McCarter announces the return of Elevator Repair Service’s ‘Gatz’

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Mark Barton
From left: Laurena Allan, Gary Wilmes, Scott Shepherd, Annie McNamara, Kate Scelsa, and Vin Knight will appear in Elevator Repair Service’s "Gatz."

McCarter Theatre Center will present Elevator Repair Service’s multi-award-winning play, “Gatz,” the critically-lauded performance of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” for three performances, Feb. 15 – 17 on the Berlind Stage in Princeton.

The “Gatz” will be presented as a marathon eight-hour event, including two intermissions and a dinner break.

Not just a retelling of the Gatsby story, “Gatz” is a thoroughly entertaining dramatization of Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece, word for word. Including its acclaimed 2011 run at McCarter, this theatrical tour-de-force has enjoyed more than 25 engagements worldwide since its premiere; and holds particular significance for the greater Princeton community given Fitzgerald’s artistic endeavors while enrolled at Princeton University.

One morning in the shabby office of a mysterious small business, an employee (Scott Shepherd) finds a copy of “The Great Gatsby” in the clutter on 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 into its narrator.

“Gatz,” created by multi award-winning ensemble Elevator Repair Service, is directed by John Collins and features Scott Shepherd (“X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” “Bridge of Spies”), who won an Obie for his performance in “Gatz.” Shepherd is joined by Laurena Allan, Jim Fletcher, Ross Fletcher, Lindsay Hockaday, Maggie Hoffman, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, April Matthis, Annie McNamara, Gavin Price and Ben Jalosa Williams.

Steve Bodow is the associate director of “Gatz,” which features scenic design by Louisa Thompson, costume design by Colleen Werthmann, lighting design by Mark Barton and sound design by Ben Williams. ERS’ producer is Ariana Smart Truman. The production visits McCarter Theatre Center directly following a Jan. 23 – Feb. 3 run at NYU Skirball.

Elevator Repair Service, based in NYC, has been making original theater since 1991. Under the direction of Artistic Director John Collins, ERS has achieved national and international recognition with its extensive body of work and has influenced a generation of theater-makers. The company’s performances have been presented in Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and across the United States, and have been recognized with numerous awards. 

“Gatz” was commissioned in part by Walker Art Center (Minneapolis).

McCarter Theatre Center’s mission is to create world-class theater and present the finest performing artists for the engagement, education, and entertainment to the community. Under the artistic leadership of award-winning playwright and director Emily Mann and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, McCarter produces a vibrant six-play Theater Series each season. Winner of the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, world premieres include Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (2013 Tony – Best Play); Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “The Brother/Sister Plays”; Emily Mann’s “Having Our Say”; and Danai Gurira’s “The Convert.” Other works which later moved to Broadway include Brian Friel’s “Translations,” Nilo Cruz’s “Anna in the Tropics” (Pulitzer Prize), and Frank McGuinness’ translation of “Electra.” Through the leadership of Special Programming Director William W. Lockwood, McCarter brings the best artists from around the world to Princeton, including upcoming visits from Dianne Reeves, Esperanza Spalding, Andy Borowitz and many more. Education and outreach efforts serve tens of thousands through student matinees, in-school residencies and adult education classes. McCarter is supported by contributions from Princeton University, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, corporations, foundations, and from more than 2,000 individuals.

Elevator Repair Service will perform “Gatz” on the Berlind Stage from Feb. 15 – 17. Each performance will begin at 2 p.m., and will include two intermissions and a dinner break. Information on dinner packages will be released in the coming weeks. Tickets range from $25-$150 and can be purchased online at www.mccarter.org, by phone at 609-258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Ticket Office.