Friday, June 11, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Hypericumfragile

My adventure with the Popular Theatre began in December 2008. I was working as a graphic designer and art teacher before that. Theater was a big challenge for me, but I can see now I learned how to fit in these new responsibilities and now I can't even imagine another place of employment.

There are several laboratories in The Popular Theatre in Warsaw: sewing, joinery, locksmith, hairdresser and artistic. Each of them have their own assignments before new theatrical performance is launched. I work in a artistic studio, it's the most interesting place, I think. We make props, parts of scenography, visual elements (such as so called. horizons - that is a huge background, which hangs on the back of scene or pictures, which actors see through the windows on the scene).

Artistic studio is a place of greatest chaos and disorder. But this chaos is very creative. My studio is divided into two smaller studios: painting and modeling. I work as a modeler, it's a person who designs props, even those most strange, sometimes funny and sometimes just unimaginable. In my short career I did an enormous amount of counterfeit U.S. dollars, the knife, which should drip three drops of blood (the audience couldn't see these drops, but it helped the actor in his role), I made huge sculptures of Indian gods (polystyrene), a shelf of fake books, and much more...

“Loretta” - I produced thousands of dollars

Sometimes my studio works on very mundane tasks. Please guess who painted all the white walls. Me, by my own hands!

Actually, every day I do something different and it's difficult to remember all my designs. Of course, I don't work alone. My master is Mr. Poldek. Mr. Poldek is retired, but he taught me this extraordinary profession. I would like to give a tribute to this great artist and thank him sincerely for everything.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” – I painted walls in white and produced labels for bottles with medicines for roles of mentally ill people.

"The Sunshine Boys” - Mr. Poldek and me designed this dummy old TV (bottom right)

“Kieszonkowy atlas kobiet” – I painted this dirty wall in the back of scene

My favorite places in the Theatre are costume and prop storage. Imagine, what kind of treasuries are there! I could set up a few vintage shops on Etsy. Unfortunately, I have no photos of my "messy" studio, but I will try to catch up as soon as the renovation of the theater will be over.


Monika runs two shops on Etsy: hypericumfragile and hypericumhidcote


  1. Fantastic article, Thank you Monika! It was so interesting to know, how all these things are made, which we can see on the scene. I love theater :)

  2. Rose,
    Very often props are made simply with the garbage. :) With the remnants of old objects, props, old rags, polystyrene, adhesive bands, strings, pieces of wood, plexiglass panels, etc.

  3. Extremely interesting article.
    Wish I have such great job :)

  4. Uwielbiam teatr, ale najbardziej lubię całą otoczkę. Z backstage'em miałam do czynienia kilkakrotnie pracując jako tłumacz podczas festiwalu teatralnego. Godziny prób, wpadki techniczne, te wszystkie emocje, niesamowite miejsce :)

  5. Great article! Thank you, Monika!

  6. That's awesome! What fun that must be!



  7. Great article! Brilliant job Monika!!


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