Sept 20 - 23, 2012

In 1871, working-class Parisians took to the streets and overthrew the French government, declaring their city autonomous and launching an effort to radically reinvent society. The Civilians brings these explosive events to life in this new musical play. Using found texts and original songs from this extraordinary period, Paris Commune tells the story of Europe’s first socialist revolution, bringing alive the idealism, elation and eventual tragic downfall of this uprising. Boston audiences have the special opportunity to see this world premiere by The Civilians, who were part of ArtsEmerson’s first and second seasons with In The Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards and You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents’ Divorce before it heads to New York. Click here to listen to songs from this new musical event.

"At one point in “Paris Commune,” a defiant shout issues from a formerly beleaguered French baker who has been swept up in revolutionary fervor: “Let Paris write a fresh page in the book of history!"—The Boston Globe

“The Civilians have carved out their own aesthetic niche.” -The New York Times

Through graceful trapeze stunts, improbable juggling tricks, breathtaking acrobatics and quirky antics, these performers explore the courage and limitations of our own humanity — you simply can’t miss it!


About The Civilians

This playfully clever Brooklyn-based theatre company has toured extensively with presentations in over 40 cities nationally and internationally. The Civilians has also received Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Drama Guild nominations.


Huey Calhoun Adam Pascal
Felicia Farrell Montego Glover
Gator Derrick Baskin
Delray Jones J. Bernard Calloway
Bobby James Monroe Iglehart
Gladys Calhoun Nancy Opel
Mr. Simmons John Jellison


Book an Lyrics Adam Pascal
Music and Lyrics Montego Glover
Director Derrick Baskin
Choreographer J. Bernard Calloway
Set Designer James Monroe Iglehart
Costume Designer Nancy Opel
Lighting Designer Howell Binkley


  • Location: Emerson/Paramount Center Mainstage
  • Written By: Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman
  • Series: Pioneer
  • Ages: 14+
  • Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission