The Civilians to Present a TED Talk at TED2012


The Civilians (Steven Cosson, Artistic Director), the New York-based theatre company known for projects investigating real life topics, will be presenting a TEDTalk at the upcoming TED2012 Conference. The Talk will be an 18-minute play written by Steve Cosson crafted from interviews with experts in climate change communications and the psychology behind our nation's attitudes about the environmental crisis. Interviewees included top scientists and researchers from internationally renowned institutions such as Columbia University's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, the Princeton Environmental Institute, and the Center for Climate Change Communication. The Civilians’ research is part of an environmental investigation for the company's new play, The Great Immensity. The TEDTalk includes three songs composed for the show by Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), as well as projections and video.

Artistic Director Steve Cosson says:

"One of the primary goals of The Civilians is to create theater that is part of and can add to the national dialogue, and we are so thrilled to be included in this extraordinary forum. I am also so pleased to be able to provide this platform for our interviewees, whose research is crucial to our understanding of our own decision making about the environmental issues that will determine the future of our planet."

The play will be presented live at the TED2012 Conference on Wednesday, February 29, at 11AM. Talks from TED2012 will be released at over the upcoming year. Other speakers this year include physicist Brian Greene, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee, and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

Performers: Emily Ackerman (This Beautiful City), John Ellison Conlee (The Full Monty, Tony Nomination), Maria Dizzia (In the Next Room (Or the Vibrator Play), Tony Nomination)

Founded in 2001 by Steven Cosson, The Civilians has created twelve original works that have been produced Off Broadway and in over 40 cities nationally and internationally, at theaters such as The Public Theater, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, A.R.T., HBO’s US Comedy Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, London’s Soho Theatre, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Fringe First Award, 2006).

The company’s recent work was In the Footprint. This Beautiful City enjoyed an Off-Broadway run at the Vineyard Theater in 2009 receiving Lucille Lortel, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations. Gone Missing ran for seven months at Off-Broadway’s Barrow Street Theater. The Civilians received an Obie in 2004 in recognition of its accomplishments in its first two seasons of work.

The Great Immensity, a play with music using a fictional narrative to talk about the environment and the future of our planet, which will have its world premiere at Kansas City Repertory Theatre in February, 2012. The Civilians is also deeply involved in other new works: Pretty Filthy a new musical examination of the adult entertainment industry and Tales from My Parents’ Divorce. For more information, visit

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

Please visit for more information.

Related Articles

Off-Off-Broadway THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...