Public Theater Will Bring Back Gatz in Spring 2012; Twenty-Seventh Man Bumped to Fall

News   Public Theater Will Bring Back Gatz in Spring 2012; Twenty-Seventh Man Bumped to Fall
Gatz, the acclaimed six-and-a-half-hour theatrical event by Elevator Repair Service, which boldly puts the entire text of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" in an unexpected stage setting, will return to The Public Theater in spring 2012 for seven weeks. The word-for-word dramatization was a sold-out hit at the Public in fall 2010.

Scott Shepherd in Gatz
Scott Shepherd in Gatz Photo by Joan Marcus

The Public announced the coming return on Nov. 21. Directed by John Collins and featuring Scott Shepherd as Nick, Gatz — which is set in a mundane office where workers encounter a dog-eared copy of the Fitzgerald novel and read it aloud as the story's characters swirl around them — will begin previews on March 14, 2012, and run through May 6, for 28 performances only in the Newman Theater, the proscenium house where King Lear is now playing.

Public Member tickets go on sale Nov. 21 with single tickets on sale in early January.

The Public Theater also announced new dates for The Twenty-Seventh Man by Nathan Englander. Due to an artist scheduling conflict, this world premiere directed by Barry Edelstein will now open at The Public in November 2012.

"Gatz is a once-in-a-lifetime theatrical event, so it thrills me that we can offer it twice," Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis said in a statement. "Elevator Repair Service, one of our most innovative and sparkling ensembles, has created a masterpiece. We were unable to satisfy the enormous demand last fall — we sold out the run before we opened — and for at least a limited time we can give our audience a chance to see this miracle again."

Here's how the Public bills 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 six-and-a-half-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 will be presented as a marathon theatrical event, with two intermissions and a dinner break, four times per week.

Performances begin on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 3 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. ERS company members may alternate roles at select performances.

Read's fall 2010 feature about Gatz

Gatz was created and developed by the Elevator Repair Service ensemble, which includes Laurena Allan (Myrtle), Frank Boyd (George), Jim Fletcher (Jim), Ross Fletcher (Henry C. Gatz), Mike Iveson (Ewing), Vin Knight (Chester), Annie McNamara (Catherine), Kate Scelsa (Lucille), Scott Shepherd (Nick), Susie Sokol (Jordan), Victoria Vazquez (Daisy), and Ben Williams (Michaelis).

Gatz's associate director is Steve Bodow. It features scenic design by Louisa Thompson, costume design by Colleen Werthmann, lighting design by Mark Barton, and sound design by Ben Williams.

Director Collins founded Elevator Repair Service with his first production, Mr. Antipyrine, Fire Extinguisher. In the 20 years since, he has directed or co-directed all of the company's shows. From 1993 to 2006 he worked for The Wooster Group as a sound designer, receiving two Drama Desk nominations and two Bessie Awards. As a lighting designer, he won a Bessie Award for his design of Elevator Repair Service's Room Tone. He is the recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama and Performance Art, the 2011 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director and the 2010 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director for Gatz.

The work will run March 14-May 6, 2012. Marathon performance tickets for Gatz begin at $160. Member tickets are $80. Single tickets go on sale in early January and can be purchased at (212) 967-7555,, or in person at The Public Theater box office.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street. For more information, visit

<i>Gatz</i>, the Elevator Repair Service&#39;s seven-hour word-for-word adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," played a sold-out run at the Public Theater.
Gatz, the Elevator Repair Service's seven-hour word-for-word adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," played a sold-out run at the Public Theater. Joan Marcus
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