Writers Conversation: John Collins, Gatz, and the Elevator Repair Service

Writers Conversation: John Collins, Gatz, and the Elevator Repair Service - John Collins

John Collins
Elevator Repair Service
May 7, 2012

One morning an office worker starts to read aloud a copy of The Great Gatsby he finds in the clutter on his desk. At first his coworkers hardly notice, but after a series of coincidences, it’s no longer clear whether he’s reading the book or the book is transforming him. Gatz is a six-hour enactment of The Great Gatsby—the most ambitious production to date of the theater ensemble Elevator Repair Service. The show was declared by Ben Brantley of the New York Times to be “The most remarkable achievement in theater not only of this year but also of this decade.” John Collins, the director of Gatz and Artistic Director of Elevator Repair Service, speaks with Derek Bermel, the Institute’s Artist-in-Residence, about the challenge of keeping a 189-page work fresh throughout hundreds of performances and the ensemble’s unique approach to developing theater.