The world premiere of The Great Immensity will take place at Kansas City Repertory Theatre's Copaken Stage, February 17-March 18. The Great Immensity is presented by Kansas City Rep and The Civilians, the center for investigative theatre led by Founding Artistic Director Steve Cosson.
Written and directed by Cosson with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, The Great Immensity is described as "a fast-paced exploration of the current state of the environment and the natural ecosystems that have been impacted by the shift in climate. Woven throughout the story about two sisters' global journey are interviews with individuals from all walks of life who are directly affected by climate change, including botanists, paleontologists, climatologists, indigenous community leaders, polar bear tour guides, trappers and others."
For more information about The Great Immensity and The Civilians please visit: http://www.thecivilians.org/current/the_great_immensity.html
The play takes its name, The Great Immensity, from an enormous Chinese Panamax ship that Cosson and Friedman observed crossing the Panama Canal during a research trip to Barro Colorado Island, Panama, which is located in the middle of the canal. Additional research for the play was conducted in Churchill, Canada, the only Arctic port in the Western Hemisphere. A special 18-minute version of The Great Immensity, featuring three of the show's original songs, will be presented live on February 29, 11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. PST, at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit clearinghouse of free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers.
The Civilians received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to create extensive public educational programming and materials that will serve as a model for how theatre can increase public awareness, knowledge and engagement with important science-related societal issues. The NSF is the federal agency that funds science, engineering and mathematics research and education nationwide. This grant is one of only a few such awards that the NSF has ever given to a theatre company.
The Civilians is the center for investigative theatre, supporting the development and production of new theatre from creative inquiries into the most vital questions of the present. Since its founding in 2001, The Civilians has supported the creation of thirteen original shows produced at numerous theatres in New York and across the country. Works by the company have been produced at regional theatres, arts presenters and festivals in over 40 cities nationally and internationally. The Civilians received an Obie in 2004 and the company's work has been included in top ten lists in the New York Times, The New Yorker and Time Out New York.
Cosson, writer and director of The Great Immensity, also directed the Rep's much-admired 2010 production of Bus Stop. His many theatre credits include: A Devil at Noon (Humana Festival and O'Neill Conference), the coming premiere of Mr. Burns at Woolly Mammoth, In the Footprint, This Beautiful City, Paris Commune and Gone Missing. Friedman, who wrote the music and lyrics for The Great Immensity, also wrote the music and lyrics for Saved (at the Rep in 2010), the Broadway production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best New Musical); and, with The Civilians, In the Footprint, This Beautiful City, I am Nobody's Lunch, Gone Missing and Canard, Canard, Goose?
The cast of The Great Immensity includes Molly Carden as Julie (NY: P.S. It's Poison, The Bird and the Two-ton Weight, Gentrifusion); Todd Cerveris as Rob/Ship Spotter/Medvedkov (Bdwy: South Pacific, Twentieth Century; National Tours: Spring Awakening, Twelve Angry Men); Dan Domingues as Marcos/Charlie (Off-Bdwy: The Cherry Orchard, His Greatness, King Lear); Rebecca Hart as Phyllis/Polly (NY: Dead City, Vendetta Chrome, Mr. Burns); Eddie Korbich as Harold/Pete (Bdwy: The Little Mermaid, Face the Music, The Drowsy Chaperon, Wicked); Meghan McGeary as Allie/Emmanuelle (Off-Bdwy: The Blue Flower, A Christmas Carol).