Elevator Repair Service has nothing to do with elevators. It’s a theatrical troupe whose main job lately has been to stage unusual readings of classic American novels. Book in hand, the actors recite the text and pretty soon start behaving in ways that indicate how they’ve been taken over by it.
- Charles McGrath, The New York Times
Elevator Repair Service
Shuffle: A Site-Specific Performance Installation In The Stacks Of The Brooklyn Public Library
Shuffle | BROOKLYN PREMIERE
A Special Performance Installation Featuring Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen
Brooklyn Public Library, Sept 20-22, 7pm
Created by: Elevator Repair Service with Mark Hansen & Ben Rubin
Director: John Collins
Text Processing & Design: Mark Hansen & Ben Rubin
Video: Ben Rubin
Producer: Ariana Smart Truman
Stage Manager/ Assistant Director: Sarah Hughes
Technical Director: Amy Khosbin
“Shuffle” is an entirely new kind of ERS performance, one with constantly re-generated text and a dream-like logic. Through this collaboration with installation artist Ben Rubin and UCLA statistician Mark Hansen, the company looks back on its last three pieces through the lens of creative data analysis.
The result is a site-specific mash-up where the company attempts to read “The Great Gatsby”, “The Sound and the Fury” and “The Sun Also Rises” simultaneously.
The rearranged and overlapping texts produce compelling visual displays designed by Rubin and surprising, often absurd, micro-theater featuring many veteran ERS performers. The audience is encouraged to wander among the performers as they improvise.
With scripts generated in real time by digital algorithms, phrases from the iconic novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway merge to create a look back at some of America’s favorite texts that is at once disorienting and enlightening.
These performances of “Shuffle” will take place in the Language & Literature section of the Central Branch (Grand Army Plaza) of the Brooklyn Public Library.
“Shuffle” is a very flexible piece. Audiences are encouraged to move about freely through the space.
Audiences will enter the performance space at various intervals throughout the evening. When purchasing your ticket, you will soon thereafter receive your entrance time via email.
This is production of “Shuffle” is accompanied by “Atmospheres & Accidental Ghosts”, a video installation by Shaun Irons and Lauren Petty happening in the lobby of the library. (LEARN MORE)
“Shuffle” is presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library and is a “Bookend” event for the Brooklyn Book Festival.
BEATSEATS NOTE: The first 20 tickets sold to “Shuffle” will be $20 BEATSEATS.
“Shuffle” was commissioned by FuturePerfect, a new initiative that researches and presents emerging hybrid performance practices, media forms, and artistic ideas, and by The New York Public Library on the occasion of its Centennial.
Elevator Repair Service, a theater ensemble, was founded by director John Collins (right) and a group of actors in 1991. Since that time, ERS has built a body of work that has earned it a loyal following and made it one of New York’s most highly-acclaimed experimental theater companies.
The group’s theater pieces are built around a broad range of subject matter and literary forms. They combine elements of slapstick comedy, hi-tech and lo-tech design, both literary and found text, found objects and discarded furniture, and the group’s own highly developed style of choreography.
ERS creates its performances through extended periods of collaboration. Sources for the group’s work include novels, non-fiction writings, films, plays, television programs, and various other media. Each ERS piece is developed over the course of a season through several work-in-progress showings to small audiences and culminates in an extended run in New York. ERS’ first show was presented in December 1991 and since 1997, its work has toured the United States and Europe.
Slider: Carlos Torres (1); Nigel Miller (2); Wayne Ashley (3)
Body: Carlos Torres
Bottom: Ben Rubin (1); John Collins (2); Carlos Torres (3)
Bio: Ahron Foster