Video Work: Documentation of "Gertrude" (1972)


This video documents the ETC Company’s 1972 production of "Gertrude, or Would She Be Pleased to Receive It?” at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. A work of musical theater written by Wilford Leach, the play is narrated by an Angel and follows the adventures of the title character, loosely based on Gertrude Stein, through a windy walk with her dog Ernest and her friend Isadora Duncan and to an arboretum. Leach described the play (in the show’s program) as “a valentine, specifically to the memory of Gertrude Stein” but not “a literal portrait.” The piece was part of the ETC Company’s first 5-Play Repertory, which also included productions of ”Carmilla,” “Demon, “The Only Jealousy of Emer,” and “Renard”.  The video was originally shot using a Portapak camera, and camera originals are spread across two separate half-inch open reels (numbered B1 and C13 in La MaMa's collection).

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