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NY Theatre Workshop Announces Faulkner's 'Sound'

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 New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Acting Managing Director FRed Walker have announced that The Sound and The Fury (April Seventh, 1928), based on part one of the novel by William Faulkner, created by Elevator Repair Service (ERS), and directed by John Collins, will begin performances Tuesday, April 15, at NYTW, 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery.  Opening night is scheduled for Tuesday, April 29 at 7:00pm.  The production will run through May 18.

Elevator Repair Service, a theater ensemble, was founded by John Collins and a group of actors in 1991.  The ensemble's body of work combines elements of slapstick comedy, 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.  Recently, ERS' focus has turned to literature with work based on the fiction of Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac, and, now, William Faulkner.  These include the Bessie Award-winning Room Tone (2002-2004), No Great Society (2007 at NYTW's 4th Street Theatre), and Gatz, the group's highly acclaimed marathon performance of The Great Gatsby, which continues to tour the U.S. and Europe and will next be seen at the Dublin Theatre Festival.

Written by Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner in 1929, The Sound and the Fury tells the story of the decline of the Compson family of fictional Yoknapatawpha county, Mississippi.  A once noble clan descended from a Civil War hero, the family falls victim to many of the shortcomings Faulkner believed were the problems of the reconstructed South—racism, greed, selfishnesss—thereby showing how the ideals and life of the old South could not easily be maintained or preserved in the post-Civil War era.  April Seventh, 1928, part one of the novel, is told from the point of view of Benjy Compson, who is mute with the mind of a child.

James Nicola says "ERS has been working on this exciting new production for the past two years as a Company-in-Residence at NYTW, including a three-week residency with us at Dartmouth last summer.  We had a wonderful time together, discovering many common bonds amongst us all.  I believe that their distinctive approach to the task of theatrical adaptation will result in a renewed appreciation for both Faulkner's ravishing words and as well as the power of and the necessity for live performance. I am extremely proud that this essential downtown theatre company will be making its off-Broadway debut on our stage."

John Collins says "William Faulkner is notorious for structural complexity in his writing. The first section of The Sound and The Fury is one of the more daunting passages in American literature and this was a draw for us.  To get inside the head of  Benjy—whom he describes as 'truly innocent' —Faulkner chose to leap from one event in time to another (jumping as far as thirty years into the past) seamlessly and, sometimes, without any hints as to what he's up to.  Bringing this to the stage struck us a great challenge."

John Collins founded Elevator Repair Service—a name derived from a comically flawed career placement test—in 1991 at Nada with his first production, Mr. Antipyrine, Fire Extinguisher.  In the 15 years since, he has directed or co-directed all of the company's shows, often acting as its producer and sound and lighting designer as well.  Since 1991 John's work with ERS has been seen across the U.S. and Europe.  New York Magazine called ERS "the best experimental theater group in town," while New York Newsday said the group's work was "wacko enough to be truly inspired." The New York Times has called them "thrilling...and audacious."  Concurrent with his work as ERS' director, John has earned a reputation as an innovative sound and lighting designer.  Since 1993 he has worked for The Wooster Group and has earned numerous awards and distinctions, including two Drama Desk nominations and a Bessie Award.  As a lighting designer, he won a Bessie Award for his design of ERS' Room Tone. John was born in North Carolina and raised in south Georgia.  He holds a B.A. in English and Theater Studies from Yale.

The cast of The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928) is Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, April Matthis, Annie McNamara, Randolph Curtis Rand, Greig Sargeant, Kate Scelsa, Kaneza Schaal, Susie Sokol, Tory Vazquez, and Ben Williams.

The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928) plays at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery. The regular performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00pm, Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.  The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928) runs through May 18.  Tickets, which go on sale March 15, are $55 and may be purchased online at www.telecharge.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or by phoning Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200.  For exact dates and times of performance, call Telecharge.com.  For more information about The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928), visit www.nytw.org.


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