Elevator Repair Service, a theater ensemble, first appeared on New York’s downtown performance scene in 1991. Today its work combines elements of slapstick, literary and found texts, found objects and the group’s unique choreographic style. The company creates its pieces through extended periods of collaboration. Each work is developed over the course of a season through several work-in-progress showings before small audiences and touring productions, culminating in an extended run in New York.
Works have included Room Tone, a humorous meditation on spiritual belief drawing on texts by William and Henry James; a tragicomic reinterpretation of Euripides’s The Bacchae; Cab Legs, a classic love story with frantic choreography from Indian musicals and Betty Boop cartoons; and Language Instruction: Love Family vs. Andy Kaufman, in which the late comedian appears amid bizarro-Berlitz instructors whose mission is to teach badly fractured Dutch, Japanese as well as pure nonsense to whomever will listen.
The company has performed at Performance Space 122, HERE, Performing Garage, Ontological-Hysterical Theatre, the Flea Theatre and Soho Repertory Company. In addition to touring the U.S. extensively, the company has appear at venues in the European cities of Salzburg, Fribourg, Muenster, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin and Ljubljana.