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The Written Image: The Select

Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises is gaining new life (and a new title) in the staging of The Select (The Sun Also Rises), the third in a trilogy of productions based on modernist American literature of the 1920s by New York City–based theater company Elevator Repair Service. Taking its title from a Paris café where the book’s primary characters meet (and where Hemingway himself sometimes worked), the performance follows American writer and World War I veteran Jake Barnes (played by Mike Iveson) and his friends on a boozy trip from Paris to Pamplona. As Barnes grapples with a

debilitating war injury and his impossible love of a woman (Brett Ashley, played by Lucy Taylor), scenes shift from a Parisian bistro to the banks of Spain’s Irati River; a bar becomes the scene of a bullfight in which a youthful matador (played by Susie Sokol, above) holds sway, and dancers open the stage to a fiesta in the streets of Pamplona. The project, directed by John Collins, who founded Elevator Repair Service in 1991, comes after the company’s adaptations of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby—staged as Gatz in an eight-hour marathon performance—and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. The Select will play at Emerson College’s Paramount Center in Boston from March 15 to March 20 (www.artsemerson.org). The theater company will return to New York City with the production next fall, when it is slated to go up at the New York Theatre Workshop (nytw.org).

Credit: Mark Barton

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The Written Image: The Select (March/April 2011)
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