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Props, Weapons & Scenic Rentals

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In its five-decade history, Shakespeare & Company has assembled a vast collection of hand props, furniture pieces, scenic items, and weapons from a variety of historical periods and styles. Props, furniture, and scenic items have been designed, built, and collected by our talented artisans over the decades of performances. Our weapons are meticulously maintained in a climate-controlled armory. The collection includes a complete range of hundreds of fight-worthy and non-fight-worthy weapons – bladed and otherwise – including broadswords (long/short, light/heavy); rapiers (bell or caged hilt); daggers and dirks; selected reproduction and deactivated firearms; spears, staffs, and battle-axes, and Starfire, McCann Broadsword, and American Fencing Society weapons.

2023 Props, Weapons & Scenic Rental Policy

Rental appointments are subject to availability, and should be requested at least one week in advance by calling (413) 637-1199 ext. 380 or by emailing production@shakespeare.design. Ideally, no more than two people from each institution may attend an appointment. Please note: Shakespeare & Company does not ship props, weapons, or scenery pieces. All rental appointments are subject to a $25/hour consultation fee to allow for our assistance and time in opening storage, pulling weapons, props, furniture, and/or scenery items.

*Weapons Rentals are released at the discretion of Shakespeare & Company, and limited to those individuals or organizations deemed trained in their use.*

Rental fees are charged on a per week basis, are available upon request, and are determined by the Shakespeare & Company Production Staff. There are discounts available for non-profit organizations (schools, colleges, and theaters) and long term, multi-week rentals. Some valuable props and furniture items and most weapons are subject to a refundable security deposit that is held subject to proper return of a rental and will be utilized if repair or replacement is needed.

Items unavailable for rent include some antique or fragile items and any prop, weapon, or scenic pieces potentially needed for current or upcoming Shakespeare & Company productions. Props, furniture and scenic elements are released at the discretion of the Production Manager and/or Props Master.

Transport of rented props, weapons, and scenery is the responsibility of the renter. The renter will take pulled props, weapons, and/or scenery items with them on the day they are pulled, and the renter should bring appropriate means for transportation. All items taken out must be returned in the same condition that they left.

Care of rented pieces includes the renter agreeing to exercise the highest degree of care of pieces rented from Shakespeare & Company. All props, weapons and scenery items are rented “as is.” Minor alterations of some items may be negotiable; some scenic and prop pieces may be available to re-paint at the discretion of the Production staff. Proper care of props, scenery, and weapons assumes that: The renter follows given maintenance and care guidelines and does not in any way irreparably alter or damage a rented item. Damaged or lost props, weapons, and scenery items will be subject to repair or replacement fees (or the withholding of security deposit, should the rented item require one).

Most of our weapons come with a care and maintenance kit that includes paperwork and any other tools (files, rags, oil, etc.) to help keep the weapons in clean and safe condition. It is the renter’s responsibility to follow these guidelines to keep the weapons in working order, all maintenance kits that go out with a weapons rental are expected to return with that rental.

Rental return dates will be agreed upon by the renter and the Rental Manager and noted at the time of rental, generally within a week after the close of a show. Prop, weapon, and scenery items returned later than the agreed upon return date will continue to be charged at the “subsequent week” rate.

Payment is due within 30 days of the last performance date or it is subject to a 5% of the total rental fee every month thereafter. A credit card number is required as a guarantee, and is the preferred form of payment.

Please contact the production staff at production@shakespeare.design or (413) 637-1199 ext. 380 with any questions. The staff you interface with will depend on timing throughout the season/year and the items you wish to rent.

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