The Civilians
Joined 2015-01-07 16:00:34

The Civilians is a company that creates new theater from creative 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 creates and produces new theater and pursues its 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. The ethos of investigative theater extends into production, inviting audiences to be active participants in the inquiry before, during, and after the performance. Since its founding in 2001, the Obie Award-winning company has supported the creation of 14 original shows, and its work has been produced at many theaters in New York, nationally, and internationally. Last season saw two highly successful shows: "Mr. Burns: a Post-Electric Play" at Playwrights Horizons, which was included in eight Top 10 of 2013 Lists, and "The Great Immensity" at The Public Theater. The Civilians’ work has been published by Dramatists Play Service, Oberon Books, Ghostlight Records and Playscripts, Inc.

The Civilians's articles

The 1.20.17 Project

We invite you to become a citizen journalist—for just ten minutes—and help offer a platform to diverse communities around the world at precisely the moment that Donald Trump is inaugurated President.

Live at the Met Museum: The Way They Live, Part III

This episode of the Civilians' podcast is the final of three that feature songs and monologues from "The Way They Live," the culminating show of the company's residency at the Met Museum.

Looking Back on Our First Year at Extended Play

We are celebrating one year of bringing you some of the most exciting stories about investigative theater artists from around the world! Here, we speak to some of the artists we've covered since Extended Play launched last year.

Live at the Met Museum: The Way They Live, Part II

This episode of the Civilians' podcast is the second of three that feature songs and monologues from "The Way They Live," the final show of the company's residency at the Met Museum.

Live at the Met Museum: The Way They Live, Part I

In this episode of Let Me Ascertain You, the Civilians' podcast, we hear songs and monologues from "The Way They Live," the culminating performance of the company's residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2014-15.

Live at the Met Museum: Beauty, Love, Body

This episode of Let Me Ascertain You features performances from inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art based on past interviews surrounding the themes of beauty, love, and the body.

Live at the Met Museum: Curators and the Objects They Love

This episode of Let Me Ascertain You takes you to the heart of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, featuring performances based on interviews with curators about falling in love with works of art.

Live at the Met Museum: A Pretty Filthy Glimpse at the Other Hollywood

A look at the process of creating The Civilians' new musical "Pretty Filthy," letting you hear some of the interviews that didn't make it into the final show but were too good not to share.

F*ing & Dying: Love/Sex/Reproduction

The final episode in our series on sex and death features stories and songs about sexomnia, sex addiction and a child's view of mortality.

How to Cope with Modern Society

Actors Billy Eugene Jones, Dan Domingues, Daoud Heidami & Michael Esper perform monologues & a song based on interviews with people who have different strategies — from doing drugs to practicing hot nude yoga — for coping with modern society.

F*ing & Dying: The White Light

The second episode in our series on sex & death features monologues from Parker Drown & Jeanine Serralles, as well as a song from Grace McLean.

F*ing & Dying: Turned On

The first episode in a series exploring two of our favorite subjects: sex and death! Hear monologues from Stephen Plunkett and Sam Breslin Wright, as well as a song from cabaret superstar Lady Rizo.

Sex Variants, Part 4

The fourth and final episode in our series exploring the work of pioneering sex researcher Dr. George W. Henry features monologues & music from Trey Lyford, Max Vernon, Nedra McClyde, Marykate O’Neil & Jill Sobule.

Sex Variants, Part 3

The third episode in our "Sex Variants" series further explores the work of sex researcher Dr. George W. Henry. Here, Trey Lyford, David Cale, Cyrilla Baer and Dito Van Riegersberg perform songs and monologues based on the doctor's research.

Sex Variants, Part 2

The second episode in our series based on the work of Dr. George W. Henry features monologues & music from Trey Lyford, Kate Buddeke, Dan Domingues, Jessie Shelton, Nathan Dame and César Alvarez & the Lisps.

Sex Variants, Part 1

Our new series features live recordings of our show "Sex Variants 1941," which is based on the sexuality study of Dr. George W. Henry. Featured in this episode: performers Nina Hellman, Brandon Miller, Grace McLean, Brandon Davidson and Tim Acito.

Holy Matrimony! Part 4

The final installment in our marriage series features a couple who traveled cross-country and exchanged vows in every state that recognizes legal marriage. Also, a trio sings a song about what happens "In Vegas."

Holy Matrimony! Part 3

The third episode of our marriage series features Donnetta Lavinia Grays performing a monologue crafted from an interview she did with her real-life wife. Plus, a scene and a song from Brian Sgambati and Emily Rossell.

Holy Matrimony! Part 2

In the second episode of our marriage series, actors Greg McFadden, Colleen Werthmann and Emily Ackerman perform scenes based on interviews, and singer/songwriter Rebecca Hart sings "Bad Hippy Wedding."

Holy Matrimony! Part 1

This episode launches our "Holy Matrimony!" series, which feature's performers interpreting actual Americans' words on marriage.

Be the Death of Me, Part 4

The final episode in our series exploring New Yorkers' perspectives on death features a story from one of the founders of the NYC Ghost Bike Project, among others.

Be the Death of Me, Part 3

The third episode in our series exploring New Yorkers' perspectives on death features Tony-nominee Peter Friedman, Danielle Davenport and Keith Randolph Smith.

Be the Death of Me, Part 2

The second episode in our series exploring New Yorkers' perspectives on death features Tony-nominee Jeremy Shamos, Gardiner Comfort and Jennifer Morris.

LGBTQ All Out! Part 4

Emmy-nominee Laverne Cox ("Orange is the New Black") headlines this episode, which concludes our series exploring LGBTQ perspectives. Also, a final preview of the new musical "Times Square," by Jill Sobule, Robin Eaton and Tony-nominee Jim Lewis.

LGBTQ All Out! Part 3

The third in a series of episodes highlighting the perspectives of LGBTQ people. Following the monologues, Jill Sobule sings a song from the musical she's co-writing about two girls who fall in love, run away and form a band.

LGBTQ All Out! Part 2

The second installment of a series highlighting the perspectives of LGBTQ people, this episode features an interview with one member of Theater of the Oppressed NYC's theater troupe for homeless youth. Also, Michael Friedman sings a song about Tony Kushner.

LGBTQ All Out!, Part 1

This live recording from the Barrow Theater features monologues based on interviews with LGBTQ people. Also, a preview of a song from the new Jill Sobule-Robin Eaton musical, "Time Square."

Occupy #S17, Part 5

The conclusion of our "Occupy #S17" series, which features live recordings from a special cabaret the Civilians hosted to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the OWS movement. This episode highlights two monologues & a musical performance led by Marykate O'Neil and Jill Sobule.

Occupy #S17, Part 4

More live performances from "Occupy #S17," a special cabaret the Civilians hosted to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the OWS movement. This episode features two monologues & a performance by the band Pistolera.

Occupy #S17, Part 3

More live performances from "Occupy #S17," a special cabaret the Civilians hosted to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the OWS movement. This episode features two monologues & a rendition of John Lennon's "Power to the People" by Marykate O'Neil & her band.

Occupy #S17, Part 2

More live performances from "Occupy #S17," a special cabaret the Civilians hosted to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the OWS movement. Actors perform monologues & "The Punk Prayer," the song that sent three members of Pussy Riot to prison.

Bogotá Prison Pageant, Part 2

This episode continues our investigation of the beauty pageant that takes place in the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia. Actors perform monologues based on interviews with contestants, inmates and staff at the prison.

Occupy #S17, Part 1

Performers, including Tony-nominee Kathleen Chalfant and musician Jill Sobule, commemorate the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street with a live performance at Joe's Pub in NYC.

Bogotá Prison Pageant, Part 1

This episode explores the beauty pageant that takes place in the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia. Actors perform monologues based on interviews with contestants, inmates and staff at the prison.

Death, Part 3

This episode features a monologue based on an interview with an inmate at the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia, and a song from the Civilians' show "Gone Missing."

Occupy Your Mind, Part 3

This episode features monologues from our ongoing "Occupy Your Mind" project, which invites people everywhere to perform monologues based on interviews related to the OWS movement.

Paris Commune & Social Space

This episode features a discussion with Kristin Ross, Ph.D., whose book “The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune” inspired the Civilians' production of "Paris Commune."

Paris Commune

The creators of "Paris Commune," including Steve Cosson & Michael Friedman, discuss the challenges & joys of bringing this historical theater piece to the stage.

You Better Sit Down: Salon Night, Episode 2

A live recording of a talk-back with the cast of the Flea's "You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce," plus performances from the Bats, Dan Domingues and Matt Berger.

Death, Part 2

In this live recording, performers Emily Rossell, Nina Hellman, Dan Domingues & James Rickman portray real-life professionals who encounter death on a daily basis.

Mr. Burns: Behind the Scenes

Playwright Anne Washburn & others share thoughts on "The Simpsons," workshops and theater in this behind-the-scenes look at "Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play."

Occupy Your Mind, Part 2

This episodes features more performances from "Occupy Your Mind," an open-sourced living history of the Occupy movement. Recorded live at NYC's Judson Church in 2012.

Death, Part 1

This episode features live performances from "Let Me Ascertain You: A Death Cabaret," recorded at Joe's Pub in NYC.

Occupy Your Mind, Part 1

This episodes features performances from "Occupy Your Mind," an open-sourced living history of the Occupy movement.

The High Line

Actors perform a piece about New York City's High Line public park, written for the Civilians' Annual Spring Benefit in 2012.

You Better Sit Down: Salon Night, Episode 1

Performers Michael Schulman, Alyssa Schulman, Kamara Thomas & Jason Grote perform monologues & songs inspired by people's interviews with their divorced parents.

This Beautiful City

Actors Emily Ackerman, Colleen Werthmann & Matt Dellapina perform monologues cut from "This Beautiful City," a played based on interviews with Evangelical Christians in Colorado Springs.

Nobody’s Lunch

This episode takes a look at how we know what we know in a world governed by lies.

“Canard, Canard, Goose”

A live recording of the tenth anniversary concert staging of "Canard, Canard, Goose," the first show the Civilians ever produced.

Occupy Wall Street, Part 7

Actors perform monologues from interviews with OWS protestors, and Michael Friedman sings a song from his grandfather's rebel songbook. Recorded live at Joe's Pub in NYC.

Occupy Wall Street, Part 6

Actors Daoud Heidami, Caitlin Miller, Gretta Lee & Matt Dellapina perform monologues based on interviews with OWS protestors.

Occupy Wall Street, Part 5

Kelly McCreary, Quinlan Corbett, Dan Domingues & Tony-nominee Daniel Jenkins perform monologues based on interviews with figures in the OWS movement.

Occupy Wall Street, Part 4

A continuation of our investigation into the Occupy Wall Street movement. Actors perform monologues and a song based on interviews with key OWS figures.

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 9

Five actors bring to life the words of porn stars interviewed for the new Michael Friedman/Bess Wohl musical, "Pretty Filthy."

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 8

Heath Calbert, Robbie Collier Sublett & Andrew Kober sing "Waiting for Wood," a song about male porn stars from the new Michael Friedman/Bess Wohl musical, "Pretty Filthy."

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 7

Performers Emily Rossell, Greg Hildreth and Colleen Werthmann play real-life porn professionals who were interviewed for Michael Friedman and Bess Wohl's new musical, "Pretty Filthy."

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 6

Actors Brad Heberlee and Kelly McCreary perform monologues and Lexy Fridell sings a song from the new musical "Pretty Filthy," which Bess Wohl & Michael Friedman have written from interviews with porn professionals.

Crime, Part 4

Tony-nominee Maria Dizzia performs a monologue about extraordinary crime, based on an interview with a forensic psychologist. The interview was conducted for Alix Lambert's play, "Crime, USA."

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 5

This episode features excerpts from a live "Pretty Filthy" concert at Joe's Pub, in which the actors and audience play a round of Porn Charades.

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 4

Artists Alix Lambert, Mia Barron and Andrew Kober perform monologues and a song from the new musical "Pretty Filthy," which is based on interviews with adult entertainment professionals.

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 3

In this episode, actors perform monologues and music from the new musical "Pretty Filthy" by Michael Friedman and Bess Wohl. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 18.

Crime, Part 3

In this episode, we continue our exploration of Alix Lambert's play, "Crime, USA," with a monologue based on an interview with a Justice Department lawyer who specializes in organized crime.

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 2

Actors Sam Shelton and Steven Weber perform monologues based on interviews with adult entertainment professionals, and Michael Friedman sings one of his songs from the porn-themed musical "Pretty Filthy."

Crime, Part 2

In this episode, we revisit Alix Lambert's play, "Crime, USA." Tony-nominee Maria Dizzia and Matthew Maher perform monologues based on Lambert's interviews with two retired FBI agents.

Atlantic Yards, Part 2

In this episode, actors embody the words of those involved with the Atlantic Yards development project, including politicians Marty Markowitz and Letitia James.

Crime, Part 1

This episode of "Let Me Ascertain You" features an excerpt from Alix Lambert's play "Crime, USA," which focuses on the issues of crime and violence in the United States.

Occupy Wall Street, Part 3

The third & final installment of our Occupy Wall Street podcasts — recorded live at Joe's Pub in NYC — where actors give voice to protestors interviewed in Zuccotti Park.

Occupy Wall Street, Part 2

The second of three podcasts from our live show, "Let Me Ascertain You: Occupy Wall Street," which took place at Joe's Pub in NYC in October 2011.

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part 1

This episode of "Let Me Ascertain You" features monologues and a song from "Pretty Filthy," a new musical based on The Civilians' interviews with adult entertainment professionals. Not recommended for children under 18.

Occupy Wall Street, Part 1

This week, we begin a series investigating the Occupy Wall Street movement, with actors giving voice to actual protestors interviewed in Zuccotti Park.

Atlantic Yards, Part I

In the first episode of "Let Me Ascertain You," Civilians artists perform material for the company's play "In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards."