Primer for a Failed Superpower
The TEAM is a Brooklyn-based ensemble dedicated to creating new work about the experience of living in America today.More
Jessica Almasy is an actress, writer, teacher, director, producer, and waitress, and a co-founder, performer and writer of The TEAM.Artist Bio
Rachel Chavkin is New York-based director, educator, and the founding Artistic Director of the TEAM.Artist Bio
Matt Hubbs is the resident sound designer with The TEAM.Artist Bio
Libby is an actor living in Brooklyn, and one of the main team members of The TEAM.Artist Bio
Primer for a Failed Superpower is a theatrical concert event inspired by the 1980s hardcore punk scene. It features a band of 30-somethings, the artist collective known as the TEAM, a teenage ensemble (ages 13-18, sourced wherever the work tours), multimedia, and narrative elements—all in pursuit of the following questions: Is America a failing superpower? How does a teenager, and a teenage nation, grow up? The defining geopolitical moment of the artists’ childhoods was the fall of the Berlin Wall. For the next generation, who many of the TEAM teach, their formative moment was September 11th. Primer is about preparing our minds for a shifting national identity, through conversations with the next generation, and a love letter to our future children about growing up in the 1980s.
Primer premiered at Roulette in Brooklyn in August, 2017.
The TEAM is a Brooklyn-based ensemble dedicated to creating new work about the experience of living in America today. Once described by The Guardian as “theatrical excavators of American culture, American dreams and the American psyche,” the company’s work crashes characters from our nation’s history and mythology into modern stories. The TEAM makes all of its work collaborativey, through a uniquely democratic writing process that fuses research, physical and verbal improvisation, and consensus-driven editing; in a final production it is nearly impossible to trace any one line of dialogue or image back to a single author’s hand.
Founded in 2004, The TEAM has created and toured 10 original works to date. Their work has been seen in New York at the Public Theater, PS122, Vineyard Theatre, Ohio Theatre, and The Bushwick Starr; nationally at ArtsEmerson, A.R.T., Walker Art Center, Playmakers Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Virginia Tech, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and internationally at the National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Barbican, Almeida Theatre, and Battersea Arts Centre in London; Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre; Culturgest in Lisbon; the Salzburg Festival; Galway Festival; Perth International Arts Festival; and Hong Kong Arts Festival.
Jessica Almasy is an actress, writer, teacher, director, producer, and waitress, and a co-founder, performer and writer of The TEAM. In 2017, with Ann Marie Dorr, she cofounded, cocurated, and coproduced American AF, an urgent pop-up festival centering black, brown, queer, trans, indigenous, alternately able-bodied, and politically radical voices.
Rachel Chavkin is two-time Obie Award-winning and Drama Desk nominated director, educator and the founding Artistic Director of the TEAM, for whom she has directed and co-authored eight works. Her work includes Mission Drift, a musical composed by downtown artist Heather Christian that travels through 400 year of history in pursuit of the soul of American capitalism, Architecting, and Particularly in the Heartland. Founded in 2004, the TEAM’s work has been seen all over New York , nationally, internationally (including the Barbican Centre, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, international festivals in Perth and Hong Kong, and the Salzburg Festival’s Young Directors Program). Chavkin was nominated for a Tony Award for directing the musical Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812.
Matt Hubbs is the resident sound designer with The TEAM. He also designed 100 Saints You Should Know at Playwrights Horizons. As an associate designer and engineer, he has toured with the SITI Company and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and designed for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. As an associate designer, he has recently worked at Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Century Center, and the Humana Festival of New American Plays. He has also engineered the rachel’s band “systems/layers” tour, and worked with multi-platinum producers Static, Veit Renn and Brett Stuart. He received his BA in Philosophy as a University Scholar at Xavier University.
Libby is an actor living in Brooklyn, and one of the main team members of The TEAM. With The TEAM, Libby has created and performed the role of Ann and Elvis in RoosevElvis, Catalina in Mission Drift, Carrie Campbell in Architecting, and Sarah Springer in Particularly in the Heartland (named Best Actress at the Dublin Fringe Festival for her performance as Sarah). Libby created roles in Primer for a Failed Superpower and Drive/Discipline, a collaboration with Taylor Mac.