James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses is turning 100, and Symphony Space is celebrating with the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by the remarkable theater company Elevator Repair Service (ERS). Ulysses comes to colorful life this Bloomsday through an explosively creative, original ERS production, right here at Symphony Space!
Ulysses has famously perplexed scholars and readers alike. This complex, maddening, and epic novel chronicling a single day in turn-of-the-century Dublin will be the subject of Elevator Repair Service’s next major project, commissioned by Symphony Space. To mark the centennial of the novel's publication, an ensemble of five will take on the seemingly impossible and very unlikely task of delivering the entire 700 page novel in just 90 minutes. The company will present representative sections combined with a mad dash of activity, speeding voices, and a full embrace of the novel’s chaotic mash-up of styles. Using the simple proposition of a group of scholars sitting down for a panel discussion, the piece will reverberate with both the literary achievement of the novel and its notorious vulgarity.
Elevator Repair Service (ERS) is a New York City–based company that creates original works for live theatre with an ongoing ensemble. The company’s sources range from found material (transcripts of trials, old movies, YouTube videos) to literature and conventional plays (both classical and contemporary). Founded in 1991, ERS has authored an extensive body of work that includes 19 original theatrical productions. These have earned the company a loyal following and made it one of New York’s most highly acclaimed experimental theatre companies. Gatz (2006), along with The Sound and the Fury (2008) and The Select (The Sun Also Rises) (2010), form a trilogy of work based on great American novels from the early 20th Century. ERS productions share a commitment to risk-taking and reinvention, blending unusual texts with innovations in theatrical form. The finished works feature the company’s signature dynamic performance style and playful sense of humor coupled with a rigorous commitment to psychologically complex performances. ERS has received numerous awards and distinctions. Upcoming productions include The Seagull and Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge.
Bloomsday on Broadway with Elevator Repair Service is made possible by support from the Isaiah Sheffer Fund for New Initiatives.
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
Expected Run Time is 90 minutes