Monday, January 04, 2010

Elevator Repair Service: Embrace Risk - Move Forward

From the Boston Globe's pre-show piece about Elevator Repair Service's Gatz, which opens this week at the American Repertory Theater:

Elevator Repair Service eschews mission statements, mantras, and even employing certain theater-making methods from one show to the next.

“As soon as I begin to recognize and name anything that we’re doing, that becomes a thing to not do anymore,’’ says Collins.

Adds Shepherd, “You have to be real dedicated to the idea of not having a method. Because it means you’ve got to spend some unpleasant time not knowing what to do.’’

To maintain a fresh approach, says Collins, the troupe members keep trying to invent new and different experiments for themselves.

“Part of it is just a willingness to try a bunch of stuff that’s going to fail - and to get excited about those failures. As long as you allow the process enough time, and the people are familiar with each other, and there’s a kind of openness about the whole process, then it doesn’t matter if your first six ideas completely fail. They’re going to generate new ideas and point you in some worthwhile direction,’’ says Collins. “I hate to think what ‘Gatz’ would look like now if we had pursued some of our very first ideas for it, rather than allowing ourselves to discover what we were doing as we went along.’’

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