The props master/mistress is the person in charge of procuring, making, maintaining, and returning all the props in the play. The set designer and director will have specific ideas for what types of props they want and how they want them to look. Most productions use a Props Master to deal with the large number of small items that a play needs. In larger shows, there may also be a Props Designer who will decide on exactly what the props should look like, in coordination with the Directors and Set Designers. Sometimes the Assistant Stage Manager helps with props as well.
The props person needs to find out from the director and set designer: what they want, where they want it, how they want it, and what needs to be made). The producer will help coordinate the communication between the director, set designer, and props person, and is the person you should go to in order to get your budget and actually purchase things, etc. It’s not unusual for the producers to get very involved with prop production.
You will be working with the costume designer and tech director too – since many props become parts of costumes (or involve cloth), or will need to be built. You will be making props, but sometimes set designers make certain props, or tech directors or ATD’s or even ASM’s make them too.
If you are going to be checking large props or small props out of stock in the Loeb, or borrowing them from individuals or houses, etc, you are in charge of keeping track of exactly what is borrowed, from whom, and in what condition. Your job is not over until everything is back in it’s proper place after strike. If a prop breaks during a production, you may need to repair it or get a replacement, etc. More information on getting props from the Loeb can be found in the Props FAQ.