Center Theatre Group, the premiere theater institution in Los Angeles (recently transferred 9 to 5 to Broadway) begins work this summer with the award-winning New York-based theater company The Civilians to create the first major musical about the adult entertainment industry. This ground-breaking show will be inspired by the real life stories of the people who work in the field. The creative team will go behind the scenes and learn about the human side of this business, looking at the work and lives of directors, performers, producers, crew—everyone with a story to tell.
Director: Steve Cosson
Composer and Lyricist: Michael Friedman
Bookwriter: Bess Wohl
Project Coordinator: Chris Paul
Interviewers: Mia Barron, Laura Nix, Matt Maher, Taylor Wilcox
The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien
Chelsea Lately (go to 1:44):
The Civilians is an investigative theater company that creates original theater from real life. Shows include This Beautiful City which had its Los Angeles premiere at Center Theatre Group and went on to New York’s Vineyard Theater earning nominations for the Drama Desk, Drama-League, and Lucille Lortel awards. The Civilians’ Gone Missing has been performed hundreds of times over five years including performances at HBO’S US Comedy Festival and a seven-month Off-Broadway run at the Barrow Street Theatre in 2007. The company’s many other works have been produced at leading theaters around the country and in the UK. For more information: www.thecivilians.org
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
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 show Canard, 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.