Elevator Repair Service
In Arguendo, ERS tackles Barnes v. Glen Theatre, a 1991 U.S. Supreme Court case. Brought by a group of erotic 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.
is a staging of Barnes v. Glen Theatre’s entire oral argument, verbatim, set against Ben Rubin’s OBIE-award winning projection design of animated text. The argument is 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.
Select performances feature post-show conversations with ERS director John Collins joined by journalists, constitutional law experts and other special guests.
Performances of Arguendo are made possible, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Arguendo is also supported with funds from The Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Barbara Bell Cummings Foundation, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Tony Randall Theatrical Fund, The Scherman Foundation, The Sequoia Foundation for Achievement in the Arts and Education, The Shubert Foundation, The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation, as well as many generous individual contributors.
Elevator Repair Service explores notions of freedoms, logic of law in ‘Arguendo’ by Hedy Weiss
A satirical look inside the Kitty Kat Lounge case by Chris Jones
Thigh Court by Emily Bazelon
'Arguendo' offers naked justice for go-go dancers by Danielle Schoeck
Strippers, Supreme Court & Silliness: Elevator Repair Service's Arguendo by John Del Signore
ARGUENDO Riffs on the Legality of Public Nudity by Michael Dale
Arguendo Is Full of Supremely Naughty Charm by Alexis Soloski
Arguendo by Elyse Sommer
Full-Frontal Justice, a Matter of Redress by Ben Brantley
ERS's John Collins Explores a Sexy Supreme Court Case by Tom Sellar
Created and Performed by Elevator Repair Service
Performers Maggie Hoffman, Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Susie Sokol, Ben Williams
Director John Collins
Set Designer David Zinn
Lighting Designer Mark Barton
Costume Designer Jacob A. Climer
Sound Designer Matt Tierney
Video Designer Ben Rubin
Media software by The Office for Creative Research Ian Ardouin-Fumat, Ben Rubin, Jer Thorp, Noa Younse
Producer Ariana Smart Truman
Production Stage Manager Maurina Lioce
Assistant Director Sarah Hughes
Production Manager Dave Nelson
Movement Dramaturg Katherine Profeta
Associate Video Designer & Operator Eva von Schweinitz
Associate Video Operator Ellery Royston
Associate Lighting Designer Dans Maree Sheehan
Sound Engineer Jason Sebastian
Sound Operator/Mixer Gavin Price
Associate Producer Lindsay Hockaday
Advisors to the Project Emily Bazelon, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz
ERS ensemble members Frank Boyd, Kate Scelsa and Adam Shive contributed to the development of Arguendo. Frank Boyd played Mr. Ennis during workshop productions at The Guiding Lights Weekend (March 2012) and The Bushwick Starr (May 2012). Kate Scelsa developed the part of Rebecca Jackson for the workshop production at The Public’s Under the Radar Festival (January 2013).
Thanks to Floyd Abrams, Amy Adler, Bill Araiza, Kate Aufses, Nell Breyer, Douglas Curtis, Elizabeth Derbes, Mark Fleming, Linda Greenhouse, Mark Hansen, Katie Henderson, Bob Kerrey, Charles Platt, Robert C. Post, Lawrence Stierhoff, Pamela Talkin, Nelson Tebbe, Jeffrey Toobin, Ben Wizner, and Paul Wolfson.