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The Civilians Welcome 2015-16 Research & Development Group

The Civilians (Steve Cosson, Artistic Director), the Obie award-winning theatre company, announces the members of its 2015-16 Research and Development (R&D) Group, comprised of writers, composers, and directors who are creating new works of investigative theater. Selected from over one-hundred applicants, participating artists this year will include playwrights, composers, actors, and directors.

The 19 members of the 2015-16 Research and Development (R&D) Group are Benjamin Kamine, Claire Kiechel, Colette Robert, Dan Safer, Dominic Finocchiaro, EllaRose Chary, Gordon Leary, Jordan Mahome, Jay Stull, Julia Meinwald, Ken Urban, Lee Sunday Evans, Sam Chanse, Sanaz Ghajar, Sash Bischoff, Susan Soon He Stanton, Suzanne Agins, Tidtaya Sinutoke, and Ty Defoe.

The group will meet for nine months, during which time each artist will develop a new piece of theater through the creative investigation of a pre-selected subject chosen by each artist. Projects this year will investigate a wide cross-section of topics, including the impacts of police militarization, the ethical issues surrounding Henrietta Lacks' immortal cells, the stories of those buried in New York's mass graves on Hart Island, and more. The creative process may include interviews, community engagement, research and/or other experimental methods of inquiry. Led by Artistic Director Steve Cosson and R&D Coordinator Megan McClain, the artists will share and discuss their creative processes, examine artistic choices and provide a community of support. The process will culminate in the FINDINGS Reading Series open to the public in May 2016.

Last season marked a watershed year for The Civilians as they had the distinct honor of being the first theater company-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and produced the hit production of their original musical PRETTY FILTHY. This season, The Civilians co-commissioned work, ANOTHER WORD FOR BEAUTY, written by José Rivera with music by Hector Buitrago and directed by Steve Cosson will have its world premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.

Led by Artistic Director Steve Cosson, THE CIVILIANS creates new theater from creative investigations into the most vital questions of the present. Since it's founding in 2001, the Obie award-winning company has been produced at numerous theaters in New York, including BAM Next Wave, Vineyard Theatre, Barrow Street Theater, Playwrights Horizons and The Public; nationally at Center Theatre Group, the TED Conference, HBO's US Comedy Festival, A.R.T., Actors Theatre of Louisville and more; and Internationally at London's Gate Theatre and Soho Theatre. The Civilians' popular podcast LET ME ASCERTAIN YOU is available through, iTunes, and SoundCloud.

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