Extended Play is an online platform for creative and critical discourse devised by the Civilians, a company that makes new theater from investigations into the most vital questions of the present. Through a number of artistic programs, the Civilians advances theater as an engine of artistic innovation and strengthens the connections between theater and society.

An artist-led company, the Civilians pursues our artistic mission through programs serving artists and the public. The company’s work is grounded in investigative theater, an artistic practice rooted in the process of creative inquiry that brings artists into dynamic engagement with the subject of their work. Artists look outward in pursuit of a question, often engaging with individuals and communities in order to listen, make discoveries, and challenge habitual ways of knowing.

Extended Play is a new online hub for artists and audiences to explore the many forms of investigative storytelling. We feature documentation, interviews, essays, audio and video about artists — both American and international — who work at the dynamic intersection of art and life, exploring creative process, community, politics and new innovations in storytelling.


Ilana Becker Headshot

Ilana Becker

R&D Program Director

Ilana Becker is a producer and director specializing in new play and musical development, investigative and verbatim material, community-driven projects, and arts education. In addition to currently serving as the Civilians’ R&D Group Program Director, she has been a member of the staffs of All For One Theater, Lincoln Center Education, and Bret Adams Ltd, and spent a year as the Associate Artistic Director and Interim Artistic Director of Company of Fools/Sun Valley Center for the Arts. Line Producing includes work with CollaborationTown, All For One, and Jewish Plays Project. Ilana is the creator of Argument Sessions, a series of ongoing immersive theatrical events weaving verbatim SCOTUS transcripts with collaboratively developed original material. She is a member of the WP Theater 2018-2020 Producers Lab, and an alum of the Civilians’ R&D Group, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, DirectorsLabChicago, Fresh Ground Pepper PlayGroup, as well as a Playwrights Horizons Robert Moss Directing Fellow and an Emerging Leader of NY Arts Fellow. Much gratitude to Megan and EllaRose for laying the R&D Group groundwork.  www.ilanabecker.com

Susan Yassky

Susan Yassky

Literary Associate

Susan Yassky is the Literary Associate for The Civilians and a New York City-based playwright and dramaturg. She was a Dramaturgy and Literary Management Apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she worked on several productions in the 2019 Humana Festival of New American Plays. As a literary intern, she has worked at the Vineyard Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre and the York Theatre Company. Her plays have been developed at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Yale University. She received her B.A. in Theater Studies and Humanities from Yale in 2017. https://www.susanyassky.com

Daniel Krane

Editorial and Social Media Intern

Daniel Krane is the Editorial and Social Media Intern for The Civilians and a Brooklyn-based director and playwright. In addition to his work at the Civilians, he ran two successful seasons of Princeton Summer Theater as Artistic Director, and has worked for the Public Theater’s Public Works program and the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. He has a play in development about siblings of people on the autism spectrum (“The Joshua Tree”) and is directing a new play with music about Welsh mythology by Emma Watkins (“Unbecoming”). He received his B.A. from Princeton University in 2018, where he studied Portuguese and Theater. DanielKrane.com


Steve Cosson

Artistic Director

Steve is the founding Artistic Director of the Civilians. He is a writer and freelance director, directing new plays, musicals and classics. Recent credits include “The Belle of Amherst” starring Joely Richardson, the Civilians’ “The Great Immensity” at the Public Theater, and Anne Washburn’s “Mr. Burns” at Playwrights Horizons. Steve won an Obie in 2004 for the work of the Civilians. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia, a MacDowell Fellow, Resident Director at New Dramatists, and he has twice participated in the Sundance Theatre Lab. His plays have been published by Oberon Books in the UK, Dramatists Play Service, and Playscripts Inc. in an anthology. He holds an M.F.A. in directing from UC San Diego and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.