Noughts and Crosses: Prop design

Noughts and Crosses: Prop design

Theme and Aesthetic of Props

  • ‘Noughts and Crosses’ is a play set in a universe where racial prejudice is inverted, thus props should be designed to subtly highlight this alternate reality.
  • The overall aesthetic of the props should reflect this dystopian world. Use of monochrome colours, particularly black and white, can be significant considering the central theme of racial segregation.

Symbolic Representation

  • Look for ways to symbolically represent the noughts (the blacks in this world) and crosses (the whites). This could be mirrored in small details such as dinnerware, stationery or costumes.
  • Emphasise the symbolic meaning of certain props, for example, the ragdoll could represent Sephy’s naivety and innocence while the chain could represent the oppressive segregation in society.

Props in Society and Settings

  • The telescreens, a key feature of the society, must be convincingly portrayed. They could be projected on a backdrop or represented by a physical screen on stage to show the dominance of the totalitarian regime.
  • Consider the school setting: Desks, books, teaching equipment should look authoritarian and uniform aligning with the theme of strict societal control.
  • The props for various locations like Callum and Sephy’s homes should contrast each other, indicating their differing social statuses.

Props Depicting Inequalities and Treatment

  • Use of props to demonstrate the harsh treatments noughts receive, such as cold, metal bus seating for noughts while crosses get upholstered seats.
  • The use of the noose in the final act is a significant element and must be handled tactfully. A real noose could be poignant but the safety of actors must be considered.

Props Dynamics

  • Props must be designed to navigate around the fast pace and numerous scene changes in the play. They should be easily movable and versatile when the setting changes.
  • Consider the use of light and sound with props. A dramatic spotlight on prominent props or a certain sound effect, can add layers of meaning to the drama.

General Guidelines

  • All props used should complement the themes of the play and help deliver the powerful message of ‘Noughts and Crosses’.
  • Always factor in practicality and safety when designing and using props, particularly for those scenes that are physically intense or involve violence.