Primer for a Failed Superpower is a concert featuring a 33-member band of teenagers, the TEAM, and Baby Boomers playing new and unexpected arrangements iconic protest songs that exercise the muscles in our hearts and lungs for the challenges ahead. Between songs, the concert features video interviews with activists from across the country. Having been primed to take initiative, audiences are welcomed to post-show pizza parties where representatives of local non-profits and activist groups take the stage to share information about how to support and get involved in their work.

Maddy produced this world premiere by Brooklyn-based ensemble the TEAM at Roulette Intermedium in 2017.

conceived by the TEAM
directed by Rachel Chavkin
music supervision by Orion Stephanie Johnstone
music direction by Nehemiah Luckett
scenic design by Nick Vaughan
lighting design by Jake Heinrichs
sound design by Matt Hubbs
video design by Stivo Arnoczy
costume design by Brenda Abbandandolo
photos by Megan Ghiroli

with musical arrangements by Heather Christian, Justin Ellington, Jack Fuller, Orion Stephanie Johnstone, Yva Las Vegass, Amy León, Martha Redbone & Aaron Whitby, and Stew & Heidi Rodewald

The show registered as an improbable act of summoning and sustaining vitality under energy-sapping conditions. The cast members — a multishaped, multicolored and multigendered mix of professionals and civilians, whose ages appeared to range from the teens to the far side of 70 — were often required to stand (and sing, shout and dance) shoulder to sweaty shoulder. After all, one of the primary messages was that in union there is strength.
— Ben Brantley, the New York Times

Listen in on Primer for a Failed Superpower rehearsal with the New Yorker Radio Hour.

Maddy was featured in a behind-the-scenes article about Primer for a Failed Superpower in The Interval.


Hear from Primer for a Failed Superpower's creative team on The Leonard Lopate show.