Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Occupy Wall Street, Part V

More Zuccotti Park protesters are featured in this next podcast episode crafted from interviews with Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. Kelly McCreary plays Karen, who discusses what it was like to spend time at Zuccotti Park just before and during the November raid. Quinlan Corbett plays Wezel, a farmer who drove to Zuccotti Park from North Carolina. Then Daniel Jenkins performs his interview with an anarchist named Richard, during which Dan Domingues makes a guest appearance as New York State Senator Tony Avella.

Plus, check out our new OCCUPY material on our Occupy Your Mind Tumblr!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Curate An Occupy Your Mind Event!

Over the past 6 months, The Civilians' Artists and Street Team have been out collecting interviews with people in the Occupy movement. In January, we launched the Occupy Your Mind project and invited activists and artists nationwide to get involved with interviewing and performing. Both of these projects are ongoing and The Civilians and friends have presented some of this material in different venues and formats over the course of the last few months. You can watch video of those performances on our Tumblr

But what about all the other material? We have audio and transcripts from over 100 interviews, which means that over half of the interviews we've done have yet to see the light of day. So! We're introducing our

(you can download it by clicking the above link!)

We've created this resource so that YOU can get involved and easily curate an Occupy Your Mind performance from existing material (as well as, we hope, material you collect on your own). Right now, we've got everything that's been posted on Tumblr (and then some) organized in an easy to sort Excel sheet, and as the weeks go on we'll be constantly updating with new material. Some of this material is in the form of transcripts we've already edited, and some of it is in the form of  unedited transcripts that you can use to craft an all new OYM piece for yourself and your friends/collaborators. 

We hope that access to this material will encourage you to think outside the box and create your own Occupy Your Mind performance. The idea is that anyone, anywhere can take this material and use it creatively. You can present it at a rally or protest, stage a series of performances at your local Occupy encampment, make street theater, or put together your own Occupy Your Mind event!

What kind of stuff is in the database?

Check out this already edited, never done before interview with a 9/11 Truther, who says: 

"We can repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. It’s unconstitutional. We never had income tax before that, we don’t need income tax. Uh, they cause inflation, it’s an invisible tax on us. We could repeal all of this. We can end fractional reserve banking which, if you look in the Federal Reserve guidelines on money creation, says that banks can lend out ten times as much money as they have on reserve. It’s legalized counterfeiting. This is how the banks own over 90% of the wealth in America. That makes all of us poorer. We have to work all our lives. They make the wealth off of us. We get just enough to live off. That is slavery."

OR some of the great material in the UNEDITED version of the interview with the Actress, a great story about meeting an infiltrating cop that got left out for time reasons:

"I - I ran into one I believe. In the kitchen, yeah.  And I- I- I could not figure out - she was so friendly, and so shiny, and I was like, (laughing) this just doesn't seem like the people who hang out here!  You know? Because I would go to the kitchen and I would wear ... clothes that ... I normally would only wear around the house, or not even there, because, you know, you get really dirty and stuff.  She had on, like, a little necklace, and I was like hmmmm, and it seemed like everything she said ... Well she- she started out saying, um, you know ‘I have heard that the sanitation or the the sanitation work crew here is gonna strike.’ I just started laughing. And I said ‘What?!’"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Occupy Wall Street, Part IV

Following our first OWS cabaret in October of 2011, our artists continued to conduct interviews with Occupy protesters about people's reasons for demonstrating and what it has been like participating in the movement. This episode picks up where our October cabaret left off with monologues and a song crafted from interviews with demonstrators. This week features Garrett Neergaard and Dan Domingues as demonstrators Dan and Nelson; Scott Drummond as a key OWS figure; and Michael Friedman's song "Consensus is Hard."

Plus, check out our new OCCUPY material on our Occupy Your Mind Tumblr!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thank you for purchasing tickets to the 2012 Annual Spring Benefit!


We are so grateful for your ticket purchase or contribution. You will receive your tax-deductible receipt via mail after the event.

At the benefit this year, we will be honoring our first Civilian of the Year: Robert Hammond, a co-founder of The High Line! We are so thrilled to be honoring Robert for his commitment to healthy urban development and for his tremendous efforts bringing New York City the ingeniously-planned haven for nature that is The High Line.

As is tradition, the benefit will feature a performance by Civilians Associate Artists and special guest performers (who we'll be announcing soon). This year, we are also going to be creating an original investigative theater piece to salute Robert and his incredible work. Our question this year is:

Where would you put a park in New York City and why?

Leave your responses in the comments below, and we will incorporate them into the piece!

Plus, you can download The Civilians 2012 Annual Spring Benefit App, which we made using invitation app creator Yapp! Download for iPhone HERE and view on Android HERE using code CVLNS! You'll find benefit updates, our schedule, photos from last year's benefit, and more!

Thanks again for your support. See you on the 23rd!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part IX

Here is our final adult entertainment podcast episode! Special thanks to our interviewing team: Mia Barron, Laura Nix, Taylor Wilcox, and Matt Maher. In this episode, Emily Ackerman performs an interview with producer Lynn LeMay; Daoud Heidami plays performer Sebastian Silver; next is a particularly filthy round of Porn Charades in which one of our audience members at Joe's Pub tries to act out a porn title while the cast guesses; Nina Hellman plays director and producer Kelly Holland; Dael Orlandersmith as Pamela Peaks; and last up is Gibson Frazier as director, producer, and actor Eli Cross. This material is inspiring Pretty Filthy, a new musical by Bess Wohl and Michael Friedman.

This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.


Friday, March 9, 2012

LITERARY CORNER: SAME RIVER by Strike Anywhere Ensemble

Literary Corner is a series on the blog by Civilians' Literary Associate EllaRose Chary that focuses on investigative theater projects going on around the city, the country, and the world. As the institute for investigative theater, The Civilians is excited to connect with other groups working in this genre. If you're doing an investigative theater project, feel free to keep us in the loop by emailing: 

SAME RIVER is an "improvised inter-disciplinary performance based on interviews" that is about the controversy over and reality of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking". (Don't know much about fracking? Watch this awesome video!)  Created by the Strike Anywhere ensemble, SAME RIVER was playing February 23rd - March 3rd at the Irondale Center (home of The Civilians' production of IN THE FOOTPRINT in 2010) just down the street from The Civilians main office. Investigative theater in our own backyard? Obviously, I had to check it out. And, I wasn't the only one - several members of The Civilians family made up a strong contingent of the audience the night I went.

Something really cool about this performance was that it intentionally merged theatrical performance and visual art. Before one entered the part of the theater where the performance took place, there was an art installation created by participants in Strike Anywhere's residency at Brooklyn High School for the Arts, as well as art developed in a community art-making day that happened on February 11. In addition to the visual art component before the performance, there was also a striking visual element in the performance which featured a beautiful waterfall backdrop. SAME RIVER mixes dance, music, and improv to tell a story about characters based on people the ensemble interviewed.

Strike Anywhere used the investigative method to create this piece, having spent 10 days in residence in the Catskills interviewing local community members about drinking water and fracking. However, there is a sense of continued investigation associated with their particular method, as they intend to incorporate interviews from local community members into performances at different venues in areas where fracking is taking place or being considered. It's really interesting to think about the investigative method being applied in this way when the subject of investigation is an ongoing event. This is a way in which investigative theater might distinguish itself from documentary theater, as the investigation continues even after a certain moment has been documented.

As always, it's exciting to see the many different ways that theater artists find to incorporate investigation into their work, and SAME RIVER is a great example of how interviews can be the basis for a piece that still incorporates many levels of more abstract artistry.Visit Strike Anywhere's site to learn more about SAME RIVER.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part VIII

What's it like to be a male adult entertainment performer? Find out in Michael Friedman's doo-wop-like song "Waiting for Wood" performed by Heath Calbert, Robbie Collier Sublett, and Andrew Kober. This week's episode also features interviews with power couple Elizabeth Starr and Tommy Gunn performed by Jennifer R. Morris and Brian Sgambati. Plus, we've got more audience participation in this one: audience answers to the question "What is the dirtiest thing you've ever done in real life?" These recordings are from a live performance at Joe's Pub in New York.

This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.


Friday, March 2, 2012


The Civilians is participating this Saturday, March 3rd, in the international performance event Low Lives, put together by the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics. This is an online event, so anyone, anywhere can tune in!

Low Lives is "an international festival of live performance-based work transmitted via the internet and projected in real time at multiple venues throughout the U.S. and the world."  This year is the fourth incarnation of Low Lives and the theme is Occupy. Hmm...Occupy themed performances done live and presented on the web? Sounds familiar...Obviously, this event is the perfect fit with The Civilians Occupy     Your Mind project that launched in January. So, needless to say we're excited to included in the festival!

The Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics "is a collaborative, multilingual and interdisciplinary network of institutions, artists, scholars, and activists through the Americas." They run a number of programs that connect artists, scholars and activists across the Western Hemisphere. From the ongoing, local Yes Lab to the biannual Encuentros, they have a lot of initiatives worth checking out, as well as a number of online resources on their site.

In the spirit of both Low Lives and Occupy Your Mind, The Civilians is doing a live Occupy Your Mind performance event Saturday night, part of which will be broadcast internationally and all of which will be performed (and recorded and put on tumblr!) for a small audience at The Civilians headquarters. The hour long presentation will feature 8 brand new OYM performances by Civilians artists and friends, the first two of which will comprise our 10 minute contribution to Low Lives. 

Low Lives runs from 6 pm to 10 pm Eastern time and can be live streamed via Ustream at this address:  The event features an extensive line up that includes artists from a diversity of places ranging from Brooklyn to Oregon to Mexico City to Australia. The Civilians are scheduled to "go on" at 8:06 pm, but given the nature of the event tune in closer to 7:50 to make sure you don't miss us. 

And, of course, if you haven't already, check out Occupy Your Mind!