Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Death, Part I

The Body Farm in Knoxville, TN is the world's first research facility dedicated to the study of human decomposition. The two monologues in this podcast episode are from interviews conducted there by Civilians Associate Artist Alix Lambert as part of ongoing projects of her own. We're very grateful that she has shared this fascinating material with us. Greg McFadden plays Bill Bass, the founder of the Body Farm, then Emily Ackerman plays a forensic artist. Lastly, Meghan McGreary sings a song by Shaina Taub called "Sleep and Death" accompanied by Kris Kukel. This episode was recorded during our Let Me Ascertain You: Death cabaret at Joe's Pub.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You Better Sit Down Salon Night, Part II

A talk-back with the cast of You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce kicks off this week's episode. The show, which recently completed its New York premiere at the Flea Theater, featured actors Matt Maher, Caitlin Miller, Jennifer R. Morris, and Robbie Collier Sublett, who all interviewed their parents, and each plays his or her own parent (or parents). In the talk-back, they discuss the process of creating the show, talking about these topics with their parents, and their parents' reactions to the show. Then, The Flea Theater's resident acting company, The Bats, presents a short piece created from online and live audience responses that they put together during You Better Sit Down and performed after the play on the same night. Next is a monologue crafted from responses by our R&D Group artist Mia Rovegno and performed by Associate Artist Dan Domingues. The episode closes out with a song written and performed by Matt Berger.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Simpsons Writer Attends Mr. Burns, Anne and Steve do too.

Hi folks, it's me Steve Cosson Artistic Director of Civilians. I will confess I am woefully under-prepared for the apocalypse zombie or otherwise. But I did just direct a play about it.  

Anne Washburn (author of said play with music by Michael Freidman) and I had the great pleasure of catching the closing weekend of Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play at Woolly Mammoth theater in DC. The play is Anne’s imaginings of what would happen to our culture after some cataclysmic event wipes out most of the global population and all the civilization that goes with it.  The Civilians commissioned the play, and Anne started her work by gathering up some of our Associate Actors and having them attempt to reconstruct a Simpson’s episode from memory.  Somehow fittingly, we did all this deep in the bowels of Wall Street in an abandoned bank vault that was somehow given over as non-profit art space. Thanks Wall Street for your generous support. It was musty. And felt very zombie apocalyptic. Thanks mostly to Matt Maher’s savant-like ability to recall the Simpsons, we reconstructed a number of episodes, but settled on “Cape Feare” the Simpsons parody of the Scorsese movie, itself a remake of an older film, which in turn took its inspiration from a book. These Wall Street basement sessions contributed to the first part of Anne’s play – a group of survivors huddled around a fire distracting themselves from their grim circumstances with a retelling of the Simpsons' Cape Feare. The second and third parts then imagine how this story becomes theater seven years in the future, and then 75 years after that.  We had a blast doing the show in DC thanks in large part to our talented and intrepid cast and crew.  Suffice to say that the theater of our post-apocalyptic future has everything – music, sword fights, masks, violence, rap, Britney, Gilbert and Sullivan. It alas, does not have electricity.

So, all that’s the prologue to the most important thing, which is that the lead writer for The Simpsons Cape Feare episode, Jon Vitti, read about our show in The New York Times and came with his wife from LA to see the show in DC. And then sent a copy of the script. In case you can't read the note it says "To the Human Race - preserve and protect this script! Forever!!!"  

Along with this lovely note:   

We have promised him that his script has been placed in a zombie-proof vault so that when the apocalypse comes his episode will remain. And our culture will live on. 

If you’d like to see an interview with Anne Washburn and some clips from our production check out HERE 

And to hear a podcast about the process of making Mr. Burns  have a listen HERE:   

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Occupy Your Mind, The Podcast, Part I

Occupy Your Mind, our open-sourced living history of Occupy, is driven by content from anyone, anywhere who has conducted an interview, performed it it, and posted it to the Occupy Your Mind Tumblr. This past April, The Civilians and others came together at Judson Church in New York to give a performance of Occupy Your Mind material. Molly Camp performs Mary, who worked with the Yesmen on a public demonstration that caught Boomberg's eye. Hadi Tabbal plays noted Occupy activist Amin, who tells his talks about the future of the movement and about how Occupy relates to past moments of global activism. Then Erica Rose plays Occupier, Sandy, an activist involved with Occupy since the early days at Zuccotti Park who talks about being followed by the police.

Check out the Occupy Your Mind Tumblr HERE and find out how you can get involved HERE!