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This is the second episode of Let Me Ascertain You is drawn from “Flops, Failures and Fiascos,” an original cabaret that explored and celebrated disasters of all shades as told by those who have survived the shame, horror and glory of failing big. “Flops, Failures and Fiascos,” was curated by 2015-16 R&D Group directors Sanaz Ghajar and Colette Rob…
 
This episode of Let Me Ascertain You is drawn from Flops, Failures and Fiascos, an original cabaret that explored and celebrated disasters of all shades as told by those who have survived the shame, horror and glory of failing big. Flops, Failures and Fiascos was curated by 2015-16 R&D Group directors Sanaz Ghajar and Colette Robert and featured in…
 
This episode of Let Me Ascertain you is the third and final installation of “The Way They Live,” the final performance of the Civilians’ season-long residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The Way They Live” was written by Micharne Cloughley, based on interviews Civilians associates and members of the company’s Field Research Team conducted w…
 
This episode of Let Me Ascertain you is the second of three culled from “The Way They Live,” the final performance of the Civilians’ season-long residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The Way They Live” was written by Micharne Cloughley, based on interviews Civilians associates and members of the company’s Field Research Team conducted with …
 
This episode of Let Me Ascertain you is the first of three culled from “The Way They Live,” the final performance of the Civilians’ season-long residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The Way They Live” was written by Micharne Cloughley, based on interviews Civilians associates and members of the company’s Field Research Team conducted with c…
 
For this episode of Let Me Ascertain You, we bring you back to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where The Civilians are artists in residence. As part of our research, we were wandering through some of the museum's halls like the Petrie Court, looking at nude sculptures that fill that space, like Jacques Sarazin’s gentle Leda and the Swan and …
 
On this special podcast, we're back inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, investigating within the halls and installations of this iconic museum. Focusing on beauty, sex, love, and the body for this Let Me Ascertain You episode, we asked the curators to speak on these topics in relation to the artworks and share the compelling historie…
 
What you’re about to hear has been workshopped and presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of The Civilians' artist residency. The performances come from interviews we did during our investigation for our upcoming musical, “Pretty Filthy,” about the ‘Other Hollywood’ in the San Fernando Valley...porn capital of the world. We went behind…
 
Welcome to the final episode of our Let Me Ascertain You series on sex and death. According to Freud, the death drive is the drive towards self-destruction and the return to the "inorganic." Eros on the other hand is the drive to create and be productive. This episode explores these often competing drives. First up we have the original song “We Cou…
 
Let Me Ascertain You is back with the third episode in our series about all things sex and death related. In this episode we are leaning towards the sex side of the sex and death equation, looking at those elements of life that in one context might seem unpleasant or downright awful, but in another context can be well, kind of sexy. First, Dan Domi…
 
We are in the thick of exploring our competing sex and death drives, and that interesting space where the two overlap and even coalesce. In this episode, we are searching for the "white light," that surreal experience that can really open happen in sex or death, when we glimpse the soul. First up is actor Parker Drown performing Trevor, an NYC “ren…
 
Let Me Ascertain You is back with a new series examining two of The Civilians’ favorite fixations: sex and death. This first podcast in the series focuses on death as the ultimate turn-on. To start us off, we have Stephen Plunkett performing a monologue from an interview we did with famed porn director Craven Moorehead. Then we have Sam Breslin Wri…
 
This is our fourth and final episode of our Let Me Ascertain You: Sex Variants 1941, taking inspiration from a study conducted in the 1930’s by Dr. George Henry in which he interviewed a couple hundred individuals and cataloged data such as a complete family history with symbols to indicate who had what venereal disease, tuberculosis, alcoholism, w…
 
Welcome to episode three in our series Let Me Ascertain You: Sex Variants 1941. Recorded live at Joe’s Pub in New York City, this show takes its inspiration from the medical book Sex Variants: A study of Homosexual Patterns by Dr. George W. Henry. For each of his case studies, Dr. Henry recorded a detailed and intimate personal history, and we are …
 
Hi! We’re back with the second episode of Let Me Ascertain You: Sex Variants 1941 recorded live here in NYC at Joe’s Pub. This series takes its inspiration from a 1941 medical book by Dr. George W. Henry. Subtitled "A Study of Homosexual Pattern," Dr. Henry classified these case studies as homosexuals, bi-sexuals, or narcissists. A little something…
 
We’re kicking off a new series here at Let Me Ascertain You. These podcasts are taken from our live shows performed at Joe's Pub here in New York City, and our most recent show was called Sex Variants 1941. As you may know, our shows are typically inspired by interviews we do ourselves but for this one we are borrowing our inspiration from a medica…
 
This is our fourth and final episode of “Let Me Ascertain You: Holy Matrimony” from our investigations into American Weddings. In celebration of the defeat of DOMA in the Supreme Court this past summer we decided to poke around in the grand old institution of marriage and then as we do with each of our Let Me Ascertain You shows, we have actors per…
 
We’re here with episode three of four podcasts of our Let Me Ascertain You: Holy Matrimony! series looking at all things about weddings. Our crew of artists talked to real-life couples as well as the people in the amazing and strange world of the wedding industry. And all these interviews were performed live by actors at Joe’s Pub in our hometown o…
 
We’re back with the second episode of Let Me Ascertain You: Holy Matrimony! For this series we did a deep dive into the wonderful world of weddings in America. Or maybe more like a face plant into a three tiered wedding cake. So with icing on our faces and hangover from too much cheap wine… here are a few more interviews performed by actors live at…
 
We’re starting up a new series here at Let Me Ascertain You called “Holy Matrimony!" With DOMA getting taken down by the Supreme Court this past summer and with marriage equality spreading state by state, we thought it was a good time to look in our own Civiliansy way at that very special occasion – the wedding. For the past few months, our intrepi…
 
This is our fourth and final episode of our Let Me Ascertain You: Be The Death of Me Series. These interviews are part of an ongoing investigation about death, dying and whatever comes after that. We talked to more than a hundred people so far, and many of these conversations centered on how we remember and how we memorialize those that we’ve lost.…
 
Here’s episode three in our new podcast series Let Me Ascertain You: Be The Death of Me. What you’ll hear are excerpts from a larger ongoing project about life, death, and whatever happens after that. As part of this investigation, our team spoke to those who work every day in matters of life and death — people who spend their days in the places th…
 
We’re back with the second episode of Let Me Ascertain You: Be The Death of Me. For this Civilians' project we took a prismatic look into the end of life and talked with a cross-section of New Yorkers - ER nurses, priests, funeral directors, vampires, shamans, crime-scene cleaners, and many ordinary people dealing with the extraordinary experience …
 
We’re starting up a new series here at Let Me Ascertain You taken from a couple of live events we did recently about death. The show called “Be The Death of Me” is about facing that final curtain and maybe what lies on the other side. A small army of artists spent six months interviewing all sorts of people here in New York City. A cast of 33 brill…
 
Check out our fourth and final episode of our "Let Me Ascertain You: LGBTQ All Out!" podcast series. This was recorded live at the Barrow Street Theater in NY where actors performed various real people we interviewed about their experiences related to sexuality and gender. One of our special guest performers that night was Laverne Cox who stars in …
 
Up next is our third podcast of our series "Let Me Ascertain You: LGBTQ All Out!" dedicated to sexuality and gender. For this episode, we've got another interview from a staffer at the Rainbow Heights Club in Brooklyn, an advocacy program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender emotional recovery and wellness. You can learn more about them at ra…
 
We’re back with the second episode of Let Me Ascertain You: LGBTQ All Out recorded live at the Barrow Street Theater; actors perform various real people we interviewed about their experiences related to sexuality and gender. One of the groups who helped us out on this show was the Theater of the Oppressed NYC, they have an awesome theater troupe fo…
 
We’ve got a new topic here at Let Me Ascertain You that we're calling "LGBTQ All Out!” and it's all about those who have battled for, celebrated, and championed their sexual orientation and gender identity. We dig into the personal stories, struggles and triumphs of a group of individuals in the LGBTQ community. Here, our Associate Artists and spec…
 
Now for the finale of our Occupy #S17 series! This episode contains recordings of a live performance of interviews with Occupy protesters that we presented at Joe's Pub for the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. First up is our Associate Artist Matt Dellapina performing a demonstrator named Alexander. Next up is Jahi Kearse as Sumumba. To …
 
Here are more of our interviews from the Occupy Wall Street movement, presenting interviews we’ve conducted with activists since the beginning at of it all at Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011. We created an event at Joe’s Pub in NYC and invited theaters, schools, and other non-profits from around the country to join us in performing an Occupy an…
 
Welcome to our third podcast episode commemorating the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. The Civilians conducted interviews with activists in the movement since its start last year at Zuccotti up to this one year anniversary on September 17, 2012 (referred to as #S17 in the Twitter-sphere). The first performance in this episode is by spec…
 
Every year, the national women's prison in Colombia puts on a beauty pageant in which each cell block elects its own candidates to represent them - a queen and a queen mother. Our artists were down in Bogotá for the pageant in 2011, and what you're about to hear is from the interviews with the contestants and inmates there. This material was perfor…
 
Occupy Wall Street had its one-year anniversary on September 17, 2012. Civilians artists were out for that entire year conducting interviews with the protesters. We presented some of those interviews on September 17 at Joe's Pub, along with thirteen other colleges and theater groups from around the country, who also put on their own performances of…
 
Our artists conducted interviews with the women in El Buen Pastor, the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia. Every year, the prison hosts a beauty pageant in which each cell block elects its own candidates to represent them - a queen and a queen mother - and they work together to create costumes, floats and dances for the main event, which i…
 
The one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street was on September 17 of this year. We have been conducting interviews with protesters throughout the year, and our special performance for #S17 on September 17 at Joe's Pub focused on how the movement had transformed from its early days and what it's future might look like. This week's episode features …
 
The beauty pageant that takes place in the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia is the subject of this week's episode. Steve Cosson spent a month visiting the prison during the lead up to the pageant, working with a group of Colombians, playwright José Rivera, and songwriter/musician Hector Buitrago of the Latin Grammy award winning band Ate…
 
Here is our last episode about death, featuring an interview performed in a cabaret at Joe's Pub last season. Jeanine Serralles performs an incarcerated woman in the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia describing a near-death experience. This interview, conducted by Lorena Lopez, is part of a larger project about the annual beauty pageant t…
 
Following the last two episodes focused on the French revolution of 1871, this week's episode finds us back with our local Occupy Wall Street protesters. Nina Hellman and Daniel Jenkins perform an interview with Savitri and Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. To close out this podcast, we have Gibson Frazier performing Mark Read: the inf…
 
A special guest joins us in this week's episode: Kristin Ross, Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University. She has written extensively about Paris Commune. Her book “The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune” was what inspired Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman to start working on our latest show, Paris Commune, wh…
 
Our latest show, Paris Commune, will be having its world premiere run at ArtsEmerson in Boston followed by a run at BAM's Next Wave Festival this fall. The play is about the explosive Parisian uprising of the working class in 1871, in which French citizens launched an attempt to overthrow the government and reinvent society. We wanted to give you a…
 
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 par…
 
People who encounter death as part of their daily lives are featured in this week's episode, which was recorded live during our cabaret at Joe's Pub. Emily Rossell performs an interview with an ER doctor from the Bronx, Nina Hellman performs an ER nurse from the Midwest, and Dan Domingues plays Andrew Anastasio, who owns a funeral home in Williamsb…
 
Anne Wasburn's new play is currently receiving its world premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, DC. In the show, Armageddon has struck and the electric grid has gone down permanently. For one group of tenacious survivors, sitting around a fire and reminiscing about The Simpsons proves to be the greatest escape from despair. Almos…
 
Our Judson Church performance from earlier this year featured monologues about the Occupy movement. The interviews were conducted as part of our open-sourced investigative call to action, Occupy Your Mind. Mark Stetson from Arts Diaspora performs an Occupy Activist who participated in Occupy in New York, D.C., and Oakland, and who was around when t…
 
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 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…
 
Occupy Your Mind is an open-sourced living history of Occupy. Anyone, anywhere can participate by conducting an interview, performing it, and posting it to the Occupy Your Mind Tumblr, occupythecivilians.tumblr.com. This past April, The Civilians and others came together to give a performance of Occupy Your Mind material. Molly Camp performs Mary, …
 
The elevated public park, the High Line, is built on historic freight rails elevated above the New York City streets. This week's episode features a show about Robert Hammond, a co-founder of the High Line, and the process behind getting the park built. Interviewees featured in the show include Robert, Robert's mom and dad, staff at Friends of the …
 
You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce recently had its world premiere at The Flea Theater in New York. The play consisted of four actors playing their parents in verbatim conversations each actor had with his or her parent or parents about the parents' divorces. Following the performances, the company presented a series of Salon Night…
 
How do we deal with the pressures of modern society? This week's episode looks at interviews focused on the ways we try to escape, including running away, drugs, suicide, and hot nude yoga. Billy Eugene Jones plays a former mole person who lived in the New York subway tunnels in the 1980's; Dan Domingues performs an interview with the founder of ho…
 
Colorado Springs is home to many national Evangelical Organizations, including Focus on the Family and New Life Church. Our artists spent time there investigating the shifting lines between church and state, viewing the city as a microcosm for many issues still present in America. The verbatim interviews were used in our play, This Beautiful City. …
 
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