The Civilians + Ethan Lipton
School Project

September 25 – October 4, 2017

Made possible, in part, with support from the Department of Theater Studies & the Program in Education at Duke University.

This fall, Duke Performances hosts Obie-winning writer Ethan Lipton (The Outer Space) and The Civilians’ artistic director Steve Cosson as they continue to develop a new play, School Project. A timely examination of the debate over school choice and the validity of the charter school movement, School Project is based on extensive interviews with North Carolina students and parents, lawmakers and lobbyists, advocates and analysts.

School Project continues The Civilians’ commitment to telling stories that otherwise go unheard, with source materials gathered through a rigorous process of research and fieldwork, including interviews with everyday people — civilians — whose lives are directly impacted by the issues under consideration. Past examples of this democratic approach to the creation of theater include: Another Word For Beauty (2016), based on interviews with inmates and guards in a Bogota prison; In The Footprint (2010), based on interviews with residents displaced by, and with politicians and developers involved in, the largest development project in NYC history; and This Beautiful City (2007), based on interviews with residents of Colorado Springs, the capital of the Evangelical movement in America.

During their Fall 2017 visit to Duke — their third in a series of four residency visits between 2016 and 2018 — The Civilians will visit Duke classes across a range of disciplines, including Theater Studies, Education, and Public Policy, in addition to hosting a public conversation on the topic of school choice. The company will give a culminating workshop reading at Motorco Music Hall in downtown Durham on Wednesday, October 4, offering insight into both their creative process and one of the country’s most pressing political issues.