Elevator Repair Service's THE SOUND AND THE FURY Opens Tonight at The Public

The Public Theater welcomes Elevator Repair Service's acclaimed THE SOUND AND THE FURY, remounted and directed by John Collins. THE SOUND AND THE FURY began performances in The Public's Martinson Theater on May 14 and runs through Saturday, June 13, with an official press opening tonight, May 21.

THE SOUND AND THE FURY will mark the third collaboration between The Public and Elevator Repair Service, having previously presented Gatz and Arguendo. October is an auspicious month to make this announcement, as it marks the 85th anniversary of the original publication date of William Faulkner's masterpiece.

THE SOUND AND THE FURY is a staging of the first section-the "Benjy Chapter" of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, one of the most infamously complex passages in American literature. Like ERS' internationally renowned production of Gatz, the play is not an adaptation; rather, with radical commitment ERS stages Faulkner's language. In usual ERS style, humor, pathos, and high-energy choreography illuminate this Southern Gothic tale. ERS takes on Faulkner's daring experimentation with consciousness, perception, memory and language - and honors the author's words to the letter. With innovative casting, split-screen staging in an eerily timeless living room set, video-projected text and a lush sound score, the production brings to life the tragic demise of Faulkner's Compson Family. The intrepid ERS ensemble rises to the challenge of Faulkner's famous experiment and narrative leaps off the page.

"Ever since Gatz, The Public Theater has been a second home for me and the ERS ensemble," said ERS Artistic Director John Collins. "We're so honored to have their support for this special revival of The Sound and the Fury. For the first time, we're taking the lead in producing our own work and we're thrilled to be doing it in partnership with such a stellar organization whose audience, staff and supporters have become a part of our family."

"The Sound and the Fury is a classic of American literature; Elevator Repair Service has become a classic of American theater," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "In their 20-year history, they have created a body of work as deep, as original, and as entertaining as any ensemble in the world. The Public is proud to boast ERS as a core part of our artistic family."

Tickets for Public Theater Members and ERS Insiders are available now. Single tickets, starting at $60, will be available on Thursday, October 23 and can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street. The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drinks, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and Joe's Pub at The Public continues to offer some of the best music in the city.

The ensemble cast features Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, Randolph Curtis Rand, Greig Sargeant, Kaneza Schaal, Susie Sokol, Lucy Taylor, Tory Vazquez, Ben Williams, and other members of the ERS ensemble.

THE SOUND AND THE FURY marked the company's Off-Broadway debut in 2008 at New York Theatre Workshop, and received Lucille Lortel Nominations for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Sound Design. The first of ERS' trilogy of modernist American novels to premiere in New York, it brought the company exposure and acclaim it had yet to see in an already lauded New York career. Since then Gatz, Arguendo and The Select (The Sun Also Rises) have established ERS as a critical darling of the Off-Broadway scene. The return of The Sound and the Fury will bring this pioneering work of the company to the large and diverse audience the ensemble has cultivated in the ensuing years. Originally presented in New York by New York Theatre Workshop, the production has since toured the U.S., Europe and Australia.

The production features scenic design by David Zinn; costume design by Colleen Werthmann; lighting design by Mark Barton; and sound design by Matt Tierney.

Produced by Elevator Repair Service in partnership with The Public Theater, the Lehoczky Escobar Family, and Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, in association with Shawn M. Donnelley and David Gilbert. Originally presented by New York Theatre Workshop with the support of Dartmouth College.

JOHN COLLINS (Director) founded Elevator Repair Service in 1991. Since then, he has directed or co-directed all of the company's productions. John is the recipient of a 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama and Performance Art and a 2011 United States Artists Donnelley Fellowship. In 2010 John received the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director and the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director for ERS' production of Gatz. Recent ERS projects include Arguendo at The Public Theater, The Select (The Sun Also Rises) at New York Theatre Workshop and Fondly, Collette Richland preview performances at the Walker Art Center. His writing about theater and sound design can be found in two recently published books, Theatre Noise: The Sound of Performance (Cambridge Scholars, 2011) and Encountering Ensemble (Methuen Drama, 2013). John was born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia. He holds a combined degree in English Literature and Theater Studies from Yale.

ABOUT ELEVATOR REPAIR SERVICE - Elevator Repair Service is a New York City-based company that creates original works for live theater with an ongoing ensemble. Since its founding in 1991 by John Collins and a group of actors, ERS has built a body of work that has earned it a loyal following and made it one of New York's most highly-acclaimed experimental theater companies. The company's work was most recently seen at the Public Theater with Arguendo in fall 2014 (Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Projection Design), and for the New York premiere in 2010 of Gatz, and the return engagement in 2012. Their work has been seen across America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and they have been the recipient of many awards including a 2012 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence; The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Theater Grant; the Theatre Communications Group's Peter Zeisler Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement; and (for Gatz) Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Visiting Production and Lucille Lortel Awards for Alternative Theatrical Experience and Best Director. ERS ensemble members have received OBIEs for Sustained Excellence in Performance, Lighting Design, and Sound Design.

ABOUT THE PUBLIC THEATER - Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company's dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, a new initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, including Public Lab; and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions. The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company's core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Key elements of the revitalization an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new restaurant lounge, The Library, designed by the Rockwell Group. www.publictheater.org

Pictured: Vin Knight, Susie Sokol (foreground) and ERS company members in The Sound and the Fury, created and performed by Elevator Repair Service and directed by John Collins. Photo by Joan Marcus.




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