Join us for a lively evening of performance and conversation about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her iconic lace collars, and the performance of power and femininity, with New York Times fashion director Vanessa Friedman, BGC lacemaker-in-residence Elena Kanagy-Loux, and the award-winning theater ensemble Elevator Repair Service (featuring Artistic Director John Collins, costume designer Jacob A. Climer, and long-time ERS ensemble member Susie Sokol as Justice Ginsburg, with Ben Williams as Chief Justice William Rehnquist).

Elevator Repair Service (ERS) is a New York City–based company that creates original works for live theater with an ongoing ensemble. The company’s work is created from a wide range of texts including transcripts, literature, and plays. Founded in 1991, ERS has authored upwards of 20 original theatrical productions that have made it one of New York’s most highly acclaimed experimental theater companies. Among its best known productions are Gatz (The Great Gatsby verbatim), Arguendo (a Supreme Court argument transcript) and The Sound and the Fury. ERS productions share a commitment to risk-taking and reinvention, blending unusual texts with innovations in theatrical form. They feature the company’s signature theatrical style coupled with a rigorous commitment to psychologically complex performances.

John Collins
(Artistic Director, Elevator Repair Service) founded Elevator Repair Service in 1991. Since then he has directed or co-directed all of the company’s productions including Cab Legs, Room Tone, Gatz, The Select (The Sun Also Rises), The Sound and the Fury, Arguendo, Measure for Measure, and numerous others. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a United States Artists Fellowship, and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.

Jacob A. Climer
(Costume Design) In New York, Climer has created scenic and costume designs for Elevator Repair Service (Arguendo, Fondly, Colette Richland) Tectonic Theater, MCC, Vineyard Theater, NOOR Theater, Primary Stages, and Abrons Art Center. In the opera world, he has designed scenery and costumes for Houston Grand Opera, Arizona Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Atlanta Opera, Portland Opera, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Cincinnati Opera, and Utah Opera. Climer is also the costume and scenic designer for the Texas Rose Festival which was recently featured in the New York Times style section. He holds a BFA from University of Evansville and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Susie Sokol
(Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg) is a second-grade teacher at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn where she has taught since 1996. She began performing with ERS in 1992. She has also worked with theater artists Katherine Profeta, Sibyl Kempson, and Tina Satter.

Ben Williams
(Chief Justice William Rehnquist) is an actor and sound designer. He produces and curates category : other, an award-winning platform for experimental audio. Collaborators include Minor Theater, Christina Masciotti, Suzanne Bocanegra, and many others. Awards for sound design: OBIE, Lortel, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, and Third Coast International Audio Festival’s inaugural Audio Unbound Award (for Songs of Speculation, co-produced with Jillian Walker).

Vanessa Friedman was named the fashion director and chief fashion critic for The New York Times in March 2014. In this role she leads global fashion coverage for both The New York Times and International New York Times on all platforms.

Before joining the paper, Ms. Friedman was the inaugural fashion editor of the Financial Times, beginning in 2003. Along with editing the Style pages and the Luxury360 vertical, she wrote a weekly column for the Saturday FT and created the FT’s annual Business of Luxury conference.

Previously, she was the fashion features director for InStyle UK, from 2000 to 2002. Before that she worked as a Fashion Correspondent for the FT, as an Arts Contributor at The Economist and was the European Editor at American Elle. In addition she contributed regularly to Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Entertainment Weekly. She is the author of “Emilio Pucci” (Taschen) as well as an honorary professor at Glasgow-Caledonian University. She was the recipient of the 2012 Front Page Award for fashion writing, as well as the 2013 Fashion Monitor Journalist of the Year award.

Ms. Friedman received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University.
Elena Kanagy-Loux descends from the Amish and grew up between the US and Japan, immersed in both traditional Mennonite craft and the DIY fashion scene in Tokyo. After earning her BFA in Textile Design from FIT, she won a grant to study lacemaking across a dozen European countries for four months in 2015. Upon returning to NYC, she co-founded Brooklyn Lace Guild and began teaching bobbin lace classes. In 2018 she completed her MA in Costume Studies at NYU and now works as the Collections Specialist at the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Additional Credits
Arguendo Credits

Susie Sokol as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Ben Williams as Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Costume Design by Jacob A. Climer

This scene is excerpted from Elevator Repair Service’s original production Arguendo.

Arguendo premiered at The Public Theater in 2013. It was co-commissioned by The Public Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage, and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. More information about the show can be found at

This performance is 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 the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Elevator Repair Service is also supported with funds from The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation, Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Howard Gilman Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, Jockey Hollow Foundation, Lucille Lortel Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The O’Grady Foundation, Scherman Foundation, Select Equity Group Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.

Elevator Repair Service is a member of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York.

Support ERS with a donation by giving online at

ERS Staff

Artistic Director.…John Collins
Managing Director….Marilyn Haines
Associate Artistic Director….Maurina Lioce
Producer….Hanna Novak
Company Manager….Mariana Catalina
Development Associate….Quincy Confo
Finance Manager….Lucy Mallett
Graphic Designer….Maggie Hoffman

ERS Board of Directors

Bill Stasiulatis, Chair
Kenneth B. Cera, Vice-Chair
Zoe E. Rotter, Vice-Chair
Lucy Mallett, Treasurer
John Collins, President
Arthur Aufses
Clay Ballard
Steve Bodow
Doug Curtis
David Gilbert
John Kim
Fritz Michel
Greig Sargeant
Ira Simmonds
Anne Stringfield
Robert A. Wilson, Jr.