Steve Cosson is the founding Artistic Director of the acclaimed investigative theater company The Civilians. With The Civilians, Steve has been the co-writer/director of This Beautiful City (Drama Desk, Drama-League, Lortel Nominations); co-writer/director of Paris Commune; writer/director of the long running hit Gone Missing (New York Times’ Top 10 of 2007 list.); writer/director (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch, (2006 Fringe First award). He has directed at theaters including Hartford Stage, Soho Rep, Williamstown, O’Neill Conference, New Harmony Project and others. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia and a MacDowell Fellow. His plays have been published by Oberon Books in the UK, Dramatists Play Service, and an anthology published by Playscripts Inc. Mr. Cosson is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Michael Friedman is a founding associate artist of The Civilians, and has been the composer and lyricist for the company’s This Beautiful City, [I Am] Nobody’s Lunch, Gone Missing, and Canard, Canard, Goose? He also wrote music and lyrics for Saved, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, In the Bubble, The Brand New Kid, God’s Ear, and The Blue Demon. His music has also been heard at theaters across the country and in the UK. Film/TV work includes On Common Ground, Beloved, Emile Norman: By His Own Design, Floaters and Affair Game. He is a recipient of a MacDowell fellowship and a Princeton University Hodder Fellowship. He received a 2007 Obie Award for sustained excellence. Michael Friedman earned his Bachelor’s degree at Harvard University where he majored in History and Literature.
The joint appointments of Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman with PEI and with the Atelier Program at Princeton's Lewis Center for the Arts allowed for an innovative collaboration involving theatre, the creative arts and environmental sciences. With input from Princeton researchers and students and incorporating the talents of experienced theater professionals, Cosson and Friedman created an interpretive theatrical drama with music —The Great Immensity— that examined the current environmental crisis including themes of climate change and global sustainability.
A spring Atelier course, cross listed with the Program in Environmental Studies offered an interdisciplinary mix of undergraduates an opportunity to help shape elements of The Great Immensity production. While at Princeton, Cossen and Friedman offered a three-part dinner series with guest speakers with discussions centering around various themes explored in the context of their creative collaboration. At an evening event for Princeton residents that was jointly sponsored by PEI and D&R Greenway, the Barron visitors discussed the dramatic and technical challenges encountered in producing an expository drama involving environemtnal themes.