SHUFFLE at the New York Public Library

FuturePerfect and the New York Public Library present


by Elevator Repair Service,

with Mark Hansen, and Ben Rubin

New York Premiere

The New York Public Library
DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018

Saturday, May 21, 1pm – 6pm
Sunday, May 22, 1pm – 4pm

Shuffle will be performed continuously during these hours; you may enter and leave at any time. The performance is free, and no tickets or reservations are required.

Shuffle is an entirely new kind of ERS performance, one with constantly re-generated text and a dream-like logic. Through this collaboration with installation artist Ben Rubin and UCLA statistician Mark Hansen, the company looks back on its last three pieces through the lens of creative data analysis. The result is a site-specific mash-up where the company attempts to read The Great Gatsby, The Sound and the Fury, and The Sun Also Rises simultaneously.


photo: Wayne Ashley / FuturePerfect


Following its lauded production of Gatz at the Public Theater, Elevator Repair Service joins forces with artist Ben Rubin and statistician Mark Hansen to present Shuffle, a new performance installation that provides a fresh look at literature we thought we knew. The scripts are generated in real time by computer algorithms that recombine phrases from iconic works by Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway. Emerging from behind the crowded stacks of The New York Public Library’s DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room and spilling out into its oak paneled reading area, ERS actors seamlessly blend with viewers and perform surprising new kind of micro-theater.

More details are here on the Elevator Repair Service website.

Directed by 2010 Guggenheim fellow John Collins. Text processing and design by Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen.

The performance is part of the New York Public Library’s weekend-long centennial celebration.

This development of this work has been supported by the FuturePerfect Festival, the Rockefeller Foundation’s New Media Fellowship Program, and by a residency at the Park Avenue Armory.


Created by: Elevator Repair Service with Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen
Director: John Collins
Text Processing and Design: Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen
Producer: Ariana Smart Truman
Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Sarah Hughes
Technical Director: Michael Clemow
Company Manager: Lindsay Hockaday
Assistant to the Director: Katherine Brook

Frank Boyd
Sarah Hughes
Mike Iveson
Vin Knight
Annie McNamara
Kate Scelsa
Kaneza Schaal
Scott Shepherd
Susie Sokol
Lucy Taylor
Matt Tierney
Victoria Vazquez
Ben Williams
Special thanks to Jer Thorp and Michele Gorman



The New York Times Review
The New Yorker Review

Comments are closed.