A cheap and easily available prop, umbrellas have many uses. Clear plastic ones have beautiful translucent qualities and white material ones take projections brilliantly. As they are a familiar object, there is an added surprise when they are seen and used in different ways. Umbrellas are easy to decorate - with fringes, bead, fairy lights, ribbons whatever best suits the theme. They can be painted and opened like flowers, or used carefully positioned to reflect light or projections.
Umbrellas can encourage movement and dance - lifting high, turning, swaying, spinning on the floor.
They might create a safe place for two - sheltering together, or as a playful prop to hide behind.
When adorned with thin strips of thin polythene dust sheets taped around the edge, they become a school of jellyfish, silently bobbing and floating through the depths of the ocean.
Space blanket fringes also shimmer like falling rain, spinning round you, also creating their own sounds
Umbrellas can be used as portable screens on which to create shadows, or reflect light or projections.
Alternatively they can enhance a set, in their own right, for example as large parasols at a French cafe.
With fairy lights attached they become a portable light source and are quite magical on a starry night, especially when spun
They are great to use for torch play, bringing the 'screen' close to participants in an unthreatening way.