Though this piece is rarely produced in the United States, French playwright and philospher Boris Vian's The Empire Builders is more topical than ever within the current social climate. Widely interpreted to be a study of a nationalistic people consumed by fear and denial, it also presents a very personal story of the dangers of hubris in the face of the unknown. These themes are explored through the story of a respectable, if not bumbling, family fleeing from a mysterious noise eminating from outside their apartment. They habitually pack their bags and move into the empty space above them to safety. However, when they arrive, they are always greeted by the Schmurz - a wretched creature whose presense remains a mystery.