Elevator Repair Service

(Theater, USA)
October 2021

In 1965, James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr., were invited to the Cambridge University Union to debate the resolution “The American Dream Is at the Expense of The American Negro.” The result was a provocative and profoundly relevant confrontation between Baldwin, one of the most powerful figures of the civil rights movement, and Buckley, often considered the father of 20th Century patrician conservatism. Building on its history of staging unconventional texts, New York-based ensemble Elevator Repair Service (ERS) will present the debate verbatim in a special video preview of this new work. With both 1965 and 2021 in mind, Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge – through a starkly simple design and acting that favors intimacy over impersonation – presents the debate as real, immediate, and of this moment.