Z Space Presents:


Created and Performed by Elevator Repair Service

October 30 - November 2, 2014 on Z Space's Main Stage

"One of New York’s hottest-ticket experimental theater companies ever"
—Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle.

"Cool, Obsessive Genius"
—The New York Times        

Elevator Repair Service—the innovative company that created Gatz—comes to Z Space with their newest show, Arguendo. The piece tackles Barnes v. Glen Theatre, a 1991 U.S. Supreme Court case. Brought by a group of go-go dancers who claimed a First Amendment right to dance totally nude, the case examines an Indiana law that banned public nudity. At oral argument, the Justices attempt to define dance, ponder nudity in opera houses vs. strip-clubs, and ask whether naked erotic dancing is artistic expression or immoral conduct.

Arguendo is a staging of Barnes v. Glen Theatre’s entire oral argument, verbatim, interspersed with bits of real interviews with the justices, the lawyers and an exotic dancer who traveled all the way from the Déja Vu Club in Saginaw, Michigan to listen to the argument at The Supreme Court. The production design features OBIE-award winning animated text projections by video artist Ben Rubin and a re-imagined Supreme Court on rolling chairs. The drama that emerges is in turns absurd, hilarious, provocative and intellectually compelling.

About the Company

Founded in 1991 by Artistic Director John Collins, Elevator Repair Service creates original works with an ongoing ensemble.

ERS’s theater pieces are built around a broad range of subject matter and literary forms; they combine elements of slapstick comedy, hi-tech and lo-tech design, both literary and found text, and the group’s own highly developed style of choreography.

ERS creates its performances through extended periods of collaboration. A typical development cycle includes 4-6 intensive work periods within a 2 year period, which conclude with work-in-progress showings. Time off between development is filled with touring and presentations of finished works. Following completion, the piece is presented in NYC for an extended run and is toured throughout the US and abroad.