Professor, Properties Production, Head of Technical Production
BFA/BSE Emporia State University
Sandy Strawn has been working in theatre for over three decades building, painting and designing stage properties and scenery. Her book, The Properties Director’s Handbook, was published by Focal Press in 2012 and compliments her free online teaching handbook, prophandbook.com, used by many universities to teach the process of running a prop shop and by professionals in the field.
Her professional career in properties work is highlighted by five seasons at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, five seasons as Properties Master at Actors Theatre of Louisville and summer seasons with the Guthrie Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Festival Theatre and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. She has worked locally with Milwaukee Shakespeare, Skylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee’s Music Under the Stars and ran her own production company, Prop Pros, designing and managing events for corporate galas, commercial and film work, and special events.
Ms. Strawn designs scenery for local theatres (Milwaukee Repertory, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, First Stage Milwaukee, and Renaissance Theatreworks) as well as many shows for the UWM Mainstage. Prior to coming to UWM she was the assistant designer to Paul Owen at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
At UWM she leads the properties production arc of curriculum (soft goods and sewing, upholstery, furniture restoration/ construction, faux painting, prop management) teaches production management, mentors students in professional theatre internships across the United States, and manages the prop shop working with students in the production of properties for the Mainstage theatre.