Sadly, even for the most devout theater and film lovers, authentic props are usually unattainable.
After all, not everyone can own a pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers. And with only four existing pairs of the famous shoes that were made for the 1939 film, it’s not a big surprise that one set was priced at $2 million for an auction in 2011.
But why own a pair of those slippers when you can bid for the one-of-a-kind octopus bench used by Luciana (reimagined as a mermaid) in Chautauqua Theater Company’s The Comedy of Errors? That’s just one of the treasures that CTC will auction off at today’s Brown Bag, at 12:15 p.m. at Bratton Theater, aptly titled “Trunken Treasure.”
“I think it’s an opportunity to support the theater, an opportunity to have a good time; it’s an opportunity to compete and outbid your neighbors,” said Andrew Borba, CTC associate artistic director. “You can take home something that is a memento or remembrance of an experience you had at Chautauqua this year, something that meant something to you.”
There is specific theatrical swag in high demand every year at the auction, Borba said. Between the silent auction, which will feature about 15 items, and the live auction, with about eight, some of the annual favorites include signed posters of the season’s shows, as well as special tickets — with perks — for the Bratton Late Night Cabaret (two lucky audience members will get to watch the show from backstage).
In addition to the posters and tickets, specific items from this season’s plays will be up for sale. From Comedy, some of the large banners featuring various circus aesthetics will be auctioned. Echo Spring bourbon, featured in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, will also be up for bid.
“The auction is a fun way to do [the Brown Bag],” Borba said. “It’s also a way to give back to the audience, to commemorate the end of the season or the plays that they really enjoyed that year.”
The Brown Bag will also feature a preview of next year’s lineup, presented by characters from this season’s performances, recognition of certain individuals who were helpful throughout the season and snippets of performances from the upcoming Bratton Late Night Cabaret.
The live auction will start immediately after the various Brown Bag events.
“[The pieces for sale] have a great sense of connection in a way that we have to most of the patrons, but also to the support of the theater,” Borba said. “But also, quite frankly, they are great conversation pieces.”