Marathon Theatrical Event Gatz Extends Public Theater Run

News   Marathon Theatrical Event Gatz Extends Public Theater Run The New York debut of Elevator Repair Service's Gatz, a six-and-a-half-hour theatrical reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic novel "The Great Gatsby," has extended its run at the Public Theater an additional two weeks Off-Broadway. Performances will begin in late September.

Gary Wilmes and Scott Shepherd
Gary Wilmes and Scott Shepherd Photo by Mark Barton

After a run at the American Repertory Theater in early 2010, the Public Theater will host the epic, office-set production that utilizes every word of Fitzgerald's 1925 novel without the addition of new text. John Collins directs the production that will begin Sept. 26 and play an extended run through Nov. 14. Gatz will officially open Oct. 6. (Performances were originally scheduled to conclude Oct. 31.)

Presented in marathon format (two intermissions and a dinner break), Gatz will be broken into Acts 1 & 2 (presented Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 3 PM and Sundays at 2 PM); and Acts 3 & 4 (presented Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM).

The Public Theater engagement marks the Off-Broadway debut of the anticipated work, which was previously unable to play to New York audiences due to restrictions from the Fitzgerald estate. (In past years the Fitzgerald estate had green-lit Gatsby, Simon Levy's play adapted from the book, for a New York run but the production never materialized.)

Gatz will feature Laurena Allan (Myrtle), Jim Fletcher (Jim), Ross Fletcher (Henry C. Gatz), Mike Iveson (Ewing), Vin Knight (Chester), Aaron Landsman (George), Annie McNamara (Catherine), Kate Scelsa (Lucille), Scott Shepherd (Nick), Susie Sokol (Jordan), Victoria Vazquez (Daisy), Ben Williams (Michaelis), and Gary Wilmes (Tom).

The design team includes Louisa Thompson (set design), Mark Barton (lighting design), Colleen Werthmann (costume design) and Ben Williams (sound design). Here's how ERS describes the work: "One morning in the office of a mysterious small business, an employee finds a copy of 'The Great Gatsby' in the clutter of his desk. He starts to read it out loud, and doesn’t stop. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences, it’s no longer clear whether he’s reading the book or the book is transforming him. Gatz is a theatrical and literary tour de force, not a retelling of the Gatsby story but an enactment of the novel itself. Over the course of a single 6 1/2 hour production, Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece is delivered word for word, startlingly brought to life by a low-rent office staff in the midst of their inscrutable business operations."

Gatz was created by the theatrical ensemble Elevator Repair Service in 2004 and has toured internationally to the Sydney Opera House, the Holland Festival, the Vienna Festival, the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

Single tickets for Gatz, beginning at $150, will go on sale Aug. 24. For tickets phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

The cast of <i>Gatz</i>
The cast of Gatz Photo by Mark Barton
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