WELCOME TO THE GREAT IMMENSITY ONLINE!

We hope that you’ll explore the site, watch our original videos, participate in conversations by commenting, and be inspired by the incredible stories that we’re finding about artists, scientists, activists, and more who are thinking creatively to tackle the big issues of climate change and other environmental crises.

THE GREAT IMMENSITY IS A PLAY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT.

The characters from the play are here to share with you the latest in environmental art, science, and action, and to demonstrate how people around the world are having a positive impact on the big issues that we are facing. Now is the time to get involved in shaping the next fifty or one hundred years of life on this planet. Click HERE to learn more and find out what you can do!


PLOT

In a thrilling and timely production, presented in association with the celebrated investigative theater company, The Civilians, The Great Immensity is a continent-hopping thriller following a woman, Phyllis, as she pursues someone close to her who disappeared from a tropical island while on an assignment for a nature show.
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Through her search, Phyllis uncovers a mysterious plot surrounding the upcoming international climate summit in Auckland. As the days count down to the Auckland Summit, Phyllis must decipher the plan and possibly stop it in time. With arresting projected film and video and a wide-ranging score of songs, The Great Immensity is a highly theatrical look into one of the most vital questions of our time: how can we change ourselves and our society in time to solve the enormous environmental challenges that confront us?

PROCESS

The Great Immensity explores the environmental crisis drawing upon research and interviews conducted in two distinct locations: Barro Colorado Island (BCI) in the Panama Canal and the city of Churchill in arctic Canada.
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Both of these extraordinary places have natural ecosystems already deeply affected by the shift in climate, centers of scientific research, and relationships to global shipping: the Panama Canal and the Port of Churchill. The play takes its name from an enormous Chinese Panamax ship that the authors observed crossing the Panama Canal.


ABOUT THE CIVILIANS

The Civilians is the center for investigative theater based in New York, creating original work crafted from investigations into the most vital topics of today.
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Led by founding Artistic Director Steve Cosson, The Civilians is the center for investigative theater, supporting the development and production of new theater from creative inquiries into the most vital questions of the present. The Civilians expands the scope of American theater and champions innovation by tackling complex and under-explored subjects, enabling artists to enrich their processes through in-depth interaction with their topics, diversifying artistic voices and audiences, and integrating theater with new media. Development often involves community residencies, travel, face-to-face conversations, and extensive research. This high degree of engagement with the public continues into production, inviting the audience to be active participants through ongoing channels of dialogue. The company provides a home for a disciplinary group of artists and partners with regional theater and arts presenters in New York, nationally, and internationally.

With The Great Immensity, The Civilians launches The Next Forever Initiative, an ongoing commitment to produce work with an environmental conscience.


CREATIVE TEAM

Written and directed by: Steve Cosson
Music and lyrics by: Michael Friedman
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Dramaturgs: Janice Paran, Jocelyn Clarke, Rachel Lerner-Ley

The Civilians gratefully acknowledges The Foundry Theatre for supporting the initial phase of this project, as well as the McCarter Artists Retreat, the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Georgetown University and the Davis Performing Arts Center, and Arena Stage.


MEDIA CREDITS

Media Producer: Alix Lambert
Web Author: Colleen Werthmann
Media Consultant: Sherri Wasserman
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Web Design: CW&T
Graphic Design: Damon Locks

PARTNERS ON THE GREAT IMMENSITY

Princeton Atelier in the Lewis Center for the Arts in collaboration with the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Funding for THE GREAT IMMENSITY has been made possible by the Puffin Foundation

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1010974. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

 

  • Featured Video

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    "The Next Forever" is a song from The Great Immensity. The footage was taken on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal by videographer David Ford. Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman.
     
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