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You Could Buy Props From The A.R.T.'s Productions At Its First-Ever Warehouse Sale

A scene from the A.R.T.'s production of “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.” Props from the theater's past productions are going on sale Friday in its first warehouse sale. (Courtesy Gretjen Helene Photography/A.R.T.)
A scene from the A.R.T.'s production of “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.” Props from the theater's past productions are going on sale Friday in its first warehouse sale. (Courtesy Gretjen Helene Photography/A.R.T.)

Fans of the boisterous musical “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” will have the chance to take home a cabaret chair from the production.

The American Repertory Theater is holding its first-ever props warehouse sale on Friday at its off-site storage facility in Ashland.

A chaise lounge that was on stage for Eve Ensler's “In The Body of the World" is going on sale Friday. (Courtesy A.R.T.)
A chaise lounge that was on stage for Eve Ensler's “In The Body of the World" is going on sale Friday. (Courtesy A.R.T.)

Also up for grabs are chunky, wooden crates from “Moby Dick,” a couple of red velvet chaise lounges that were on stage for Eve Ensler's “In the Body of the World,” and cafe tables that appeared in the tango-fueled theater piece “Arrabal.”

Michael Winn, the theater's development and events coordinator, came up with the idea to sell furniture and objects seen on stage or used in rehearsals, including vintage luggage, frames, dishware, lamps and baskets. Some of the objects were sourced — like vintage luggage — and others were crafted by the team.

“Rather than having them sit on the shelf in our warehouse, we're able to put those [items] back into circulation with a really cool story,” Winn said, “and have them be conversation pieces that can live on in people's homes.”

Winn said the sale allows the A.R.T. team to make space in the crowded warehouse while reconnecting with audiences they've missed during the pandemic.

(Courtesy A.R.T.)
(Courtesy A.R.T.)

“Being able to bring people back to see pieces from shows from years ago and to get everyone excited for in-person theater again is really our one of our bigger goals,” he explained. It's also a way to raise funds to buy new props for upcoming productions.

He was inspired by the success of a "Jagged Little Pill" costume sale at the A.R.T.'s Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge's Harvard Square a few years ago. "We had a huge amount of interest and we've really been wanting to offer something similar ever since,” Winn said.

The props will be displayed outside the warehouse on Friday, Sept. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (The theater recommends RSVPing through its website.) Members of the props department will be on site giving behind-the-scenes walk through tours every half and hour.

Winn is curious to see who shows up for the sale.

“We've had so much feedback from people and even former staff members,” he said. “Fans from shows have reached out literally wanting anything from like 'Great Comet' or 'Moby Dick' and so we're excited to be able to put those into people's hands.”

He hopes to orchestrate more props and costume sales in the future, both at the Ashland warehouse and in Harvard Square.

Andrea Shea Twitter Senior Arts Reporter
Andrea Shea is WBUR's arts reporter.

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