LET ME ASCERTAIN YOU / Podcast Series
Let Me Ascertain You:
The Civilians' Podcast
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Occupy #S17, The Podcast, Part V
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 close this episode out, we have Mary Kate O'Neil and Jill Sobule leading the evening's cast and musicians in a sing-along of Neil Young's protest song, "America." Interviews were conducted by our Associate Artist Dan Domingues, and the performance was directed by Mia Rovegno. Thanks for listening! Subscribe, rate, review!
Check out videos of performances on our Tumblr HERE!Published March 13, 2013
Occupy #S17, The Podcast, Part IV
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 anniversary show simultaneously the night of the 17th. Here are some performances from our show in NY, starting with our Associate Artist Colleen Werthmann back with more of Andrea Ciannevi discussing the trajectory of the movement. Next up is Associate Artist Maria Elena Ramirez who performs Sofia, a young protestor from Puerto Rico. To close this episode, we’re excited to have musical guests Sandra Velazquez and Maria Elena of the band Pistolera join us for their song "Cazador." Interviews for this podcast were conducted by Steven Cosson, Ian Daniel, Dan Domingues and the performances you just heard were directed by Mia Rovegno. Thanks for listening. Please subscribe, rate, and review!
Check out videos of performances on our Tumblr HERE!Published February 27, 2013
Occupy #S17, The Podcast, Part III
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 special Civilians guest-star David Cale in an interview with Carne Ross, a British Diplomat. Next up is Jordan Mahome performing Radio Raheem (the man who inspired the character in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing), who helped start Paul Robeson Freedom School. To close this episode, join in from home or on the subway or wherever you are, as Mary Kate O’Neil and her band Gerry Giaimo, Robin Eaton, David Shuman, and Mia Theodoratus sing a rendition of John Lennon’s Power to the People. Interviews for this podcast were conducted by Adam Odsess-Rubin and Steven Cosson. The performance was directed by Mia Rovegno. Thanks for listening - subscribe, rate, and review us!
Check out videos of performances on our Tumblr HERE!Published February 13, 2013
Bogotá Prison Pageant, Part III
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 performed and recorded live at 92YTribeca in NY. First up is Donnetta Lavinia Grays as Jeimi (Willy) and next is Florencia Lozano as Jessica. Maria Elena Ramirez closes out this episode as Ana Yolanda, Queen Mother for one of the cell blocks. Interviews for this episode were conducted by Adriana Mejía. The performance was directed by Steven Cosson. Thanks for listening. Subscribe, rate, review!Published January 30, 2013
Occupy #S17, The Podcast, Part II
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 Occupy interviews on the same day. This week's podcast episode, recorded at our live performance at Joe's Pub, kicks off with Dan Domingues as Billy in an interview conducted just before #S17. Next is an interview performed by Emily Rossell that was conducted after Zuccotti Park was shut down. This episode closes out with Caitlin Montclare, Alex Nolan, Amanda Ruzza, and Liz Kelly perform The Punk Prayer: the song that was performed by Pussy Riot in Russia that led to some of the members serving a two-year term in prison. Interviews for this podcast were conducted by Dan Domingues and Kelly McCreary, and the live performance at Joe's Pub was directed by Mia Rovegno.
Check out videos of performances on our Tumblr HERE!Published January 16, 2013
Bogotá Prison Pageant, Part II
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 is kind of like Carnival. Our last Bogotá Prison Pageant episode focused on the High Security section of the prison. The prison is divided into different cell blocks according to crimes committed. This week, we're heading into the General Population at El Buen Pastor to give you an intimate look into these women’s daily lives and their preparation for the pageant. This material was performed and recorded live at 92YTribeca in NY. First up is Ana Lamadrid performing an inmate, followed by our Associate Artist Jenny Morris as a Canadian prisoner. Matt Dellapina performs an interview with Mauricio, a pastor who works with the inmates, and the episode closes out with Flor De Liz Perez as the Queen Mother of Cell Block 9. Interviews for this were conducted by Alejandro Jaramillo Hoyos, Lorena Lopez, and Adriana Osorio. The performances you just heard were directed by Steven Cosson.Published January 2, 2013
Occupy #S17, The Podcast, Part I
For the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, which was on September 17, we put together a really special cabaret of interviews with Occupy protesters focused on how the movement had transformed from its early days and what it's future might look like. This week's episode features Colleen Werthmann as Andrea, a protester; Tony-nominee Kathleen Chalfant as an actress and demonstrator; and Brad Heberlee as an anti-war activist, environmentalist, and participant in the movement; and we close out with Jill Sobule, Alex Nolan, Amanda Ruzza and Liz Kelly performing Jill's song "We Want our America Back." Interviews were conducted by Dan Domingues, Jackie Sibblies Drury, and Rachel Jablin. The evening was directed by Mia Rovegno.
Check out videos of performances on our Tumblr HERE!Published December 12, 2012
Bogotá Prison Pageant, Part I
The beauty pageant that takes place in the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia is the subject of this week's podcast 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 Aterciopelados. They interviewed the pageant's contestants, other inmates, and prison staff. In this podcast, you’ll get a chance to hear some of our raw interviews, which were translated into English and performed for the first time at the 92YTribeca in June of this year. Our first interview, performed by Vanessa Aspillaga, is with a woman serving time for being part of one of the various guerilla groups who are part of a long-standing armed conflict with right-wing paramilitaries. Next up is Carolina Ravassa playing an inmate who is incarcerated for her part in an attack on the presidential palace in Bogotá in 2002. The attack did not succeed in hitting then President Alvaro Uribe, though one missile overshot the palace and landed in the nearby neighborhood of El Cartucho, killing a number of people. To close this episode, our Associate Artist KJ Sanchez performs an inmate who, while she proclaims her innocence, was convicted of working for the paramilitaries through her political office. These interviews were conducted by Lorena Lopez and Alejandro Jaramillo.Published November 28, 2012
Death, Part III
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 that happens in the prison. We wrap up this week's episode with the song "Stars" by Michael Friedman from Gone Missing, performed by Matt Dellapina, Emily Ackerman, Daniel Jenkins, and Emily Rossell, accompanied by Kris Kukel.Published October 31, 2012
Occupy Your Mind, Part III
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 infamous "illuminator" behind the 99% "bat signal" on the Verizon Building last November. Interviews for this podcast were conducted by Steve Ginsberg and Quinlan Corbett, and are part of Occupy Your Mind, a program dedicated to documenting the living history of the Occupy movement. Find out how you can get involved HERE and check out videos of performances on our Tumblr HERE!Published October 17, 2012
Paris Commune and Social Space
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 Paris Commune, which premiered at ArtsEmerson last month and is running in BAM's 30th Next Wave Festival. The play investigates the Parisian working-class uprising in 1871, and we want to extend a special thanks to Kristin for talking with us and sharing her expertise on the subject with us in this podcast. This episode kicks off with Brian Sgambati performing "Leur Bon Dieu", a nineteenth century song in the show originally from the Commune with Lyrics by Eugène Pottier, Music by Emile Bouillon. Wrapping up this week, we have Aysan Celik (our Featrued Associate Artist for September), singing "Mon Homme" by Jean-Baptiste Clément, adapted and translated by Michael Friedman.Published October 3, 2012
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 look behind-the-scenes at our efforts to recreate these historic events for the stage. This episode features interviews with Paris Commune's director and co-author Steve Cosson; co-author and translator and adapter of the songs Michael Friedman; and actor Aysan Celik (who is also our Featured Associate Artist this month) who has been with the project throughout its development. The episode closes out with Quincy Tyler Bernstine singing "La Canaille," a song performed at the radical cabaret of the actual Commune in the nineteenth century.Published September 19, 2012
You Better Sit Down: Salon Night Episode III
Our play at The Flea Theater in April of this year, You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce, was presented with a bunch of post-show Salon Nights. This podcast episode features original material that was created for those events. Mia Kaitgbak performs a monologue written by Jon Kern from an interview he did with his own mother, who is a divorce lawyer. Next up is a talk-back with the cast: Matt Maher, Caitlin Miller, Jennifer R. Morris, and Robbie Collier Sublett, who discuss what it was like to create the play and interview their own parents about the often sensitive topic of divorce. Then The Flea's Resident Acting Company, The Bats, perform live audience and online responses to the question, Was there an object in your or your parents' divorce that was highly contested? And last, Sam Bisbee performs a song he wrote.Published September 5, 2012
Death, Part II
People who encounter death as part of their daily lives are featured in this 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 Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Lastly, Emily Rossell and James Rickman sing a murder ballad written by Michael Friedman. Many thanks to our interviewers for this episode: Ian Daniel and Jay Stull.Published August 22, 2012
Occupy Your Mind, Part II
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 things got very tough in Oakland. Aidan O'Shea, a member of Judson Church, performs the Pastor of Judson, Michael. Indika Senanayake performs Manissa, a member of the POC caucus, and an activist who interviewed Eliot Spitzer. She tells her now legendary story of blocking consensus at Zuccotti Park. Many thanks to those who conducted these interviews: Mark Stetson, Aidan O'Shea, and Jackie Sibblies Drury!Published August 8, 2012
Death, Part I
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 podcast episode are from interviews conducted on-site at the Body Farm 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 McFadden plays Bill Bass, the founder of the Body Farm, then Emily Ackerman plays a forensic artist. Lastly, Meghan McGreary sings a song by Shaina Taub called "Sleep and Death" accompanied by Kris Kukel. This episode was recorded during our Let Me Ascertain You: Death cabaret at Joe's Pub.Published July 25, 2012
You Better Sit Down
Salon Nights, Part II
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 parent (or parents). In the talk-back, they discuss the process of creating the show, talking about these topics with their parents, and their parents' reactions to the show. Then, The Flea Theater's resident acting company, The Bats, presents a short piece created from online and live audience responses that they put together during You Better Sit Down and performed after the play on the same night. Next is a monologue crafted from responses by our R&D Group artist Mia Rovegno and performed by Associate Artist Dan Domingues. The episode closes out with a song written and performed by Matt Berger.Published July 11, 2012
Occupy Your Mind, Part I
Occupy Your Mind, our open-sourced living history of Occupy, is driven by content from anyone, anywhere who has conducted an interview, performed it it, and posted it to the Occupy Your Mind Tumblr. This past April, The Civilians and others came together at Judson Church in New York to give a performance of Occupy Your Mind material. Molly Camp performs Mary, who worked with the Yesmen on a public demonstration that caught Boomberg's eye. Hadi Tabbal plays noted Occupy activist Amin, who tells his talks about the future of the movement and about how Occupy relates to past moments of global activism. Then Erica Rose plays Occupier, Sandy, an activist involved with Occupy since the early days at Zuccotti Park who talks about being followed by the police.Published July 4, 2012
The High Line
This week's episode features the show about Robert Hammond and the High Line that we created for our Annual Spring Benefit this last spring! Robert is a co-founder of the High Line, the elevated public park in New York City built on old freight rail tracks. Interviewees performed include Robert, Robert's mom and dad, staff at Friends of the High Line, Bronson Van Wyck, 2005 NYC Democratic mayoral candidate Gifford Miller, Director of the Department of City Planning Amanda Burden, and Florent Morellet. It was written by Steve Cosson with songs by Michael Friedman, and performed at the Highline Ballroom in spring of 2012 by Associate Artists Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Matt Dellapina, Dan Domingues, Daoud Heidami, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Kelly McCreary, Greg McFadden, Maria Elena Ramirez, Robbie Collier Sublett, and Sam Breslin Wright.Published June 27, 2012
You Better Sit Down Salon Nights, Part I
You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce recently had its world premiere at The Flea Theater in New York. After the performances of the show, the company presented a series of Salon Nights, in which artists created new monologues or songs from audience responses, online comments, and interviews. This podcast features some of that material. First up, is a new monologue by New Yorker scribe Michael Schulman, performed by Michael and his sister Alyssa Schulman, for which he interviewed their grandmother about a divorce that they didn't know that she had. Then Kamara Thomas sings a song that she wrote called "Onions" about a break-up. Lastly, Jason Grote (one of our R&D Group writers and a staff writer on Smash) and his writing partner Marisa Michelson present an original song crafted from online responses performed by Marisa.Published June 20, 2012
Mr. Burns: Behind the Scenes
Anne Wasburn's new play, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play is currently receiving its world premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Almost all of the episode recollection that the characters do in the first act is from a Civilians workshop in 2008, in which a group of Associate Artists led by Anne Washburn and Steve Cosson attempted to retell the Cape Feare episode of The Simpsons from memory. This podcast episode features some of the hilarious audio taken during that workshop. This episode also has an interview with playwright Anne Washburn, who discusses the role of the workshop in her creative process and her interest in this subject matter. Matt Maher, an actor in the original workshop and a Simpsons savant, then speaks about the exercises in the workshop and even tells us about his personal favorite Simpsons moments. Composer Michael Friedman talks about the music in the play and shares an excerpt of his post-Apocalyptic score of jumbled pop hits, as well as some of the music from the third act in which The Simpsons have spawned a whole new mythology and entertainment.
Check out the show's rave review in The Washington Post!Published June 13, 2012
How do we deal with the pressures of modern society? This week's episode, with some of our favorite interviews not included in our shows, 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 hot nude yoga; Daoud Heidami plays a New Jersey State Trooper; and Michael Esper sings "Lost Horizon" by Michael Friedman from our play Gone Missing.Published May 9, 2012
This Beautiful City
Our artists spent time in Colorado Springs (home to many national Evangelical Organizations, including Focus on the Family and New Life Church) 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. You are about to hear some of our favorite interviews that didn't make it into the play: Emily Ackerman playing an elderly pro-life protester, Colleen Werthmann playing an Anabaptist/thespian/activist, and Matt Dellapina as a Evangelical cadet. This episode also features a song from the show by Michael Friedman "End Times" with lyrics crafted from interviews, performed by Alison Weller.Published May 2, 2012
(I Am) Nobody's Lunch
How do we know what we know when everyone in power seems to be lying? (I Am) Nobody's Lunch was a Civilians investigation asking this question in the early 2000's, during the years of Homeland Security and George W. Bush's "truthiness." Emily Rossell plays a Columbia student who joined a cult, then Donnetta Lavinia Grays performs an interview with a Jamaican facialist. Aysan Celik plays a "remote viewer" who has a special technique for accessing truth. Lastly, Mike Madison plays a song by Michael Friedman inspired by interviews about this topic called "Super Secret Places."Published April 25, 2012
Canard, Canard, Goose
The Civilians' first show ever was Canard, Canard, Goose, created in 2001 to explore alleged geese abuse in the Adirondacks. The investigation, inspired by a rumor about the geese in the feature film Fly Away Home, brought up questions about home, truth, and how we know we know - all themes that were particularly relevant for these New York artists in the post-9/11 winter of 2001. This episode is the concert version of the entire show performed at Joe's Pub in 2011 for our tenth anniversary season performed by Aysan Celik, Matthew Dellapina, Greg McFadden, Jennifer R. Morris, Brandon Miller, Caitlin Miller, and Maria Elena Ramirez. Jenny and Aysan were members of the original cast in 2002. The play includes songs by Michael Friedman, and marks the first show for which he ever wrote songs.Published April 18, 2012
Occupy Wall Street, Part VII
From the Occupy Wall Street Journal to the raid on Zuccotti Park to Occupy Our Homes in East New York to the Lincoln Center Opera House, this week's episode continues to chronicle the events of Occupy Wall Street through performances of interviews with actual protesters. Jordan Mahome plays Jordan (no relation), Garrett Neergaard plays Michael, and Caitlin Miller plays an actress who has been to Occupy protests around New York City. The episode concludes with an audience sing-along recorded during the live performance at Joe's Pub led by Michael Friedman. The song is from his great-grandfather's rebel songbook.Published April 11, 2012
Occupy Wall Street, Part VI
These monologues crafted from interviews with Occupy Wall Street Protesters cover the raid on Zuccotti Park in November and how the movement changed in the weeks after it. Daoud Heidami and Caitlin Miller as Shawn and Laura, who are both Canadian and both librarians in the Zuccotti Park Library. Gretta Lee performs Carrie, discussing the start of #ConcreteIdeas. And Matt Dellapina performs a monologue from a life-long protester.Published April 4, 2012
Occupy Wall Street, Part V
More Zuccotti Park protesters are featured in this next episode crafted from interviews with Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. Kelly McCreary plays Karen, who discusses what it was like to spend time at Zuccotti Park just before and during the November raid. Quinlan Corbett plays Wezel, a farmer who drove to Zuccotti Park from North Carolina. Then Daniel Jenkins performs his interview with an anarchist named Richard, during which Dan Domingues makes a guest appearance as New York State Senator Tony Avella.
This episode contains language that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published March 28, 2012
Occupy Wall Street, Part IV
Following our first OWS cabaret in October of 2011, our artists continued to conduct interviews with Occupy protesters about people's reasons for demonstrating and what it has been like participating in the movement. This episode picks up where our October cabaret left off with monologues and a song crafted from interviews with demonstrators. This week features Garrett Neergaard and Dan Domingues as demonstrators Nelson and Dan (Dan and Nelson); Scott Drummond as a key OWS figure; and Michael Friedman's song "Consensus is Hard."
This episode contains language that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published March 21, 2012
A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part IX
Here is our final adult entertainment podcast episode! Special thanks to our interviewing team: Mia Barron, Laura Nix, Taylor Wilcox, and Matt Maher. In this episode, Emily Ackerman performs an interview with producer Lynn LeMay; Daoud Heidami plays performer Sebastian Silver; next is a particularly filthy round of Porn Charades in which one of our audience members at Joe's Pub tries to act out a porn title while the cast guesses; Nina Hellman plays director and producer Kelly Holland; Dael Orlandersmith as Pamela Peaks; and last up is Gibson Frazier as director, producer, and actor Eli Cross. This material is inspiring Pretty Filthy, a new musical by Bess Wohl and Michael Friedman.
This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published March 14, 2012
A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part VIII
What's it like to be a male adult entertainment performer? Find out in Michael Friedman's doo-wop-like song "Waiting for Wood" performed by Heath Calbert, Robbie Collier Sublett, and Andrew Kober. This week's episode also features interviews with power couple Elizabeth Starr and Tommy Gunn performed by Jennifer R. Morris and Brian Sgambati. Plus, we've got more audience participation in this one: audience answers to the question "What is the dirtiest thing you've ever done in real life?" These recordings are from a live performance at Joe's Pub in New York.
This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published March 7, 2012
A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part VII
Big adult entertainment stars are featured in this week's episode, including performer and director Avy Scott played by Emily Rossell, POV director Dan Silver played by Greg Hildreth, and performer/director Kylie Ireland performed by Colleen Werthmann. We've also got the winning titles for Pornified Broadway, in which we asked the live audience at Joe's Pub to write down pornified names of Billy Elliot, Phantom of the Opera, and Mary Poppins. Plus Emily Rossell sings "First Contract Girl" by Michael Friedman. All monologues are from interviews conducted by our artists for Pretty Filthy, a new musical by Bess Wohl and Michael Friedman.
This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published February 29, 2012
A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part VI
The legendary Axel Braun starts off this week's episode. Our interview with him inspired both this monologue, performed by Brad Heberlee, and the song "Squirting 101" in A Pretty Filthy Podcast: Part IV. This week also has Porn Charades, Round 2 (in which an audience member tries to act out a porn movie title and the cast and audience try to guess what it is), Kelly McCreary as Ms. Brown Sugar, and Lexy Fridell singing "ABC, 123" by Michael Friedman. The live performance took place at Joe's Pub. These interviews were conducted by our artists with real adult entertainment professionals for Pretty Filthy, a new musical by Bess Wohl and Michael Friedman.
This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published February 22, 2012
Crime, Part IV
Extraordinary crime is the specialty of this interviewee, who has seen it all in 35 years as a practicing forensic psychologist. He is also a professor of criminal psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Tony-nominee Maria Dizzia performs this interview for our podcast this week, discussing topics such as sexual murders, crime scene behaviors, and the implications of this work in the court room. This interview was conducted for Crime, USA, a new play by our Associate Artist Alix Lambert, who also interviewed FBI agents, gang members, pawn shop owners, and more.
This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published February 15, 2012
A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part V
Ever played porn charades? This week's podcast episode, back in adult entertainment, features a recording of a live game of porn charades in which one of our intrepid audience members was acting out a porn title and the cast members of the live evening at Joe's Pub were trying to guess. To get a visual sense of what was going on, here are some photos of the action. Plus this week, we have Aysan Celik as an adult entertainment performer and parent, Brandon Miller as male talent Bill Margold, and Michael Friedman singing his song "We Were Giants." This material is crafted from interviews with real people for the new musical Pretty Filthy, by Bess Wohl and Michael Friedman.
This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published February 8, 2012
Adult Entertainment 101: A Pretty Filthy Podcast, Part IV
Revealing some of the tricks of the trade and behind-the-scenes stories, this week's episode is back to our investigation about the adult entertainment industry. Associate Artist Alix Lambert performs an interview with adult entertainment performer Tabitha Stevens who discusses plastic surgery; Mia Barron plays an anonymous female talent; and Andrew Kober sings "Squirting 101" by Michael Friedman, a new song about female ejaculation from an interview with Axel Braun about his revolutionary techniques. This material is from interviews conducted by Civilians artists with adult entertainment performers, directors, agents, and more in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for Pretty Filthy, a new musical by Bess Wohl and Michael Friedman.
This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published February 1, 2012
Crime, Part III
A lawyer from the Department of Justice who specializes in organized crime cases discusses how he got into his field and some of the schemes he has come up against in the courtroom. He also talks about the reasons that people cooperate with the American legal system and the relationship between cooperation and culture. This interview is performed by Brandon Miller, and was recorded at Joe's Pub. Associate Artist Alix Lambert conducting this interview for her play Crime: USA, which is crafted from interviews with gang members, pawn shop owners, FBI agents, and more.Published January 25, 2012
A Pretty Filthy Episode, Part III
True Blood's Sam Trammell portrays adult entertainment super-star Evan Stone; legendary performer Ginger Lynn introduces the monologue from our interview with her, performed by actress Kathryn Hahn (Hung, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days); and Rutina Wesley (True Blood) and Peter Porte perform the song "Applesauce" from Pretty Filthy by Michael Friedman and Bess Wohl. This material is from interviews conducted by Civilians artists with adult entertainment performers, directors, agents, and more in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. This performance was recorded at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.
This episode contains material that is not appropriate for children of 18 years or younger.Published January 18, 2012
Atlantic Yards, Part III
This week's episode is from our interviews about Atlantic Yards, the complicated and controversial development in Brooklyn at the site where the new Barclay's stadium is currently being constructed. We hear from some of the key players on both sides of the fight, passionately discussing topics like gentrification, what makes a neighborhood, change, affordable housing, and more. This week features Jennifer R. Morris playing a member of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn; Heather Alicia Simms as Bertha Lewis, the head of ACORN; and Joaquin Torres as Saul Zarzana, a union member who supports the project; and Joaquin Torres leading the cast in "The Neighborhood Song" by Michael Friedman.Published January 11, 2012
Crime, Part II
Ever wonder what it's like to be in the FBI? This week features performances of interviews with two retired FBI agents conducted by our Associate Artist, Alix Lambert, for her play Crime: USA. The agents talk about how they entered their line of work, being a female agent, the mafia, what their jobs are like on a day-to-day basis, plus other stories and observations about serving on the force. The episode is performed by Maria Dizzia and Matthew Maher, and was recorded at Joe's Pub. The interviews were conducted as part of Alix Lambert's investigation into crime in America, which has included interviews with gang members, pawn shop owners, FBI agents, and more.Published January 4, 2012
A Pretty Filthy Episode, Part II
Back in the world of adult entertainment, we have another episode crafted from our interviews with professionals in the San Fernando Valley and Las Vegas. This week features Sam Shelton as a female performer, Steven Weber as male talent Jack Lawrence, and Michael Friedman singing his song "These Girls," which is from an interview with an adult entertainment agent. This performance was recorded at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles.Published December 28, 2011
Atlantic Yards, Part II
We're back home in Brooklyn this week with our investigation into Atlantic Yards, which is the largest development project in Brooklyn's history where the new Nets basketball stadium is currently being built. Atlantic Yards is also subject of our show In the Footprint, which will be at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia in a few weeks! Billy Eugene Jones plays a homeowner who lived in the footprint talking about the process of negotiating with Forest City Ratner (the developer). Marsha Stephanie Blake plays City Council Member Letitia James, an Atlantic Yards opponant. Sam Breslin Wright plays Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, and Billy Eugene Jones returns to sing "The Circle Song" by Michael Friedman. Enjoy!Published December 21, 2011
Crime, Part I
This next episode features the performance of an interview conducted for Crime, USA: a new play exploring issues related to crime in America. The project illuminates the voices of lawyers, FBI agents, criminals, gang members, pawn shop owners, and more. This week, actor Frank Harts plays Antonio, a former gang member, who talks about about his first fight when he was in first grade, the first time he carried a gun, his experiences as a gang member, and his life outside the gang. This project is helmed by our Associate Artist Alix Lambert, who conducted interviews, wrote, and directed the piece performed at Joe's Pub last year.
This episode contains some language and content that may not be appropriate for children under the age of 18.Published December 14, 2011
Occupy Wall Street, Part III
This week's podcast episode closes out our three-part series about Occupy Wall Street. This episode features Emily Ackerman as Michele Kelley, an experienced activist; Billy Eugene Jones and Jordan Mahome as Omar Omes and Michael Curtis, two teamsters; and a group of young protesters played by Matt Dellapina, Kelly McCreary, Dan Domingues, and Matt Stadelmann. Michael Friedman then leads the cast in a sing-along of "Dump the Bosses Off Your Back" by John Brill, written in 1911 (also performed at Occupy Broadway last week). Click here for more about the live performance, and read about the project in The Faster Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
Published December 7, 2011
Occupy Wall Street, Part II
This week, we are back at Zuccotti Park with the protesters of Occupy Wall Street. This episode, crafted from interviews our artists conducted with the demonstrators last month, features Greg McFadden as Richard O’Mara, a member of the Tea Party; Emily Rossell as Maddy Enlow, a young woman; Dan Domingues and Colleen Werthmann as Chris Carter and Lily Johnston, who are on OWS’s medical team; and Michael Friedman singing his song, "The Signs." He composed the music and wrote the lyrics from signs that he saw and a few things he overheard in the Park. Click here for more about the live performance, and read about the project in The Faster Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
Published November 30, 2011
Occupy Wall Street, Part I
Last month, our artists were down at Zuccotti Park conducting interviews with the demonstrators. They talked about what it was like to participate in the first few weeks of this historic movement and their reasons for protesting. This episode features Matt Stadelmann as Robert Grote who was on the Brooklyn Bridge during the mass arrests; Matt Dellapina as Buddy Bolton, an out-of-work animator; Alix Lambert at Charlotte Souza, a college-aged protester; Jordan Mahome as Preach of Occupy the Hood; and Kelly McCreary singing "I Have Not Slept" by Michael Friedman. Click here for more about the live performance, and read about the project in The Faster Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
Published November 23, 2011
A Pretty Filthy Episode
A team of Civilians' artists conducted interviews with performers, directors, agents, producers, and more in Las Vegas and the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. This episode features performances of interviews with several adult entertainment stars discussing the do's, don'ts, and won'ts of shaping a career, how they got into the business, and more. Mia Barron plays Katie Graham, Emily Swallow plays another female performer, Paul Provenza and Bess Wohl play one of porn's on and off-screen leading couples, and finally Emily Swallow sings "Beautiful" by Michael Friedman. These interviews are the inspiration for our new fictional musical Pretty Filthy, book by Bess Wohl, music by Michael Friedman. The material in this podcast was recorded in a live performance at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre.
This episode contains sexually explicit material and is not appropriate for children under the age of 18.Published November 16, 2011
Episode 1: Atlantic Yards
We are launching our podcast series with some material very dear to us. This episode is about the largest development project in Brooklyn's history at the site where the new Brooklyn Nets (formerly the New Jersey Nets) stadium is being built. Our artists started collecting interviews in 2008, and we have been talking to residents long-term and new, local business owners, activists, community leaders, and politicians about how these changes are affecting this area of Brooklyn.
Featuring: Aysan Celik as a blogger, Colleen Werthmann as activist Patti Hagan, White People written by Michael Friedman and performed by Marsha Stephanie Blake, A scene at Levels Barbershop performed by Billy Eugene Jones and Marsha Stephanie Blake, and The Four Brooklyns written and performed by Michael FriedmanPublished November 9, 2011
Let Me Ascertain You: The Podcast is a bi-weekly podcast series of performances crafted from interviews with real people about current and controversial topics, including Occupy Wall Street, Atlantic Yards, the adult entertainment industry, Evangelical Christianity, and more. The podcast and cabarets illuminate surprising, unusual, funny, and thought-provoking stories collected from interviews with a wide range of different people. The series includes songs and scenes from past plays and current projects, plus sneak peaks at works in development. All material is taken from the live performances, many at of which are at Joe's Pub in New York.