“ERS … stands out, not only for its humor and intelligence, but for its defiant theatricality.” —Artforum
Minneapolis, April 3, 2013—Elevator Repair Service, creators of the six-hour Gatz sensation, return to the Walker with a preview performance of their latest play, Fondly, Collette Richland, an exciting large-scale production written by a rising star in the New York experimental theater scene, playwright Sibyl Kempson. As a serene domestic scene gradually unravels, mysterious offstage forces and an unexpected guest become entwined in a surreal homage to Jane Bowles, , and a cadre of other influences. Fondly, Collette Richland, will be performed Thursday-Saturday, May 16-18 at 8pm in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater.
The company’s signature physical/comic performance style and Kempson’s inimitable approach to writing are complemented by a live score played by ERS member Mike Iveson. The result is a lush, engaging, strange, and beautiful trip into unknown mental and physical spaces.
Directed by John Collins; Scenic and Costume Design by David Zinn; Lighting Design by Mark Barton; Sound Design by Ben Williams and Matt Tierney; Original Music by Mike Iveson; Stage Managed by Sarah Hughes; Produced by Ariana Smart Truman; featuring Laurena Allan, Lindsay Hockaday, Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, April Matthis, Greig Sargeant, Kate Scelsa, Kaneza Schaal, Kristen Sieh, Susie Sokol, Lucy Taylor, and Ben Williams.
A longtime performer with ERS, Kempson is intimately familiar with the company. She originated the role of Myrtle Wilson in Gatz and, later, shared the role of Jordan Baker with Susie Sokol. She has collaborated separately on prior works of her own with company members Ben Williams, Mike Iveson, Susie Sokol, Laurena Allan, Kate Scelsa, Sarah Hughes, and director John Collins, among others. A member of New Dramatists, and a graduate of the MFA Playwriting Program at Brooklyn College, Kempson has written and directed several of her own works: Potatoes of August; Crime or Emergency; Zeit af der Kurbisgeistnachten; The Secret Death of Puppets (or) How Do Puppets Die? (or) Puppets Die in Secret; Bad Girls, Good Writers; This Property is Bauhaus!, and Spargel Time!. Kempson has also collaborated with downtown performance companies New York City Players, Big Dance Theater, and the choreographer David Neumann.
Elevator Repair Service
Mike Iveson, Susie Sokol, Laurena Allan, Kate Scelsa, Sarah Hughes, and director John Collins, among others. A member of New Dramatists, and a graduate of the MFA Playwriting Program at Brooklyn College, Kempson has written and directed several of her own works: Potatoes of August; Crime or Emergency; Zeit af der Kurbisgeistnachten; The Secret Death of Puppets (or) How Do Puppets Die? (or) Puppets Die in Secret; Bad Girls, Good Writers; This Property is Bauhaus!, and Spargel Time!. Kempson has also collaborated with downtown performance companies New York City Players, Big Dance Theater, and the choreographer David Neumann.
ERS creates its performances through extended periods of collaboration. Sources for the group’s work include novels, non-fiction writings, films, plays, television programs, and various other media. Each ERS piece is developed over the course of a season through several work-in-progress showings to small audiences and culminates in an extended run in New York. ERS’ first show was presented in December 1991 and since 1997, its work has toured the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
ERS has received numerous awards including an OBIE for Sustained Excellence; The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Theater Grant; the Theatre Communications Group’s Peter Zeisler Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement; Eliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Visiting Production, Outstanding Actor, and Outstanding Director; and a Lucille Lortel Award for Alternative Theatrical Experience and Best Director. Artistic Director John Collins received 2011 US Artists Donnelley and Guggenheim Fellowships. ERS ensemble members have received OBIEs for Sustained Excellence in Performance, Lighting Design, and Sound Design.
Tickets to Elevator Repair Service Fondly, Collette Richland are Thursday, $18 ($15 Walker members); Friday-Saturday, $25 ($22) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Meet the Artists
Postshow Reception: Thursday, May 16
Meet the artists after the show at a reception in the McGuire Theater’s Balcony Bar.
Postshow Q & A: Friday, May 17
Stay after the show for a Q&A with the artists and performing arts curators.
Look Up and Drink Up!
Meet the artists, talk about the show, and enjoy a drink at happy hour prices, including specialty cocktails with Prairie Organic vodka. Located in the McGuire Theater, the Balcony Bar is open one hour before and after all evening performances.
Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Producers’ Council members Leni and David Moore, Jr./The David & Leni Moore Family Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Developed with support from The Playwrights’ Center, and at New York Theatre Workshop, The Performing Garage, and Abrons Art Center.
Performing Arts Supporters
The Walker Art Center’s performing arts programs are made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Performing Arts Fund, the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Russell Cowles; Sage Cowles; Nor Hall and Roger Hale; King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury; Emily Maltz; Dr. William W. and Nadine M. McGuire; Leni and David Moore, Jr.; Josine Peters; Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney; and Frances and Frank Wilkinson
Elevator Repair Service in rehearsal
Photo: Ariana Smart Truman