“Inishmaan” props designer makes and tests eggs for smashing on actors

Two ways to blow an egg

Props Designer Rudy Schuepbach

Rudy Scheupbach is the props designer for the Hilberry production of The Cripple of Inishmaan. He was kind enough to give us an inside look into how he was addressing the production need of nearly a dozen eggs being broken onstage per performance. Early on in production meetings, the costume designer expressed concern about real eggs staining the costumes, so Rudy put on his thinking cap, and came up with the following solution.

There are two primary ways to empty an egg shell of its contents. One way is to punch a hole in one end (Rudy showed us how to do it with a common screw), then punch a hole in the other end. After making sure that the yolk is broken, one simply blows the egg through by blowing in one end, and pushing the egg out the other with controlled breath.

Another method (the Ukranian method) involves a contraption called a blas-fix that only requires one hole. Rudy also showed us how this one worked.  A diamond-shaped cutter is used to make one hole, and the contraption is used to push air into the egg, forcing the contents out of the same hole. It’s a bit messier, but it leaves you with one hole instead of two, which become important later on.

Both ways take you to the sink next, to clean yourself up, and to rinse out the egg. A little soap and hot water ensures that the eggs are safe for actors use.

Finally, Rudy showed us the solution that he mixed up to look like egg yolk (mostly no-tears baby shampoo), and he injects the solution in the egg with a large syringe. A little tape to make sure the contents are safe, and after a quick test – the eggs were ready to go…. Now…. Just another hundred more for the run of the show (not to mention rehearsals).

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Thanks Rudy!



Written by Alex Goodman, Photos and video by Rebecca M. Pierce

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