Marianne Weems

Mediatic Performance: New Technology for Old Theater

Date 9/25/06

Affiliation Artistic Director, The Builders Association, New York


The Builders Association is an eclectic group which combines theater practitioners with software designers and new media artists. Under the direction of Marianne Weems, this OBIE award-winning New York-based performance and media company exploits the richness of contemporary technologies to extend the boundaries of theater. Given the 'liveness' of performance, how can theater be an arena for exploring the frictive relationship between 'live' performance and 'live' technologies? How can one stage the impact of technology on human presence? And how can we use technology to talk about technology's embrace? Through viewing excerpts from past Builders Association productions, we will discuss how technology and its stories can be staged as an instrument of control, transgression, and narrative.


Marianne Weems is artistic director of The Builders Association, and has directed all of their productions. Since 1994, with a growing circle of artists, the company has collaborated on ten large-scale theater projects which have been presented at venues including The Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Singapore Arts Festival, London's Barbican Centre, Romaeuropa Festival, the Festival Iberoamericano de Bogota, and the Melbourne International Arts Festival, among many others. In addition, Marianne is currently at work on a new theater/music event with David Byrne and Fatboy Slim titled Here Lies Love, she also recently completed a multimedia workshop with Disney Creative Entertainment and Walt Disney Imagineering. Marianne serves on the board of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and Yaddo, she is on the advisory committee of the Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance at UCLA, and is the board president of Art Matters Inc. In the distant past, she also worked as a dramaturg with Susan Sontag, The Wooster Group, and others. She is the co-author of Art Matters: How The Culture Wars Changed America (NYU Press 2001.)

-- As of 9/25/06