The Civilians Will Investigate Porn Industry for New Musical

By Kenneth Jones
04 Aug 2009

The Civilians, the award-winning investigative theatre company that focuses on current events or contemporary subjects to create original productions, is working on a new musical about pornography.



The Civilians' artistic director Steve Cosson (This Beautiful City), composer Michael Friedman (This Beautiful City, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and book writer Bess Wohl (Cats Talk Back) "have begun investigations in Los Angeles," according to Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, which has commissioned the new show. GTG presented The Civilians' This Beautiful City at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2008.

According to GTG, "Focusing on the San Fernando Valley, the pornographic epicenter of the world, this new musical will explore the real life stories of the people who work in California's pornography industry. Cosson, Friedman and Wohl, along with a supporting team of artists and interviewers, are contacting a wide variety of individuals including porn stars, niche market performers, directors, producers, crew and distributors."

The untitled musical is being developed under Center Theatre Group's New Play Production Program (NPPP), billed as "a unique and comprehensive new initiative which ensures that a variety of vibrant new theatrical work is produced on CTG's three stages the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theatre."

No timeline for a production has been announced.

For more information visit www.thecivilians.org/pornmusical.

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Founded in 2001 by artistic director Steven Cosson, The Civilians is a company dedicated to creating investigative theatre. The Civilians' work has been produced Off-Broadway, nationally and internationally, garnering critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations. "Working with a dynamic combination of journalism and art, The Civilians creates theatrical events that engage with the most vital questions of the present."

Examples of recent work include This Beautiful City, seen Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in 2009 and the company's long-running hit Gone Missing, which toured the U.S. and the U.K. for several years culminating in a seven-month Off-Broadway run at the Barrow Street Theater.

The Civilians are deeply involved in their newest work, Brooklyn at Eye Level, a play with music that investigates the contentious Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, and The Great Immensity, about the environmental crisis and climate change.