Monday, April 30, 2012


For all of you out there who have been watching Occupy Your Mind videos on Tumblr or seeing our shows at Joe's Pub, or most recently last week at Judson Memorial Church, and have been wondering how to get involved - this post is for you! (It's also for everyone else who wants to participate in an awesome grassroots, interactive, global performance project)

This week, the Occupy movement is launching into the American Spring with lots of planned events on May 1st (May Day). You can find out about May Day in New York City by clicking here or for those of you in one of the 125 other cities with planned May Day activities learn what's going on in your area here. If you have been itching to do an OYM piece, but haven't known where to find Occupiers - this is your chance!

Get involved by approaching some of the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of potential interviewees who will be out in the streets this week in cities across the country. Listen to their stories, occupy their minds, and share it with us! Approaching people at events may seem intimidating, so visit our website for tips from R and D coordinator Annah Feinberg on how to go about it. Our Street Team interviewers report that interviewing Occupiers at events is a great way to get involved with an action, and they often feel like it allows them to talk and connect to people at events who they might otherwise never encounter.

We can't wait to hear your stories, watch your videos and share them with the world!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


As we move into the last week of performances of You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce, we have one final question for you!

What songs or music were you listening to during your divorce or break-up?

These responses feed our Salon Nights, where artists create all new monologues, songs, and scenes from both online and live audience answers to our questions. 

Join us for one of our remaining Salon Nights:
4/28: The Bats
5/5: The Civilians' Associate Artists

And the deals continue:
4/26 and 5/2: Code TWOFER for 2 for 1 tickets
Next Tuesday: Pay What You Can
Saturday Matinees: All Tickets $10

Plus, with this week's question, we'll put together a special Divorce playlist!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nobody's Lunch: The Podcast

How do we know what we know when everyone in power seems to be lying? (I Am) Nobody's Lunch was a Civilians investigation asking this question in the early 2000's, during the years of Homeland Security and George W. Bush's "truthiness." Emily Rossell plays a Columbia student who joined a cult, then Donnetta Lavinia Grays performs an interview with a Jamaican facialist. Aysan Celik plays a "remote viewer" who has a special technique for accessing truth. Lastly, Mike Madison plays a song by Michael Friedman inspired by interviews about this topic called "Super Secret Places."


Thursday, April 19, 2012


For the past two weeks, we've been asking questions about your divorce or break-up in connection with You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce. We've been getting fantastic responses HERE and HERE, so check those out! This week's question is:

Was there a habit you picked up while going through or after your divorce or break-up?

Beverly, one of the characters in the show, says that she started going to the movies a lot. Did you start jogging? - start eating something unusual? - start collecting something? Let us know in the comments! All contributors will be entered to win a FREE ticket to the show!

Your responses will be integrated into a You Better Sit Down Salon Night, where an artist or group of artists will be creating some all-new material that will be performed after the show on a Wednesday or Saturday night! Upcoming writers include Jason Grote (staff writer for Smash), Jon Kern (staff writer for The Simpsons), and Michael Schulman (writer for The New Yorker). Here's a clip from this past Wednesday's Salon Night, where the Flea's resident acting company, The Bats, crafted this using material generated THAT NIGHT from the live audience!

So leave us a comment and get entered to win a FREE ticket! Plus, next Wednesday, April 25 has a 2 for 1 deal with code TWOFER (that you can also use next Thursday, April 26) or come for a Pay-What-You-Can Tuesday show or a $10 Saturday matinee!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Canard, Canard, Goose: The Podcast

The Civilians' first show ever was Canard, Canard, Goose, created in 2001 to explore alleged geese abuse in the Adirondacks. The investigation, inspired by a rumor about the geese in the feature film Fly Away Home, brought up questions about home, truth, and how we know we know - all themes that were particularly relevant for these New York artists in the post-9/11 winter of 2001. This episode is the concert version of the entire show performed at Joe's Pub in 2011 for our tenth anniversary season performed by Aysan Celik, Matthew Dellapina, Greg McFadden, Jennifer R. Morris, Brandon Miller, Caitlin Miller, and Maria Elena Ramirez. Jenny and Aysan were members of the original cast in 2002. The play includes songs by Michael Friedman, and marks the first show for which he ever wrote songs.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Occupy Your Mind - The American Spring

A lot has been going on behind the scenes with the Occupy Movement the past couple of months, and more recently the same has been true of The Civilians' Occupy Your Mind project. After the Low Lives 4: Occupy! event in early March, the Street Team went back to work. We got a whole new round of interviews with people intimately involved with the movement. They continue to work on Occupy day in and day out, despite not having an overnight presence in Zuccotti Park.

If you missed the livestream of the Low Lives event in March, you can catch The Civilians' performances, along with all of the other Occupy themed performances from that event here.

Since then, artists and activists nationwide have been participating in the Occupy Your Mind project, that is recorded online on our Tumblr. Click here to check out some all new videos posted from an Occupy Your Mind event in New  Haven earlier this month.

As for the new interviews collected by the Street Team, The Civilians is hosting our own Occupy Your Mind event just in time for Occupy's big day of action May Day. On April 26th at 8 PM in the Judson Church Choir Loft, Civilian artists are teaming up with storytelling performers from Art Diaspora and Judson to present stories from the movement about what's going on right now. What is the American Spring? What are the stories behind major Occupy actions like the 99% bat signal? What challenges have the activists faced since being evicted from Zuccotti?

As the movement continues to go from "leaderless" to "leaderfull", The Civilians are on the ground, talking to the folks involved and recording the story in our unique way.

Want to get involved? Visit Occupy Your Mind on the Civilians website and do your own OYM performance!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


For the run of You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce at The Flea Theater (our show in which four of our artists asked their parents about their parents' divorces, and play their parents in the verbatim conversations), we are asking a question every week, and your responses will inspire what we do in our post-show Salon Nights. The first post-show event is this Saturday, April 14. Last week's questions got some amazing responses  - see them HERE.

This week's question is:

Where were you when you told the kids about the split and what was their reaction? 

For those who aren't divorced, let us know where and how you told your close friends about a break-up!

This was a question that the artists in the show asked their parents. Here's a clip of the answers they got:

Get your tickets to the show HERE!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Occupy Wall Street, Part VII

From the Occupy Wall Street Journal to the raid on Zuccotti Park to Occupy Our Homes in East New York to the Lincoln Center Opera House, this week's episode continues to chronicle the events of Occupy Wall Street through performances of interviews with actual protesters. Jordan Mahome plays Jordan (no relation), Garrett Neergaard plays Michael, and Caitlin Miller plays an actress who has been to Occupy protests around New York City. The episode concludes with an audience sing-along recorded during the live performance at Joe's Pub led by Michael Friedman. The song is from his great-grandfather's rebel songbook.

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

This episode contains some language that might not be appropriate for children.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Is there something you still have of your ex's that he/she doesn't know about?

The first performance of You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce at the Flea Theater is on Saturday, and we can't wait for you to see it! As part of the run, we're so pleased to announce that we'll be doing a series of post-show events called You Better Sit Down Salon Nights: Your Tales Take the Stage. Every Wednesday and Saturday evening following the show, you (yes, you!) will have the chance to share in the storytelling. Civilians Associate Artists and The Bats from the Flea (plus some special guest artists that we'll be announcing soon!) will develop short scenes and songs from material contributed by audiences both in the theater and online based on questions related to personal experiences with divorce, family, relationships, and break-ups.

So this is where you come in! Your answers to the following question will directly feed what will be onstage at our future You Better Sit Down Salon Nights.

Our first question is:

Is there something you still have of your ex's that he/she doesn't know about?

Leave us a comment here, Tweet it at us, or tell us on Facebook! Or, we'd love it if you would email us a story and/or a photo to! We will send your responses on to our artists and The Bats to inspire the creation of all new investigative theater.

Just in case you need more incentive, the first five responses will get a free ticket to a preview performance!

Get your tickets HERE!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Occupy Wall Street, Part VI

These monologues crafted from interviews with Occupy Wall Street Protesters cover the raid on Zuccotti Park in November and how the movement changed in the weeks after it. Daoud Heidami and Caitlin Miller as Shawn and Laura, who are both Canadian and both librarians in the Zuccotti Park Library. Gretta Lee performs Carrie, discussing the start of #ConcreteIdeas. And Matt Dellapina performs a monologue from a life-long protester.

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