Welcome Failure

Historical Failures and American Spectacular Entertainment

Friday, October 7
Elebash Recital Hall
Photo by Peter Norman

Photo by Peter Norman

Innovations in theater often involve the promise of the ‘new’ quickly followed by the obsolescence of the ‘old’. This history is also populated by a specific kind of visionary – an artist who rises through breakthroughs in technology, achieves a spectacular but unsustainable vision, often followed by epic failure and a penniless death. The Builders production Xtravaganza tells the stories of some of these early visionaries. In this discussion/demo/performative event Moe Angelos (performer/writer), Norman Frisch (dramaturg), Marianne Weems (director), and other company members tackle the cyclical nature of innovation in American theater, accompanied by some moments from our show.


  • The Builders Association
    Photo by Peter Norman

    The Builders Association, founded in 1994, is a NYC-based, OBIE-award winning performance and media company that creates original productions based on stories drawn from contemporary life. The company uses the richness of new and old tools to extend the boundaries of theater. Based on innovative collaborations, Builders’ productions blend stage performance, text, video, sound, and architecture to tell stories about human experience in the 21st century. Our productions have toured globally to over 75 theaters, museums, and festivals throughout the last two decades. In addition to theater artists, the company includes interactive system software designers, animation and video designers, sound artists, architects, and many others. We have collaborated with artists as diverse as the architects Diller + Scofidio, the South Asian collective motiroti, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in our efforts to expand the scope of contemporary theater.
    Upcoming: Elements of Oz, 3LD Art and Technology Center, December 1-18, 2016.