A documentary film about the making of Elevator Repair Service's Gatz
Standing By: Gatz Backstage is an atmospheric portrait of backstage life during Gatz, a ground breaking performance work created by New York City’s Elevator Repair Service (ERS). Gatz is an eight-hour theatrical event, where every word of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is voiced and enacted onstage. Gatz, called “the most remarkable achievement in theater not only of this year but also of this decade” by Ben Brantley in The New York Times, is an award winning show that has had high profile runs at venues in New York and internationally including The Public Theater (NYC), REDCAT (Los Angeles), The American Repertory Theater (Boston), The Walker (Minneapolis) and London’s LIFT Festival.
The documentary follows the company through a composite day, focusing on the inherent tension between inertia and explosive energy, as actors move between periods of repose or waiting, moments before they are about to unleash their energy into performance. The camera lingers on performers in these transitional states, hovering somewhere between themselves and the characters they inhabit onstage – as they rest, check email, watch the Wimbledon finals, get a massage, and prepare for the next scene.