Created and performed by Elevator Repair Service
Text: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Directed by John Collins
Special Presentation · Roda Theatre
February 13–March 1, 2020
Running time: approximately 6 hours, plus two 15-minute intermissions and a 2-hour dinner break
After sold out runs at The Public Theater, Sydney Opera House, in London’s West End, and at theatres and festivals around the world, an astonishing tour de force finally comes to Berkeley.
An anonymous office worker at a shabby small business finds a copy of The Great Gatsby on his desk one morning, and starts to read aloud. 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.
The winner of two Lucille Lortel Awards, three Elliott Norton Awards, and an Obie Award, Gatz has enthralled audiences from New York to Lisbon and Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi. “[A] work of singular imagination and intelligence,” says the New York Times. “The most remarkable achievement in theater not only of this year but also of this decade.” Don’t miss this opportunity to see the theatrical ensemble Elevator Repair Service make their Berkeley Rep debut with Gatz.
Whether you’ve read and loved it or never gotten around to it, now’s your chance to have F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic performed for you, word for word. Don’t miss this binge-worthy experience that’s a celebration of the act of reading and a brilliant blast of theatre.
Each performance of Gatz runs approximately 6 hours, plus two 15-minute intermissions and a 2-hour dinner break. It’s the type of phenomenal event you’ll only see at Berkeley Rep! All performances begin at 2pm and following the dinner break the second half begins at 7:30pm.
Chapters 1–3: 2 hours
Intermission: 15 minutes
Chapters 4–5: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Dinner break: 2 hours
Chapters 6–7: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Intermission: 15 minutes
Chapters 7–9: 1 hour and 25 minutes
An important note regarding health and content advisories:
Gatz includes the use of a gunshot sound effect, herbal cigarettes, and a cigar. Berkeley Rep offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We don’t offer unsolicited content advisories as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have concerns about content or themes, we are happy to provide details. Please call our box office at 510 647–2949 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: For Gatz, all performances begin at 2pm and following a dinner break the second half begins at 7:30pm.
Cast and creative team
Laurena Allan* · Myrtle
Laurena has performed in all full production runs of Gatz, as well as Fondly, Collette Richland (written by Sibyl Kempson). New York stage credits include The Sasquatch Rituals (Sibyl Kempson) at The Kitchen; House (writer/director Richard Maxwell); Hello School (writer/director Christina Masciotti); The Fabulous Johnny Cash Show and Gravel’s Spine (Ontological-Hysteric Theater); Laguna Beach (HERE Arts Center); Vincent 1979 (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Pericles (Workhouse Theatre) and Laurena’s Pancake Party (creator and performer). Films include Blue Jasmine and Silent Love of the Fish. She was the Executive Producer of “Whereabouts Unknown” by Mojo Nixon.
Frank Boyd* · George
Frank is an actor and writer whose original works include The Holler Sessions, Patti & The Kid, and an upcoming piece about baseball set in post-apocalyptic Iowa. Most recently, he has been touring with Half Straddle’s Is This a Room. Frank has also performed with ERS in The Select (The Sun Also Rises) and with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company in Straight White Men.
Jim Fletcher · Jay
Jim has performed in all full production runs of Gatz for ERS. He is a founding member of New York City Players theatre company, and he often performs with The Wooster Group, most recently in A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique). He was a 2012 recipient of the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Performance. His recent (2019) productions include Bro-Tox (La MaMa, dir. Sean Lewis) and Pollock (PS21 Chatham, NY, dir. Paul Desveaux).
Ross Fletcher · Henry C. Gatz
Dr. Ross Fletcher is the Chief of Staff Emeritus of Washington, DC’s VA Medical Center. He has played the role of Henry C. Gatz since 2005.
Lindsay Hockaday · Catherine / Associate Producer
Lindsay is an ERS ensemble member and Director of Education Programs. As a performer she has been in Gatz; Shuffle; Fondly, Collette Richland; The Select (The Sun Also Rises) (tours); and Measure for Measure. She also performs with Sibyl Kempson’s 7 Daughters of Eve Theater & Performance Co. She runs an interdisciplinary arts program in a New York City public school via The Kitchen.
Maggie Hoffman · Lucille
Maggie is a founder of the avant-punk performance ensemble Radiohole and the artist-run venue The Collapsable Hole in New York City. She has performed in a number of ERS productions and designs graphics for ERS, Clubbed Thumb, and Target Margin Theater, among others.
Robert M. Johanson · Tom
Robert is a freelance performer/composer/director in New York City. He is a founding member of Nature Theater of Oklahoma and has performed with them in No Dice; Poetics: a Ballet Brut; Romeo and Juliet; and No President. Robert also composed music for and performed in Nature Theater’s epic cycle Life and Times: Episodes 1–9, part of which won an Obie Award in 2013. Robert has worked with many other companies both in New York City and abroad, including Elevator Repair Service, 7 Daughters of Eve Theater & Performance Co., Radiohole, Witness Relocation, Jim Findlay, The Civilians, Von Krahli, Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, and Spreafico Eckly.
Vin Knight* · Chester
With ERS Vin has performed in Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf; Measure for Measure; Fondly, Collette Richland; Shuffle; The Select (The Sun Also Rises); The Sound and the Fury; No Great Society; and Gatz. Other stage credits include The Music Man (Sharon Playhouse), Spam (JACK), Our Man in Havana (Portland Stage), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2013 Broadway revival), Marie Antoinette (American Repertory Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre), The Temperamentals (The Barrow Group), and U.S. Drag (Clubbed Thumb). Film and TV credits include Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Succession, Bull, The Blacklist, Homeland, Younger, and Robot Stories. He is a graduate of Yale University.
Annie McNamara* · Daisy
Broadway: Slave Play. With ERS Annie has performed in Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf, Gatz, and The Sound and the Fury. Selected theatre: Iowa (Playwrights Horizons, Lucille Lortel nomination); We’re Gonna Be Okay (Humana/Actors Theatre of Louisville); Map of Virtue (13P); That Pretty Pretty (Rattlestick); Rapture, Blister, Burn (Huntington). Film & TV: Blue Jasmine, Orange is the New Black, The Knick, Mozart in the Jungle. With Clubbed Thumb, where she is an affiliated artist: The World my Mama Raised; Tomb of King Tot; 41-Derful; Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake); U.S. Drag.
Gavin Price* · Ewing
Gavin has performed with ERS in Gatz; Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf; Measure for Measure; The Select (The Sun Also Rises); The Sound and the Fury; Arguendo; Fondly, Collette Richland; and A Sort of Joy (MoMA). His film performances include Boccamazzo Construction, Noah, and Facebiters. His other projects include The Return of Adam (Metropolitan Museum of Art); XX-ID (New Museum); Merce Cunningham Retrospective (MCA); Face the Music (Kaufman Center); Saint Fortune, co-founder. He has also performed and designed with Cabin Fever, Sibyl Kempson, Moisés Kaufman, Mabou Mines, and Target Margin. Listen to his bands on Spotify and iTunes: The Witch Ones, The Tender Band, Black Elk Speaks, Cabin Fever.
Scott Shepherd · Nick
Scott has performed with Elevator Repair Service since 1994, in Measure for Measure, No Great Society, Gatz (Obie Award), Total Fictional Lie, Cab Legs, Shut Up I Tell You, and McGurk. He has been a performer with The Wooster Group since 1997, appearing in over a dozen pieces including The Town Hall Affair, Cry Trojans!, Vieux Carré, Hamlet, Poor Theater (Obie and Bessie Awards), North Atlantic, and To You the Birdie! His other theatre credits include Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, The Village Bike with Greta Gerwig, Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, and his own three-person Macbeth which will premiere in May at the Malthouse Theater in Melbourne. His films include First Cow, The Report, El Camino, Dark Phoenix, Hostiles, Jason Bourne, and Bridge of Spies. He has played recurring roles on Bluff City Law, True Detective, Wormwood, and The Young Pope.
Susie Sokol · Jordan
Susie is a second-grade teacher at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn where she has taught since 1996. She began performing with ERS in 1992. Since then, she has appeared in all ERS productions. She has also worked with theatre artists Katherine Profeta, Sibyl Kempson, and Tina Satter, and appeared in visual artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s short video in the 2014 Whitney Biennial exhibition.
Ben Jalosa Williams* · Michaelis / Sound Design
Ben is an award-winning sound designer, actor, and director who has worked with ERS since 2004 on numerous productions. Other collaborators include minor theater with Julia Jarcho, Christina Masciotti, The Wooster Group, NYCPlayers, Big Dance Theater, Spiegelworld, and many others. His original show Mind on Heaven continues to tour. benwilliamsdotcom.com
F. Scott Fitzgerald · Writer
Selected works: This Side of Paradise (1920), Flappers and Philosophers (1921), Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), The Beautiful and Damned (1922), The Great Gatsby (1925), Tender is the Night (1934), Taps at Reveille (1935), The Last Tycoon (1942).
John Collins · Director
John founded Elevator Repair Service in 1991. Since then he has directed or co-directed all of the company’s productions while also serving as the company’s Artistic Director. ERS productions directed by John include Cab Legs (1997), Room Tone (2002), Gatz (2006), The Select (2011), Arguendo (2013), and 14 others. Recent projects include ERS’s production of Kate Scelsa’s play Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf and Studio Créole for The Manchester International Festival. In 2011, John received a Lucille Lortel Award and Boston’s Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director for Gatz. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a United States Artists Fellowship, and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. John was born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia and holds a degree in English and Theater Studies from Yale.
Steve Bodow · Associate Director
Steve is an ERS co-founder and board member who, along with John Collins, was Artistic Director of the company from 1996–2004, co-directing pieces including Language Instruction, Total Fictional Lie, Cab Legs, and Room Tone. A 14-time Emmy-winning television writer/producer, he was most recently Executive Producer and showrunner of Netflix’s Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, EP for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and, prior to that, EP and head writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Ariana Smart Truman · Producer
Ariana has worked with ERS since 2003; as the Producing Director she shepherds the presentation and development of the company’s work. She most recently produced ERS’s production of the original play Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf at Abrons Arts Center. In her twenty-plus years as a producer of multi-disciplinary performing arts, she has collaborated with individual artists, ensembles, and institutions including Mike Iveson, Yehuda Duenyas, Collapsable Giraffe, Radiohole, The Wooster Group, HERE Arts Center, and Soho Rep. For ART/NY she teaches workshops on touring theatre, and in 1996 with Kate Valk she co-founded The Wooster Group’s Summer Institute, a free performance workshop for NYC youth, which she directs.
Louisa Thompson · Set Design
Louisa is a designer and a creator of theatrical work for young audiences. As lead artist she created Washeteria, a site-specific all-ages event. Her other off-Broadway credits include [Sic] and the Obie and Hewes Award-winning Blasted at Soho Rep. As well as working with ERS on Gatz, her New York credits include Signature Theatre, The Play Company, Theatreworks USA, Playwrights Horizons, and The Foundry Theatre Company. Regionally she has worked with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Kirk Douglas Theatre, The Papermill Playhouse, and The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, amongst others. A Yale School of Drama (MFA) and Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) graduate, she is an associate professor in the Hunter College Department of Theatre.
Colleen Werthmann · Costume Design
Colleen is an original member of ERS, having performed in and/or designed nearly every show in the company’s first 18 years. She is also an Emmy-nominated comedy writer and an accomplished off-Broadway, TV, and film actor.
Mark Barton · Lighting Design
Mark has worked with ERS on many productions including Measure for Measure (with Ryan Seelig); The Select (The Sun Also Rises); The Sound and the Fury; and Gatz. His work on Broadway includes Amélie (with Jane Cox), The Real Thing, and The Realistic Joneses, and off Broadway he has worked with The Public, New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep, and many others. An Obie Award winner, he has worked extensively in New York City and regionally for companies including Center Theatre Group, Yale Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and many others.
Maurina Lioce · Stage Manager
Maurina has worked with ERS on The Sound and the Fury; Arguendo; The Select (The Sun Also Rises) (tours); Gatz (tours); Fondly, Collette Richland; Measure for Measure; and Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf. Other New York City Stage Management credits include Half Straddle, Adrienne Truscott, Jim Findlay, David Byrne, Sibyl Kempson’s 7 Daughters of Eve Theater & Performance Co., Andrew Ondrejcak, Mike Iveson, Erin Markey, Suzanne Bocanegra, and Young Jean Lee. She has been a member of Elevator Repair Service since 2014.
Liz Nielsen · Production Manager
Liz has worked with ERS on Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf and Gatz. Her New York credits include productions with Object Collection, Mason Holdings, minor theater, Clubbed Thumb, Soho Rep, Bushwick Starr, and Half Straddle.
Dans Maree Sheehan · Associate Lighting Designer
Dans has worked with ERS for over 10 years across a number of projects and, having returned to her home town of Melbourne, is excited to meet up again with her theatre family here in California. She is now having a great time as the Production Manager and Creative Producer at Circus Oz.
Aaron Amodt · Technical Director
Aaron has been involved with a number of ERS productions including tours of Gatz; Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf; The Select (The Sun Also Rises); Fondly, Collette Richland. In New York City he has worked with New York Theatre Workshop on Slave Play; What the Constitution Means to Me; Othello; Hadestown; and Lazarus. He has been involved with tours such as A Billion Nights on Earth (Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental) and Ringling Brothers And Barnum And Bailey Circus. Outside of theatre Aaron collects personal ephemera and makes ghost photographs which you can find on IG @amodttech.
Jason Sebastian · Sound Engineer
Jason has worked with ERS on the off-Broadway, national, and international tours of The Select (The Sun Also Rises), Gatz, Arguendo, and Measure for Measure. In New York he has been involved in projects with Radiohole, Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, MVWorks, and Tara O’Con, and has worked as a designer, engineer, and composer for several other New York-based and international theatre and dance companies for 20 years. He teaches at Miami University, Oxford and was an adjunct faculty/staff for the College Conservatory of Music’s Sound Design program.
Hanna Novak · Company Manager
Hanna is a playwright and director living in New York. With ERS: Fondly, Collette Richland and Gatz (tours). Hanna’s plays have been presented at the New Ohio Theatre, The Frederick Loewe Theatre at Hunter College, and the Performing Garage in New York City. Her work has been supported by residencies through The Wooster Group and the Ucross Foundation. Hanna has been a member of Elevator Repair Service since 2015.
Elevator Repair Service
Elevator Repair Service (ERS) is a New York City-based company that creates original works for live theater with an ongoing ensemble. The company’s sources range from found material (transcripts of trials, old movies, YouTube videos) to literature and conventional plays (both classical and contemporary). Founded in 1991 ERS has authored an extensive body of work that includes 19 original theatrical productions. These have earned the company a loyal following and made it one of New York’s most highly acclaimed experimental theater companies. Gatz (2006), along with The Sound and the Fury (2008) and The Select (The Sun Also Rises) (2010), form a trilogy of work based on great American novels from the early 20th century. ERS productions share a commitment to risk-taking and reinvention, blending unusual texts with innovations in theatrical form. The finished works feature the company’s signature dynamic performance style and playful sense of humor coupled with a rigorous commitment to psychologically complex performances. ERS has received numerous awards and distinctions.
* The actor appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
The Great Gatsby shines anew…A big reason the show’s mighty gamble pays off is the technical prowess of Scott Shepherd as Nick Carraway…Fitzgerald’s language is fruit ripe to bursting, and Shepherd plucks each word as if he’s cupping his hand underneath it, knowing exactly when it’ll fall without having to exert force. But each cast member excels.”
San Francisco Chronicle
The most (and best) non-Instagrammable thing you’ll ever see”
A strangely seductive, often revelatory, and altogether ingenious production”
The Great Gatsby meets The Office. By the end of the six hours I considered it time remarkably well spent.”
Sydney Morning Herald
A brilliant paradox—the show is at once entirely literary and entirely theatrical. And as always when we finish a great novel it is reluctantly that we leave the characters.”
As stunning as it is to have the entire novel brought to life in such meticulous detail, each turn of phrase savored or occasionally regarded with comic perplexity, Gatz is much more than simply a reverent reading of Gatsby…Elevator Repair Service founder and artistic director John Collins gives the story a beautifully nuanced staging.”
Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
It’s metatheatrical magic…For sure, audience stamina is required, but this exploration of an American literary classic is enthralling.”
San Francisco Examiner
Much of the pre-show hype swirling around the North American premiere of Gatz centered around its daunting seven-hour (with breaks) length; anticipatory expectations were wholly exceeded by the show itself, which is a revelatory and exuberant experience.”
This could be mere event theatre gimmickry or mind-gnawingly boring, but every aspect of the production is so brilliantly conceived and executed that all doubts are overcome.”
The Independent (London)
More than a good story well told: An almost palpable triumph of literature.”
Die Presse (Vienna)
Official trailer: Gatz
Get a peek at Gatz in this official trailer by Elevator Repair Service.