Gatz: Public Theater announces complete cast

The Public Theater have announced the complete cast for their return engagement of Gatz, the theatrical adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, created by Elevator Repair Service (ERS) and directed by John Collins. The six and a half hour show will play at the Public's Newman Theater from 14 Mar - 6 May 2012.

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

For the return engagement all the cast are reprising their roles from the show's 2010 NY premiere at the Public Theater, with the exception of Frank Boyd, who replaces Aaron Landsman in the role of 'George.'

Gatz is 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, brought to life by a low-rent office staff in the midst of their inscrutable business operations.

One morning in the office of a mysterious small business, an employee (Scott Shepherd) 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 features scenic design by Louisa Thompson, costume design by Colleen Werthmann, lighting design by Mark Barton, and sound design by Ben Williams.

Gatz had its New York premiere at the Public Theatre, where it played an extnded engagement from 26 Sep - 28 Nov 2010.

The 2010 engagement opened to very mixed reviews: Work of singular imagination and intelligence (NY Times); Fanny-numbing readathon (NY Daily News); As powerful a piece of stagecraft as you may ever see (Bloomberg).

Since its 2006 premiere at the Kunsten Festival des Arts in Brussels, Gatz has been seen on 18 stages, including at the American Repertory Theater (Boston, 2010), Sydney Opera House (2009), Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (2008), Vienna Festival (2007), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 2006), and The Holland Festival (2006). Awards include Zürcher Theater Spektakel ZKB-Acknowledgement Prize (2006), and Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Visiting Production, Outstanding Director - John Collins, and Outstanding Actor - Scott Shepherd (2010).


John Collins (Director) founded Elevator Repair Service with his first production, 'Mr. Antipyrine, Fire Extinguisher.' In the 18 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.'

Laurena Allan (Myrtle) has performed extensively in downtown New York. She performed internationally as 'Wife' in Richard Maxwell's 'House' and is the creator of 'Laurena's Pancake Party.'

Frank Boyd (George) has appeared with Elevator Repair Service in 'The Select (The Sun Also Rises),' and 'Shuffle.' New York credits include 'Architecting' at The Public Theater; and 'Particularly in the Heartland.' Film & TV credits include 'B.U.S.T,' 'Dogs Lie,' 'Yakima,' and "Guiding Light."

Jim Fletcher (Jim) performed in Elevator Repair Service's 'The Sound and the Fury' (tour). He has performed in many Richard Maxwell productions and with the New York City Players. He also works with the English theater group Forced Entertainment.

Ross Fletcher (Henry C. Gatz) is the Chief of Staff of Washington, D.C.'s VA Medical Center. Gatz is his first show with Elevator Repair Service.

Mike Iveson (Ewing) previously appeared in the Elevator Repair Service productions of 'The Sun Also Rises' and 'The Sound and the Fury.' His other credits include Richard Maxwell's 'Ode to the Man Who Kneels,' Sarah Michelson's 'Dover Beach,' Sibyl Kempson's 'Crime or Emergency' and Erin Courtney's 'Black Cat Lost.'

Vin Knight (Chester) appeared in the Elevator Repair Service productions of 'The Sun Also Rises,' 'The Sound and the Fury' and 'No Great Society.' His other credits include 'The Temperamentals,' 'The Butcherhouse Chronicles,' 'Go-Go Kitty, GO!' and Ted Kaczynski 'Killed People With Bombs.'

Annie Mcnamara (Catherine) appeared in Elevator Repair Service's 'The Sound and the Fury.' Her recent credits in New York include 'That Pretty Pretty, or, The Rape Play,' 'Port Authority Throw Down' and 'God's Ear.'

Kate Scelsa (Lucille) appeared in Elevator Repair Service's 'The Sun Also Rises,' 'The Sound and the Fury' and 'Show of Shows.' Her New York stage appearances include 'Can I Help You' (Chashama) and 'Say Uncle!' at the Soho Playhouse.

Scott Shepherd (Nick) returns to The Public, where he played the title role in The Wooster Group's 'Hamlet.' His credits with Elevator Repair Service include 'McGurk: A Cautionary Tale,' 'Shut Up I Tell You (I Said Shut Up I Tell You),' 'Cab Legs,' 'Total Fictional Lie,' 'No Great Society' and 'The Sun Also Rises.' He won Bessie and OBIE awards for his performance in The Wooster Group's 'Poor Theater.'

Susie Sokol (Jordan) has been a member of Elevator Repair Service since 1992 and has appeared in all ERS productions since 1993. She has also collaborated with theater artists Katherine Profeta and Sibyl Kempson.

Victoria Vazquez (Daisy) has been a member of ERS since 1996 and has appeared in 'The Sound and the Fury,' 'Total Fictional Lie' and 'Cab Legs.' Other credits include: Richard Maxwell's 'Caveman,' 'People Without History,' 'Das Maedchen' and Young Jean Lee's, 'PULLMAN, WA.'

Ben Williams (Michaelis) appeared in Elevator Repair Service's 'The Sun Also Rises,' 'The Sound and the Fury' and 'No Great Society.' His other recent projects include 'Walse-Fantasie' with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Julia Jarcho's 'American Treasure.'

Gary Wilmes (Tom) won an Obie for his performance in Adam Rapp's 'Red Light Winter.' His other New York credits include 'Henry IV, Part 1, 'Boxing 2000,' 'House,' 'Brace Up!,' 'Bad Boy Nietzsche' and 'Hotel Fuck.

Elevator Repair Service (ERS), a theater ensemble, was founded by director John Collins and a group of actors in 1991. Since that time, ERS has built a body of acclaimed work and has appeared on stages in downtown New York and across the U.S. and Europe. ERS shows are built around a broad range of subject matter including literary, dramatic and cinematic forms. They combine elements of hi-tech and lo-tech design, vaudeville, both literary and found text, found objects and discarded furniture, and the group's own highly developed style of choreography. The company has generated a repertoire that includes 14 original full-length pieces and several short pieces and workshop productions. Their newest piece, 'The Sun Also Rises' (The Select) had its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2010, its US premiere at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival in September 2010, and will be seen at New York Theatre Workshop next year.

Scott Shepherd (Nick)

Originally published on

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