Coverage of Primer for a Failed Superpower



“…the conviction in the voices could not have been louder or clearer.”
New York Times

“Behind the Scenes of Primer for a Failed Superpower”
The Interval

“For Teen Activists, What Good Is a Protest Song?”
New Yorker Radio Hour

“Protest Songs Take Center Stage In Primer
The Leonard Lopate Show

Want to learn more about Primer for a Failed Superpower?

Visit the Primer website.

Help us bring Primer to Brooklyn next month!

Rehearsals for Primer begin in a month! We have a little more fundraising left to do and we need your help.

We’ve received extraordinary support from Creative Capital, the Jerome Foundation, the NEA, NYSCA, and other institutional supporters. And thanks to one exceedingly generous donor, EVERY DOLLAR YOU GIVE TO THIS CAMPAIGN WILL BE MATCHED.

Support Now

Your donation will go toward:

  • a living wage for our performers and collaborators
  • providing childcare during rehearsals for our artists
  • renting sound equipment and the beautiful auditorium at Roulette
  • providing food and refreshments to feed our multigenerational band
  • filming a high-quality short film about the making of the show

Hitting our $10k goal = $20k raised for the project = our budget gap is closed.

Save the Date: Primer for a Failed Superpower is coming to Brooklyn in August!

Primer for a Failed Superpower

August 22 + 23
Roulette – Brooklyn

Protest songs from across the generations.
Teens. The TEAM. Baby Boomers. 

Primer for a Failed Superpower is an all-ages community concert featuring a multi-generational ensemble of teens, the TEAM, and Baby Boomers performing new arrangements of iconic protest songs–songs that have celebrated and questioned what it means to be an American throughout our country’s past and present.

We’ve commissioned an amazing and diverse group of composers to create the set list–including Heather Christian (Mission Drift), Justin Ellington (Fetch Clay Make Man), Stephanie Ryan Johnstone (I’ll Never Love Again), Amy León (Something Melancholy), Martha Redbone and Aaron Whitby (Bone Hill), Stew and Heidi Rodewald (Passing Strange), and Yva Las Vegass (I Was Born In A Place Of Sunshine And The Smell Of Ripe Mangoes).

Please save the date to join us for performances in August! Tickets will go on sale in July.

Announcing Spring Directing and Producing workshops!


Photo: Manual Harlan

Back by popular demand, Rachel will lead a director-focused workshop on April 9 on ensemble creation, covering tools and strategies for generating content, the editing process, and navigating the murky waters of collaboration and authorship.

Directing for Ensembles and Devised Work

Sunday, April 9
Registration: $100
ART/NY South Oxford Space
138 South Oxford Street, Fort Greene (map)

Register Now

Self-Producing for Artists and Ensembles

And our self-producing series, led by the TEAM’s Producing Director Manda Martin and industry guests, continues this spring with two more workshops about the business side of making and sustaining your work. Each two-hour session is a peer-to-peer discussion over drinks–your registration fee includes your first beer or beverage of choice. Both workshops will be held in Manhattan–location to be confirmed.

Touring Your Work
Tuesday, April 18
Registration: $30

Manda and Touring Producer Lucy Jackson will share from the TEAM’s 13 years of road-tested experience touring around the country and around the world. We’ll discuss approaching presenters and venues, how to put together a tour rider, what to anticipate in a tour budget, touring fees and box office splits, and the exhilarating gamble of taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Register Now

Collaboration Agreements & Contract Basics
Monday, May 1
Registration: $30

Making new work collaboratively—whether you’re a 15 member devised ensemble like the TEAM, or a small group of artists working together on one project—can get tricky when it comes to articulating everyone’s ownership of the final work. With theatre agent Di Glazer from ICM Partners, we’ll look at a template agreement and unpack the how and why of drafting your own. We’ll also take your questions on other kinds of contracts for making and presenting your work, and working with an agent as an individual artist or ensemble.

Register Now

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#ShareTheNumbers and Fight for Culture

RoosevElvis homepage RC 1

Last night during the curtain speech for RoosevElvis (Re-MX’D) at New York Live Arts, we shared the following information with our audience:

  • The TEAM received a total of $34,530 in government funding over the 2.5 years of developing and premiering RoosevElvis.
  • $10,000 of that was a grant from the NEA, which accounted for 0.0068% of the NEA’s budget in 2014 when it was awarded. That’s less than one one hundredth of a percent.
  • RoosevElvis was subsequently ridiculed in GOP senator Tom Coburn’s annual “Wastebook as an example of wasteful government spending.
  • RoosevElvis has generated $197,725 in box office revenue to date.
  • We’ve leveraged that $10,000 grant to provide compensation to 20 individual artists and a half dozen production staff, paying out a total of $178,213 over the past 5 years.
  • Last night’s performance was our 94th, and to date over 14,000 people have seen the show since it premiered.

NEA funds came to us at a critical moment of producing the premiere of this show, which directly led to the robust national and international touring we’ve enjoyed for the past year and a half. Though it isn’t the biggest part of our budget, government support is a vital part of how we make our work.

Funding for the entire stream of culture and critical thinking in our country is under attack, from National Public Radio to the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to the National Endowment for the Arts.

This country is not a faceless corporation. The agencies and programs that are on the chopping block are essential to the rights of individuals, rights to expression, information, fair trial, education, and so much more. American fundamentals exist to protect the people of the United States, not the United States, Inc.

We were blown away by the audience’s response to hearing these figures, and so we are inviting our colleagues to #ShareTheNumbers–in curtain speeches, eblasts, and across social media—to tell your community what government grants have paid for and made possible. Let’s use our platforms to illustrate the exponential power of every grant dollar in action. We are taxpayers, we are job creators, we are community developers. We must ask our audiences, our boards, and our donors to call their representatives and #FightForCulture.


Photo: Helen Murray

RoosevElvis (Re-MX’d) at New York Live Arts on March 16


After sold-out performances in London, Boston, Minneapolis, and Michigan, we are thrilled to be bringing RoosevElvis back to New York! Created specially for Live Ideas, RoosevElvis (Re-MX’D) is a concert-style re-imagining of the production, showcasing “two performances of enormous conviction” (The Telegraph) in this special one-night-only performance.

Thursday, March 16 at 8pm
Tickets $15 – $30

Buy Tickets

Live Ideas is an annual humanities festival of arts and ideas, exploring the ideas, controversies and thinking informing a different bodily-oriented theme each time out. Curated by trans-genre artist Mx Justin Vivian Bond, the 2017 series examines the idea of a world without binaries–across gender, politics, theology, sensory perception and race–featuring a lunch time reading series, an afternoon film program curated by Dirty Looks, Happy Hour panel discussions on trans-theology, afrofuturism, activism and social justice, caregiving and choral workshops, genre bending performances, and ends with a queer punk rock dance party.
For the full schedule:

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The TEAM Makes A Play at NY Indie Theatre Film Festival

Wednesday, January 18 at 9pm

Tickets are $10

Buy Tickets
Our friends at the New Ohio are launching a new film festival for indie theatre artists branching out into film, and we’re delighted to have The TEAM Makes A Play, Paulette Douglas’ documentary about the making of Mission Drift included as part of the inaugural lineup. If you haven’t caught a screening in the past, the film follows the 3+ year saga of developing our original musical about American Capitalism: living in a foreclosed home in Las Vegas, workshopping in New York (including at the old Ohio), London, and Portugal, and the (many) ups and downs in between.

Tickets are cheap and the seats are limited. We hope you can join us!

To check out the rest of the line up, click here.

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Devising and Producing workshops for November and December

Now open for registration: three new workshops in November and December on self-producing and devising.

We’re changing up the format for our Self-Producing workshops this year. Led by our Producing Director Manda Martin and Associate Producer Lucy Jackson, each class will be focused on a particular aspect of producing, from budgeting to fundraising to formalizing a company, and we’re inviting guest experts from the field to join us for a peer-to-peer skull session on your questions about each topic. And instead of having these conversations in a florescent-lit room, we’ll be convening at the TEAM’s neighborhood bar, and your first drink is included in your registration fee.

Our Devising Within A Democracy workshops will NOT be held in a bar. For the first offered this season, fresh off her opening of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, Rachel will lead a director-focused workshop on ensemble creation, covering strategies for generating content, the editing process, and navigating the murky waters of collaboration and authorship.

Tuesday, November 1, 7-9pm – Self-Producing for Artists and Ensembles: Fundraising 
Monday, November 14, 7-9pm  – Self-Producing for Artists and Ensembles: Budgeting 
Tuesday, December 6, 7-10pm – Directing for Ensembles and Devised Work

Ensemble Discount

For all devising workshops, we offer a 15% discount for up to 3 members of the same ensemble when you attend together. Requests for ensemble registration should be emailed to, with “Ensemble Workshop Discount” in the subject heading, and information about your group. All discounts are subject to approval from the TEAM.

New this year, we’re holding one seat in each workshop for an equivalent number of volunteer hours instead of the full registration fee. Requests for barter should be emailed to, with “Workshop Fee Barter” in the subject heading. Barter offers will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and participants must commit to an agreed schedule for volunteer hours prior to attending the class.

Stay tuned for more offerings in 2017!

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The reviews are in for Anything That Gives Off Light

ATGOL 4- Pic by Eoin Carey


***** An astonishingly accomplished piece of work…as entertaining as it is intellectually demanding.
Fest Mag

**** A fierce poetic snapshot of two contemporary cultures linked by history.
The Scotsman

The three distinctive actors [are] perfectly matched, giving tough, intelligent performances, masking an inner warmth behind their deadpan wit.

**** Exhilarating…Raw, heartfelt and messy on several levels…Boldly theatrical.
The Stage

**** A trenchant critique of global complicity…attacks pieties about Scottish and American victimhood, drawing the line between fantasies of freedom and violent aggression.
The List

**** A whisky-fired fantasia.
Herald Scotland

The gauzy dream-world of their storytelling where we can zip from West Virginia to Scotland makes this adventure magical and messy. The labyrinthine format of the show is a fitting way to explore as complex a morass as identity. Nothing is fixed. Ideas morph with time and so too must our storytelling.

**** A true celebration of Scottish culture, humour, music and storytelling.
Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Want to learn more about Anything That Gives Off Light?

View more production and rehearsal photos on Facebook.
Listen to music from the show and an interview with Jess and Sandy on BBC Radio’s Janice Forsyth Show.
Read more about the show in these features from The GuardianFest MagazineHerald ScotlandThe Scotsman, and The List.

Performances run thru August 26. All performances are SOLD OUT.

Best Hair Straightener

Seeking: Fall/Winter 2016 Interns

Intern with the TEAM!

The TEAM is now accepting applications from college students and recent grads for the following Fall/Winter internships in our Brooklyn office:


Production interns will work alongside the Producing Director and Associate Producer on touring and company management, new project development, communications and outreach, video and press archiving, and all aspects of the TEAM’s current production portfolio.

Development and Grantwriting

Development interns will work with the Producing Director and Fundraising Committee to plan and execute fundraising campaigns and events, prepare and submit funding applications, and maintain donor and funder records. 

We place a high priority on giving all interns ownership of projects and tangible experience in the day to day administration of a small ensemble company. When possible, interns also support and observe rehearsals and artistic development, as well as TEAM-led devising workshops. A minimum commitment of 8 hours/week is required for both internships, beginning in September. The TEAM’s office hours are 10am-6pm, Monday-Friday. Scheduling is otherwise very flexible.

If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to with “Internship” in the subject line, and indicate the internship for which you are applying. Interested development interns should also submit a 1-2 page writing sample.

We look forward to working with you!

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