Today we were all very excited to have the "real" couch in the rehearsal room. For those of you who aren't intimately familiar with the theater rehearsal process, the actors usually work with "do-fer" furniture and props in the rehearsal room (as in, "Well, it's not the actual thing you'll be working with on stage, but it'll do fer now). The actual set pieces and props don't arrive until you load into the theater space and start working on the set for technical rehearsals (a.k.a. tech). You might not think it makes a big difference, but moving from a cushy, over-stuffed, velvety sofa to a sleek leather couch can actually throw an actor off a bit, so we were all very excited to see the "real" leather couch in the room today.
It is a gorgeous piece of furniture (in fact, the actors were fighting over who might get to keep it after the run -- although I suspect Lincoln Center Theater has first dibs). It's in mint condition, so we were all a bit surprise --and envious-- to hear that it was a Craigslist find. Until... midway through our run-thru today, scene 3 calls for Marin to search through said couch for a missing object. She is dutifully rifling the shiny leather cushions, searching her heart out, when all the sudden she utters the word that Ellen did not write in the script: "condom!?!" Thankfully, it was just an empty wrapper, but needless to say, the entire room broke out in a combination of hysterical laughter and horrific disbelief. Ever the professional, it took Marin only a few moments to remove her jaw from the floor, refocus, and continue on with the run. Ah, Craigslist.
Jenny Mercein is the Assistant Director for Graceland.