The Civilians Announce 2014-15 R&D Group

By: Sep. 09, 2014

The Civilians, the Obie award-winning theatre company, announces the members of its 2014-15 Research and Development (R&D) Group, comprised of writers, composers, and directors interested in creating new works of investigative theater.

Selected from over one-hundred applicants, participating artists this year will include playwrights, librettists, and project creators Jaclyn Backhaus, Civilians' Associate Artist Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Rob Handel, Krista Knight, Caroline V. McGraw, Winter Miller, Charlie Sohne, and Max Vernon; composers Mike Brun, Kamala Sankaram, and Tim Rosser; and directors Ilana Becker, Alexandra Keegan, Andrew Neisler, and Jay Stull. Juliana Francis Kelly will return to the group for a second year in the newly created Alumni Spot.

The group meets 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, such as armchair activism, Chelsea Manning, the Louisiana State Penitentiary, The Mecca Flats 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 EllaRose Chary, the artists will share and discuss their creative processes, examine artistic choices and provide a community of support. The process will culminate in a Reading Series open to the public in May of 2015.

Led by Artistic Director Steve Cosson, THE CIVILIANS creates new theater from creative investigations into the most vital questions of the present. Last season saw two highly successful Civilians shows in New York: MR BURNS: A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY at Playwrights Horizons, which was included in eight Top 10 of 2013 Lists, as well as THE GREAT IMMENSITY at The Public Theatre. This season, the company is the Artist-in-Residence of Met Museum Presents at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since its 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 and iTunes.

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