LET ME ASCERTAIN YOU / Cabaret Series
Let Me Ascertain You
is The Civilians cabaret series performed in New York and recorded live for our original podcast series. Each one-night-only event centers on a theme with interviews performed by actors and original songs from the next generation of musical theater composers.
Let Me Ascertain You:
War On Christmas
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 10PM
425 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
Let Me Ascertain You: War on Christmas is an evening of verbatim interview excerpts and new music that gives voice to diverse cultural and religious minorities in America, focusing on their experiences and responses to the commercialization of Christmas. This new cabaret is curated and directed by The Civilians 2015-16 R&D Group Members Suzanne Agins and Benjamin Kamine in collaboration with The Civilians' 2015-16 Field Research Team.
The evening will feature original songs written by established and emerging musical theater talents, created from the company's interviews with real people, including Michael Friedman; Andrea Grody; Erato Kremmyda; Grace McLean; Julia Meinwald and Gordon Leary; Kamala Sankaram; Tidtaya Sinutoke and Ty Defoe; and Brandon Walker.
This special evening explored the annual beauty pageant that takes place in El Buen Pastor, the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia. The never-before-seen performance material was crafted from interviews conducted by Civilians artists on-site in the prison with inmates who include members of the paramilitary, guerrilla fighters, drug smugglers and more. The pageant, comprised of an evening gown competition, folk-dancing and floats built from recycled materials, is a recent innovation in the prison system that demonstrates increasing support of rehabilitation for the incarcerated. The evening provided a unique glimpse into life in a womenÂ's prison and hear the personal stories behind the ongoing political struggles and warfare that the country continues to face. The performance was on June 13, 2012 at 92YTribeca.
The Civilians' artists entered some surprising and dark territory and came back to share their enlightening tales of death, near-death experiences, corpses, and insights into forensic anthropology. The evening included performances of interviews from hospitals, prisons, spiritual communities, and funeral homes along with material from Associate Artist Alix Lambert's investigation into the Body Farm: a facility for study of the decomposition of human bodies and research site for criminal investigations. The evening at Joe's Pub on May 18, 2012 showcased monologues, original songs, and murder ballads by Michael Friedman and Shaina Taub in our unique style created from this unusual interview material.
This was our second cabaret crafted from interviews about Occupy Wall Street. Our artists have been talking to people at the OWS Library, General Assembly meetings, and actions. This second evening will take an in-depth look at the beginnings of the movement through to the massive police action clearing the protesters from Zuccotti Park and examine the big question of what is in store for the movement in the future. The evening was presented at Joe's Pub on January 13, 2012.
"The 80-minute show was the most moving work of theater I have seen all season." -- The Faster Times
This performance of monologues and songs crafted from interviews in The Civilians' unique style gives voice to the people and examines this current exercise of democracy that will leave its mark our nation's history. The Civilians' artists are downtown talking to the 99% about the current demonstrations, our government, the economy, and the future. The artists' research and interviews reveal the thought-provoking and unexpected, the infuriating and hilarious, the communal and the personal stories of the large and ongoing display of discontent that is Occupy Wall Street. The evening was presented live at Joe's Pub on October 28, 2011.
Occupy Wall Street, Part II Performed on January 13, 2012 at Joe's Pub
Occupy Wall Street, Part I Performed on October 28, 2011 at Joe's PubWatch live streaming video from joespub at livestream.com Watch live streaming video from joespub at livestream.com Watch live streaming video from joespub at livestream.com