“There is really only one reason I can think of not to go immediately to GATZ. And that is the unlikely event that you don’t understand English at all. If you do, then this performance is an absolute must . . . [GATZ] has a fantastic and eye-opening effect . . . before long the spectator gets swept up in the story.” —8Weekly, Amsterdam
The Walker Art center opens its 2006-2007 performing arts season with GATZ, an ambitious, audacious, and accessible interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic The Great Gatsby, on Thursday–Sunday, September 21–24, in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater. Transforming a literary masterpiece into an intoxicating six-hour theatrical experience—during which every word of the book is spoken—New York theater mavericks Elevator Repair Service bring the written word to life. Inside a run-down contemporary office, workers, supervisors, and visitors mysteriously assume the roles of Fitzgerald’s characters. A remarkable ensemble of 13 actors draws the audience into a powerful, provocative, and verbally sumptuous world caught between the past and present. Audiences can catch the two parts separately or become engrossed in an unforgettable marathon performance. The closing-night performance will be held on the anniversary of St. Paul native Fitzgerald’s 110th birthday.
GATZ is co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and the National Performance Network Creation Fund. Copresented with the National Performance Network.
Performance dates, times, and ticket prices for GATZ are:
Part 1: Thursday, September 21, 8–11 pm
Part 2: Friday, September 22, 8–11 pm
Both parts: $30 ($25 Walker members); Each part separately: $22 ($18)
Marathon evenings (Parts 1 and 2, including one-hour dinner break): Saturday, September 23, 4–11:30 pm; Sunday, September 24, 3–10:30 pm $35 ($30).
($) Walker member price.
On the marathon evenings, audience members may go off-site for a quick bite during the one-hour break or plan to visit the Walker’s scenic Skyline Room for a cash bar and a simple dinner option from Wolfgang Puck Catering. Guests are invited to enjoy a sandwich buffet that includes chips, cookie, and a beverage for $12. Advance food orders are available and recommended when patrons purchase tickets to the performance.
Tickets to GATZ by Elevator Repair Service are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Elevator Repair Service has been appearing on New York’s downtown performance circuit since 1991 with its mix of slapstick comedy, hi-tech and lo-tech design, both literary and found text, found objects and discarded furniture, and its own highly developed style of choreography.
ERS develops its work over extended periods of collaboration using sources including non-fiction writings, films, plays, television programs, and various other media. During the course of a season the ensemble presents work-in-progress showings to small audiences and touring productions before culminating in extended runs in New York.
ERS has cultivated a loyal following performing in such venues as Performance Space 122, The Performing Garage, HERE, The Ontological at St. Mark’s Church, The Flea, and Soho Rep. The ensemble has performed in Europe in Salzburg, Fribourg, Muenster, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Ljubljana; and, in the United States, in Columbus, Seattle, Minneapolis, Houston, Burlington, Washington D.C., and Portland (OR).
Since its first production in 1991, the company has received frequent high praise in the New York press. New York Magazine has called ERS “the best experimental theater group in town,” while New York Newsday has called the group’s work “wacko enough to be truly inspired.” Reviewing its 1996 piece, Shut-Up I Tell You, Artforum noted that “in an admittedly spotty theatrical season E.R.S. . . . stands out not only for its humor and intelligence, but also for its defiant theatricality . . . one of the most intriguing theatrical events I’ve experienced in some time.” The Village Voice says of Total Fictional Lie, “The work, here, has integrity, intelligence, and precision as well as imaginative skill; and its actors have talent for days.” And The New York Times praises TFL for its “fresh and surprising perspective.” The company’s last Minnesota appearance was with 2004’s Room Tone as part of the Walker’s annual Out There series of performance alternatives.
ERS is and has been supported by funds from the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York State Council for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Greenwall Foundation, the Philp Morris Companies, the Peg Santvoord Foundation, the Alliance of Resident Theaters – New York, and individual donors.
GATZ for Lunch
Monday, September 18, 12 noon–1 pm FREE
Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall
Join Philip Bither, William and Nadine McGuire Senior Curator of Performing Arts, and John Collins, Artistic Director of NYC-based theater company Elevator Repair Service, over the lunch hour for an informal and insightful discussion about GATZ.