The production of “Beauty and the Beast” requires two very important props that need to be begged, borrowed, rented or created: The Magic Mirror the The Rose. The Rose is actually negotiable–I have seen it done with projection, falling petals and just changing the roses out. The important thing to remember with this is that in many cases, the Rose is SMALL and the audience is FAR AWAY. There is no point in getting too caught up in details that no one can see.
It is possible to rent these two items. They are also quite expensive. We opted to make out own. This is my version of the magic mirror.
The supplies that you will need include:
- a mirror base (mine is a $1 cheap silver tray from a dollar store)
- a handle (dowel, old broomstick, maybe a stack of glued paint stirrers, whatever)
- something to attach the handle to the mirror: glue, screws, nails
- styrofoam or batting (something to build the back of the mirror up around the handle)–scraps from packaging work great
- fabric (or something else to cover the back of the mirror)
- trim (glitter “leather”, decorative tape, braid, gems etc)
- battery operated fairy lights
- hot glue
- duct tape
The base of the mirror is a $1 “silver” oval platter from a dollar-type store.
I had a volunteer attach a handle. This handle is part of an old broomstick. Holes were drilled in the platter, and screws used to attach the handle. You could use about anything . . .even several of those free paint-stirrer sticks glued together (for strength), or a dowel, or anything else handle-like.
Since we used a broomstick, it stuck up about 1″ off the back of the mirror. To cover that, and give the mirror more shape, I found a piece of packing styrofoam, and cut out the oval shape of the mirror back (making a groove for the handle–you can see it extending up as the velvet wrinkles around it.
I glued the styrofoam to the patter, and covered it with a scrap of red velvet. I like the way velvet looks, and the depth the texture gives it . . but you could use any fabric . . . fleece, felt, something glittery, even paint. I liked the velvet as it had a little stretch to fit down the sides of the styrofoam. I actually used a steamer to almost “shrink-wrap” it to the shape (but that only works for this sort of velvet).
For the decorations I used scraps of stuff that I had. The main glitter is a holographic silver piece of the “leather” that you can purchase in 8.5 x 11″ sheets at craft stores (the same stuff the glitter headbands that were popular a few years ago were made out ) I cut it in small pieces, and glued them around the edge, to accommodate the curve. I added silver braid to the velvet, and silver hologram sequins to the edge of the mirror. I also covered the handle with the silver hologram “leather”.
To make the mirror “magic”, I glued on a set of battery-operated fairly lights. The battery box is attached to the mirror on the opposite side using double stick carpet tape. I made a silver mirror-like cover for the box out of cardstock.
The audience does not see the box, as the red (light up) side is the side that faces them. When Belle shows the crowd the Beast . . .she holds the “mirror” side toward the back of the stage.
The cast members easily can turn the lights on and off with the battery box.
The lights that I used just turn on and off, but, there may be “chasing” lights available. This was a set I had left from a failed attempt at creating the hands for Lumiere.
Overall, the mirror worked well, and looks good onstage. I think that it is actually a GOOD thing that there is not an actual mirror part, as this avoids catching the spotlight and blinding anyone in the audience with the reflection.
Cost: $1 for the tray, $2-3 for the lights, $1.50 for the silver hologram “leather”, and the rest of the supplies were donated and/or scraps.
Time: less than an hour to actually make it; a little more than that as I dug through stuff to find what I wanted to use.
The Mirror has been through two productions now and is still holding up well. Update: The Mirror has now been through SIX productions, and shows no signs of wear.
Thanks for reading and happy costuming!