We are nearing the end of our time at the Lincoln Center campus. Saturday is our final day in the Ballet Room, our rehearsal space, before we move on stage at The Duke for tech. Like much of the office space, rehearsal facilities, dressing rooms, etc. at Lincoln Center, the Ballet Room is located below ground level. Working in a subterranean space (3 floors down) results in a few interesting circumstances. Most notably: no sunlight and no cell phone service. Although these conditions might seem like a drag at times (most of the GRACELAND crew has missed out on the past week of gorgeous spring weather), the situation is strangely conducive to creating a productive rehearsal environment.
I haven't talked to the actors directly about this phenomenon, but I suspect they'd agree that being shut off from the outside world down in the bowels of LCT has its distinct advantages. Without the distraction of the outside world- be it chirping birds, clear blue skies, or the ability to check your phone and fire off a quick text message between scenes- the world of the play becomes your primary focus. However, I had to chuckle yesterday when we took a ten minute break and Henry turned to me, blackberry in hand, and said, "Mercein, I'm heading upstairs for a few minutes... time to face reality and return to the Land of Service."
Jenny Mercein is the Assistant Director for Graceland.