Since its founding in 2001, The Civilians has supported the creation of fifteen original shows.
The company's work has been produced at numerous theaters in New York including BAM Fisher, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, and Vineyard Theatre; nationally at Center Theatre Group, A.R.T., Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, HBO's US Comedy Festival, Woolly Mammoth, and Actors Theatre of Louisville among others. Works by the company have toured extensively to arts presenters and festivals with presentations in over 40 cities nationally and internationally.
The 2015-16 Season featured two world-premiere productions: Another Word for Beauty at Goodman Theatre in Chicago and Rimbaud in New York at BAM in Brooklyn. Another Word for Beauty was co-commissioned by Goodman Theatre and the Civilians and premiered in January 2016. Rimbaud in New York was commissioned by BAM with major support from the Poetry Foundation and premiered in March 2016.
The Civilians served as the first ever theater company in residence at the Metropolitan Museum during the 2014-15 Season. This unprecedented creative collaboration between the Met and Civilians featured three original performances: Let Me Ascertain You cabaret performances in the Petrie Court; The End and the Beginning staged in the incomparable Temple of Dendur; and a new commissioned work, The Way They Live, alongside educational programming.
Pretty Filthy had its world-premiere in February 2015 at Abrons Arts Center and received nominations for 2015 Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding New Musical and was a New York Times and Time Out New York Critics' Pick. Through the support of a landmark grant from the National Science Foundation, The Great Immensity received its world premiere production at Kansas City Rep in February 2012 and its New York premiere at the Public Theatre in April 2014. Mr. Burns premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, in 2012, and had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons in 2013. It was included in "Top 10 Plays of 2013" lists in The New York Times, Time Out New York, Vogue, Out Magazine, New York Post, and was one of the Top 10 Most Produced Plays of the 2015-16 theater season. Paris Commune had its world premiere at ArtsEmerson and at the BAM Fisher in the Next Wave Festival in 2012. The run at BAM sold out in forty-eight hours and received rave reviews. In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards played to packed houses at the Irondale Center in Fort Greene. It received excellent reviews and was included in many "Best of 2010" lists, including Charles Isherwood's of The New York Times, Adam Feldman's of Time Out New York, and The New Yorkers'. This Beautiful City enjoyed a critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway run at the Vineyard Theater in 2009 receiving Lucille Lortel, Drama League, and Drama Desk nominations. The long-running hit Gone Missing ran for seven months at Off-Broadway's Barrow Street Theater and was cited by The New York Times as one of the "10 Best Plays of 2007."
The company has created its work through residencies with institutions including The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Orchard Project, Colorado College, Georgetown University, Princeton University and others. Director Steve Cosson and company members have taught workshops and master classes throughout the US, working with students from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. The Civilians' work is published by Dramatists Play Service, Oberon Books, Ghostlight Records and a recent anthology by Playscripts, Inc.