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"Performance for the 21st Century"
Lecture by Theater Director Marianne Weems

Lewis Center for the Arts’ Performance Central will present Marianne Weems, internationally renowned theatre director and artistic director for the multimedia theater company The Builders Association, on Monday, March 10. Weems’ lecture, “Performance for the 21st Century,” will include a discussion about her innovative theater work and her career in theatre at 4:30 p.m. in Room 219 at 185 Nassau Street in Princeton. The event is free and open to the public.

Weems is a co-founder of the OBIE Award-winning, New York-based performance company The Builders Association. Under Weems’ direction over the past two decades, the company has been recognized internationally as a leader of theatrical innovation, incorporating actors with audio and visual elements to create interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional stage performances. The company’s work has been presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Singapore Arts Festival, London’s Barbican Centre, Romaeuropa Festival, the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogota, and the Melbourne International Arts Festival, among hundreds of others. Current Builders Association productions under Weems’ direction include Sontag:Reborn, a story employing Susan Sontag's personal journals to trace her transformation from teenager to world-renowned author and activist, and House/Divided, which uses Steinbeck's classic The Grapes of Wrath as a narrative backbone to tell contemporary tales of foreclosure.

Production photo from SUPER VISION, which Weems directed with The Builders Association in 2005. Photo courtesy Marianne Weems

In addition to directing theater, Weems’ expertise includes dramaturgy, interdisciplinary media, and the intersection of the arts with technology. Early in her career, Weems worked as a dramaturg with The Wooster Group. More recently, she directed a multimedia workshop with Disney Creative Entertainment and Walt Disney Imagineering. Weems serves on the boards of the Art Matters foundation, Arts Presenters, and the artists’ colony Yaddo, as well as the advisory committee of the Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance at UCLA.  In addition to her work with The Builders Association, Weems is currently collaborating with David Byrne and Fatboy Slim on “Here Lies Love,” an original theater/music event. She is the co-author of Art Matters: How The Culture Wars Changed America (NYU Press, 2001) and The Builders Association: Cross-medium Encounters in Contemporary Performance (MIT Press, 2011), which documents the evolution of the company’s influences and productions.

At Princeton, Weems will lecture on her career, her work as a pioneer of theatrical technology, and the rigors of founding and maintaining a theater company. Weems will teach a Princeton Atelier course during the fall 2014 semester.

Event Information


Monday, March 10, 2014

4:30 p.m.

Room 219 at 185 Nassau Street

Free and open to the public

Photo by Valerie Oliveiro

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