Beginning in October, the innovative theatrical troupe led by artistic director Steven Cosson will conduct interviews with residents, business owners, politicians and civic organizations in Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Fort Greene, Boreum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Crown Heights, Park Slope and Prospect Heights.
Of specific interest will be the Atlantic Yards project and its effects on Brooklyn's diverse communities. Part of the project will include labs that unite the Civilians with members of the community to explore the changing face of Brooklyn.
Participating in the labs will be playwright Lucy Thurber, dance company Urban Bush Women and a musical lab led by Civilians' composer Michael Friedman.
The Civilians will present the results of their research in a series of public performances at the Brooklyn Lyceum Dec. 4-7. The developing work will incorporate local residents with actors, musicians and dancers. Following the developmental presentations, the Civilians will hone Brooklyn at Eye Level into a full-length theatrical piece that will debut in the fall of 2009.
Brooklyn at Eye Level follows the pattern of the Civilians' documentary theatre piece, This Beautiful City, which explores the American evangelical Christian movement in Colorado Springs, C.O. That work is slated to make a New York debut at the Vineyard Theatre in 2009. The Civilians have also presented the extended Off-Broadway production of Gone Missing and Paris Commune as part of the Public Theater's Public LAB series.