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“The dazzling shows of The Builders Association make just about every other theater company look as if it’s from the stone age.”  The New York Times

The benzedrine rants of Ayn Rand meet Artificial Intelligence meet electoral politics in Atlas Drugged, The Builders Association’s newest, technologically dazzling work.


Just in time for the election, ATLAS DRUGGED (Tools for Tomorrow) is a playful analysis of both the current moment, in which AI-generated “evidence” influences much of what we think and feel, and also a speculation about a near future where candidates themselves are as engineered as their messages. We witness Silicon Valley’s creation of an AI-inflected candidate based on the free-market, alt-right teachings of Ayn Rand and we tune our candidate to our audience, engineering and testing new campaigning strategies and multiple strains of political “messaging.”

A running game show — Propaganda! — punctuates the evening, where audience members themselves must test their strength against political manipulations past, present and future. Step right up!


The Builders Association is an NYC-based, OBIE-winning crossmedia performance company in its 30th year. Founded by artistic director Marianne Weems, the company creates original productions that examine the impact of media on various cultures and communities. The Builders’ work has appeared at over 80 venues across the globe. In New York, they have been presented at BAM, Lincoln Center, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Kitchen, New York Theater Workshop, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, NYU Skirball, and more.

From large-scale installations to intimate character-driven performances, the company’s work has addressed issues such as outsourcing and corporate colonialism in Bangalore, India (ALLADEEN), dataveillance (SUPER VISION), and the global financial crisis developed with victims of home foreclosure (HOUSE/DIVIDED). Their hit ELEMENTS OF OZ (2016-2019) is a celebration of queer culture and American escapism using a custom-made AR app; their most recent work, I AGREE TO THE TERMS (2022) sheds light on the ‘microworkers’ who shape our online experiences and make pennies-per-click in a vast, unregulated industry.




NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible in part with support 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 the Howard Gilman Foundation; Van Cleef and Arpels; Collins Building Services; General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA; and Marta Heflin Foundation; as well as our valued donors through memberships, commissioning, and Allies for Arts Access Fund support.


Fri, Oct 25 @ 7:30pm

Sat, Oct 26 @ 7:30pm

Sun, Oct 27 @ 2:00pm

Builders_Moe Angelos_credit James Gibbs
Photo by James Gibbs
Builders_Moe Angelos_credit Marianne Weems
Photo by Marianne Weems
Builders_Moe Angelos_credit Shannon Sindelar
Photo by Shannon Sindelar

Go Beyond

Office Hours: Elements of Oz

Marianne Weems is the artistic director and co-founder of The Builders Association and has directed all of their productions. Weems has also worked in various creative roles with The Wooster Group (where she was the