy to handle.  

Robert DiMartino
Theatre Teacher
Cumberland High School
West Warwick RI

6.  RE: Almost, Maine props

I purchased cheap red fabric from JoAnn's Fabric and filled them with loosely crumpled paper, foam rubber from pillows, all wrapped around an empty cardboard box in the middle. ------------------------------------------- John Perry Drama Instructor Atherton High School Louisville KY -------------------------------------------

7.  RE: Almost, Maine props

Just a reminder to all of you that are building scenery, props, and costumes:  For over 100 years now the NFPA has required that scenery and props be constructed from non-combustible materials.  The materials described in this conversation thread do not appear to meet that criteria - please think about using fire retardants and materials that do not present a fire hazard.  Your audience, crew, and performers should not have to worry about fires.  In addition to the fire hazard, when foam products burn they can produce toxic fumes and dense black smoke that can suffocate a person in seconds.  Plastics can melt and the molten drippings can stick to your skin.

Erich Friend
Theatre Consultant
Teqniqal Systems

"I purchased cheap red fabric from JoAnn's Fabric and filled them with loosely crumpled paper, foam rubber from pillows, all wrapped around an empty cardboard box in the middle."

"I used Victoria's Secret Bags filled with pillows and fluff."

8.  RE: Almost, Maine props

I bought them online for under 20. Each. Huge drawstring bags. Google large Santa bags. If the are imprinted you can turn them inside out. Filling them was harder. We wanted them light, but with interesting shapes. Styrofoam packing from TVs etc. works great. They are so big you can fill half and the still look huge and the extra fabric fills the stage.
Here's a tip, if you paint your own heart painting, check the back for light effect. If its not dark enough, it acts like a scrim and the heart can be seen even holding it backwards! Have fun.

Sheryl Goodspeed

9.  RE: Almost, Maine props

When we did it I bought fabric, stuffing, and cord and made my own rectangular drawstring bags. Very, very easy to sew (I think I did them all in about 3 hours and we had a lot) and I used sale fabric in different shades and patterns of red. None of it was over $1/yard. All told, I probably spent about $25 dollars on the project. I also used some spare fabric I had lying around to stuff things with and give them a little weight. When we struck the show, I donated the stuffing to the Family and Consumer Science department (we're always borrowing things from them, so it seemed like the nice thing to do) and we kept the bags. They have since made their appearance in several other shows (including Santa's bag in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) and have also been used to store things in our closet. I'd say make them! ------------------------------------------- Amy Bussey Stuarts Draft VA -------------------------------------------

10.  RE: Almost, Maine props

I can probably sell you mine if you're stuck. I can't imagine what I will need them for, besides something involving Santa Claus.


James Thomas Bailey
Napa CA

11.  RE: Almost, Maine props

I lucked out and found red laundry bags at the dollar store. They worked perfectly. ------------------------------------------- Amy Sando Minden NV -------------------------------------------

12.  RE: Almost, Maine props

Thanks to everyone for suggestions. My tech director found a bunch of donated red fabric, so I think we're going to make them. Thanks, too, to the person who offered the advice about "seeing through" the heart painting. I would not have thought of that until it happened. ------------------------------------------- Holly Thompson Worthington OH -------------------------------------------

13.  RE: Almost, Maine props

I was thinking of using Macy's bags, and covering the logo.
Do you have any department stores in your area with red bags?

Susan Draus
teacher & theater advisor
Downingtown Area School District
Downingtown PA

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