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The Builders Association's ELEMENTS OF OZ to Make World Premiere at Peak Performances This Fall

The Wizard of Oz is baked into our collective DNA for good reason; it's a great story with a strong spine. It's got all the right ingredients: remarkable characters, good, evil, love, hate, courage, fear, abundant symbolism -- and magic. The film version supplied our imaginations with gorgeous images and beautiful tunes. The Builders Association returns to Peak Performances with their 21st century You Tube-inspired take on this enduring classic. The fun begins with ELEMENTS OF OZ on September 26th and runs through October 4th, 2015.

The enterprising and endlessly inventive Builders dive into The Land of Oz through the use of smartphone interactivity. Three remarkable performers: Moe Angelos, Sean Donovan and Hannah Heller play a range of the beloved characters on the spare stage of the supremely adaptable Kasser Theater. And for this show, you take your seat and are advised to turn on your cell phone. With their smart phones audiences will help create an immersive theater experience with all those remarkable ingredients: the terrifying cyclone, Glinda's arrival in the bubble, a chorus of giggling munchkins, The Wicked Witch's fiery exit and yes-the Flying Monkeys.

You want music? How about Somewhere Over The Rainbow sung by dozens of Oz You Tube fans from all over the world? Rather than being a distraction, your smart phone will enable you to be surrounded by the Oz of our imaginations, from the poppy fields to the Emerald City. Why go clomping through a field of brilliant red poppies when you can summon them on your phone? ELEMENTS OF OZ ventures into a new hybrid world of its own, with its blend of tradition and invention. If theater traditionally celebrates the idea that people come together to witness a live event onstage, what happens if the live performance cannot truly be seen without the "wizardry" of our new fantastical devices? This daring platform gives the talented Builders team a chance to explore all the allegories that have been spun from The Wizard of Oz since its publication in 1900.

ELEMENTS OF OZ is directed by Marianne Weems. Co-Creator/Writers are James Gibbs and Moe Angelos. Video Design is by Austin Switser, Sound Design by Dan Dobson, Set Design by Neal Wilkinson and Lighting is by Jennifer Tipton. The Builders Association is building and rehearsing the production at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University. Peak Performances is the Co-Producer.

Founded in 1994 and directed by Marianne Weems, The Builders Association is a New York-based performance and media company that creates original productions based on stories drawn from contemporary life. The company uses the richness of new and old tools to extend the boundaries of theater. Based on innovative collaborations, Builders' productions blend stage performance, text, video, sound, and architecture to tell stories about human experience in the 21st century. From BAM to Bogata, Singapore to Melbourne, Minneapolis and Los Angeles to Budapest, The Builders Association's OBIE award-winning shows have toured to major venues the world over.

The Builders have collaborated on twelve multi-media theater projects: MASTER BUILDER (1994), THE WHITE ALBUM (1995), IMPERIAL MOTEL (FAUST) (1996), JUMP CUT (FAUST) (1997), JET LAG (1998) with Diller + Scofidio, XTRAVAGANZA (2000), ALLADEEN (2003) with motiroti, AVANTI (2003), SUPER VISION (2005) with dbox, CONTINUOUS CITY (2008), HOUSE / DIVIDED (current) & SONTAG:REBORN (current). The Builders Association is one of the most active international touring experimental theater companies in America.

Performances are September 26 at 8 p.m.; September 27 at 3 p.m.; October 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m.; October 3 at 8 p.m.; and October 4 at 3 p.m. The Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University is located at 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07043. All tickets are $20, and are available at the box office, www.peakperfs.org, or by calling 973-655-5112.

Charter bus service is provided from Port Authority Bus Terminal to the Alexander Kasser Theater ($10 per person, round trip) for all Saturday and Sunday performances. Bus reservations may be made by calling 973-655-5112 or by visiting www.peakperfs.org.

For restaurants close to the Kasser Theater, visit www.destinationmontclair.com.

Photo Credit: Katy Alexander



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