October is coming to a close. I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that this is prime time for finding those skit props that you need. When it comes to skits for women’s retreats and events, I am a minimalist. I’m not big on elaborate costumes, sets and props. As I’ve said before, one of my favorite props is the simple hat, which can define your character without major make-up or costuming.
That said, with all the party stores stocked to the brim for Halloween, this could be a great time for you to grab a few hats or props that could be useful in the future. And don’t forget those after-holiday sales!
Remember, you want your props to be larger than life so that your audience can see them from a distance. Some examples of things to have on hand are:
- Oversized money, glasses or sunglasses
- Various hats (captain hat, safari hat, cowboy hat, straw hat, sailor hat, hard hat, etc.)
- Simple props like a judge’s gavel, large magnifying glass, etc.
Our next skit has just been written for our upcoming retreat (theme: “Hidden Riches”). This skit will revolve around miners, and we just found plastic “hard hats” for our miners. We will be looking for large “gem stones” this week, too.
Cardboard can be an amazing resource for women’s ministry, and it is worth finding a few places where you can pick it up cheap, or even better, free. Cardboard is thrown away daily at big box stores like Costco. I worked in a showroom which regularly got rid of wonderful large pieces of cardboard. Cardboard is easy to work with, light-weight, and you don’t feel bad throwing it away when you have used it.
We have all used cardboard for signage. But consider cardboard for use as backdrops and props for skits. one of our talented prop designers taught me this trick: use duct tape to finish the edges your cardboard. Fold it over the edge, and it makes for a finished look and borders the sign, backdrop or prop. Note the edging on the sign below.
If you haven’t been to the website recently, it might be worth your while. I added three new skits this week. All three were added as part of the “Confronting Your Giants” skit series. However, I also listed one of those as a one-act skit. It is entitled “Good Intentions.” While it does deal with the “giant” of neglecting prayer and the Word, it is a powerful skit that could pretty much be used any time because it deals with our good intentions to have a daily quiet time, and the excuses we make. It is a short, powerful skit that can stand alone in just about any setting. Take a look at this skit–you’ll find it here.
We just held our spring women’s event. It was a dessert for women, ages 10 and up. I thought I would share a little bit with you, as the theme, “Singing in the Rain,” was such fun, and would easily work for any event, including a retreat.
It was a theme we had seen somewhere online…we didn’t come up with it all by ourselves. But what a great theme! Doesn’t the Bible encourage us to “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!”? There are so many potential theme verses, including Habakkuk 3:17-18 which basically says that even if everything is going wrong in our lives, YET we can choose to rejoice in the Lord.
Our schedule included showing a YouTube video of the song as performed by Gene Kelly in the 1952 movie of the same name. We wrote a short skit for the occasion (check out our new downloadable skit here) and a devotional teaching.
The decorations were such fun. We collected umbrellas and rain boots from our women for use in decorations. “Raindrops” made of beads and/or tissue paper were hung from the umbrellas. Rain boots were used on the tables with flowers and tissue paper. Other additions included ribbon preprinted with music on it, as well as musical symbols that you can barely see hanging from the umbrellas. The pictures below give you an idea of what our simple decor looked like; in person, the decor was much more dramatic…Or at least we thought so!
For the final added touch, the Lord brought a light shower that evening, to make certain that we were “singing in the rain.”
If you watched the Oscars this past February, one name that you probably don’t remember is the winner for “Best Production Design.” This person is behind-the-scenes, but has a key role in visually telling the story. The job description includes set design, decorating and even some costume design, in addition to supplying all the props.
Why am I bringing this up? We’re not Hollywood, but even our our small-scale skit at a retreat or women’s event benefits from the skills of a person with the gift of “production design.” The setting and props, no matter how simple, can go a long way toward getting the message across. Someone with that gift can read the skit, envision the set and the props needed, and then make it come together. That’s a gift I don’t have!
Since we have no budget for our skits or props, these ladies not only “see” the setting, but they are able to create the scene by repurposing something from around the house, or by using a little cardboard and paint. For example, one of our skits required something that would represent jail bars. So what did our “production designer” come up with? A child safety gate, propped on a desk. It got the point across.
If you plan on using skits, pray for a person with this gift to join your team!