John Collins is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Elevator Repair Service (ERS) Theater in New York. Founded in 1991 with a group of actors, ERS is now one of the most acclaimed experimental theater companies in New York. In describing the company’s work, Collins says, “ERS pieces incorporate a great variety of narratives, forms, and ideas but they all have in common their inappropriateness for the stage.” An example is the highly praised Gatz, a seven-hour play in which the actors recite the entire F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby with the actors morphing into the characters in the book. The play won a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Alternative Theatrical Experience in 2011, and Collins was nominated for Outstanding Director, among other honors.
Portrait photo courtesy Ariana Smart Truman.