A "prop" is any item, either hand held or free standing, that is not nailed down on a theatrical or film set.
The term originates from the basic inventory of the company being the "property" of the owner.
General use is to give authenticity to a performance by adding a prop to give the actor "business". Interacting with a brush, sitting at a dressing table in a scene sets up the "suspension of disbelief" along with sets and costuming.
"The stage manager asked for all hand props to be used at rehearsal.
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