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August 03, 2009 09:30am
Civilians' Porn Musical
Source: The Civilians Center Theatre Group
by: Company Press Release

The Civilians and Center Theatre Group Launch New Investigation Process will Develop New Musical about the Adult Entertainment Industry

Commissioned by Center Theatre Group, the Civilians’ Porn Musical, is a new project from the award-winning investigative theater company. Led by Civilians’ Artistic Director Steve Cosson (This Beautiful City), composer Michael Friedman (This Beautiful City, Bloody, Bloody, Andrew Jackson), and bookwriter Bess Wohl (Cats Talk Back, in), the company has begun the investigation in Los Angeles, researching the adult entertainment industry in California, focusing on the San Fernando Valley, the pornographic epicenter of the world.

This new investigative process will inspire a new musical based on the real life stories of the people who work in this field. The Civilians are going behind the scenes to reveal the human side of porn, investigating the work and lives of performers, producers, crew, distributors, and others in the business. Cosson, Friedman and Wohl, along with a supporting team of artists and interviewers, are making contact with a wide variety of individuals, ranging from top stars to specialty niche performers and innovative directors. The personal truths gleaned from the interviews will make a show that will prove to be idiosyncratic, funny, sincere and entertaining all at the same time. Expect a truly ground-breaking experience —the first large, mainstream musical to depict the lives and world of pornographers and porn stars.

Center Theatre Group (Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director; Charles Dillingham, Managing Director) is Los Angeles’ preeminent non-profit theatre company, presenting groundbreaking new works, explosive productions of the classics and hit Broadway plays and musicals on its three stages – the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Ctg has developed an impressive number of Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, including the Kentucky Cycle and Angels in America. In the most current four seasons alone, a total of 70 productions have been presented, including 19 world premieres.

Eleven productions have been presented or are scheduled to be produced in New York. At the 2006 and 2007 Tony Awards, three Ctg productions received a total of 25 nominations, more than any other theatre company in the country. For more information, visit www.centertheatregroup.org

Founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Steven Cosson, the Civilians is a company dedicated to creating investigative theater. The Civilians’ work has been produced Off Broadway, nationally and internationally, garnering critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations. Working with a dynamic combination of journalism and art, the Civilians creates theatrical events that engage with the most vital questions of the present.

Examples of recent work include This Beautiful City which had a critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway run at the Vineyard Theater in 2009 and the company’s long-running hit Gone Missing, which toured the Us and the UK for several years culminating in a seven-month Off Broadway run at the Barrow Street Theater. In addition to this project, the Civilians are deeply involved in their newest work, Brooklyn at Eye Level, a play with music that investigates the contentious Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, and the Great Immensity, about the environmental crisis and climate change. www.thecivilians.org.

Steve Cosson: (Director) is the founding Artistic Director of the Civilians. He also works independently directing new plays, musicals and classics. With the Civilians: co-writer and director of This Beautiful City which premiered to rave reviews at the Humana Festival and recently completed a critically-acclaimed run at Vineyard Theatre. Previously produced at Center Theatre Group and Studio Theatre in D.C.; co-writer and director of Brooklyn: At Eye Level produced this past winter at Brooklyn’s Lyceum Theatre; co-writer/director of Paris Commune produced in the Public Theater’s PublicLAB series; writer/director of the long- running hit Gone Missing.

Writer/director (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch, which won the 2006 Fringe First award at Edinburgh and was one of two NY Times ''Isherwood Recommends;'' and director of the company’s first showCanard, Canard, Goose?. Additionally, he’s directed the Civilians’ work at A.R.T., Actors Theatre of Louisville, LA Jolla Playhouse, HBO’s Aspen Comedy Festival, the MoMA; London’s Gate Theatre and Soho Theatre among many others.

Cosson has directed and developed new plays at theaters including Hartford Stage, Soho Rep, O’Neill Conference, New Harmony Project, San Diego Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival and others. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia, a MacDowell Fellow, twice participated in the Sundance Theatre Lab, and Resident Director at New Dramatists. His plays have been published by Oberon Books in the UK, Dramatists Play Service, and an anthology of the Civilians published by Playscripts Inc.

Michael Friedman: (Composer/Lyricist) is a founding Associate Artist of the Civilians, and has been the Composer/lyricist for the company’s This Beautiful City, [I Am] Nobody’s Lunch, Gone Missing, and Canard, Canard, Goose? He also wrote music and lyrics for Saved, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, in the Bubble, the Brand New Kid, God’s Ear, and the Blue Demon. With Steve Cosson, he is the co-author of Paris Commune.

His music has also been heard at the New York Shakespeare Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, the Roundabout Theatre Co., Second Stage, Soho Rep, Theater for a New Audience, Signature, and the Acting Company, regionally at Hartford Stage, Humana Festival, Art, Berkeley Rep, Dallas Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Portland Center Stage, and internationally at London’s Soho and Gate Theatres, and the Edinburgh Festival.

Film/TV work includes On Common Ground, Beloved, Emile Norman: By his Own Design, Floaters and Affair Game. He was also the dramaturg for the Broadway revival of a Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon. He is an Artistic Associate at New York Theatre Workshop, and a recipient of a MacDowell fellowship and a Princeton University Hodder Fellowship. He received a 2007 Obie award for sustained excellence.

Bess Wohl: (Bookwriter) Bess Wohl's first plays, Fake and Cats Talk Back, were originally performed at the Yale Cabaret. Cats Talk Back went on to be performed at the Williamstown Theater Festival, and finally at the NYC International Fringe Festival where it was the subject of a front page Arts and Leisure feature in the New York Times, and won the award for Best Overall Production.

Subsequently, her plays have been developed at the Vineyard Theater, the Pittsburgh Public Theater, the Northlight Theater, TheaterWorks, and the Geffen Playhouse. Her upcoming productions include world premieres of both her play, in at the Geffen Playhouse and her play Touch(Ed) at the Pioneer Theater. She developed her play, in, into a screenplay for Vertigo Entertainment. That screenplay was included in Hollywood's Black List of best scripts.

Last season, she developed an original drama pilot, the Marina West Mysteries, for Twentieth Century Fox and Fbc. She is also a published poet. As an actress, Bess has appeared onstage in New York, regionally and at Williamstown Theater Festival (five summers) and in numerous films and TV shows, where she has given birth, solved crimes, committed crimes, been wrongly accused, and come back from the dead. She holds an Mfa from the Yale School of Drama, where she was a recipient of the Rebecca West Scholarship.

Marion Friedman
Managing Director
The Civilians

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