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Sunday, September 18, 2016

In Context: The Undertaking

Two actors investigate the twilight between being and non-being in this new work by acclaimed Brooklyn theater company The Civilians, part of the Brooklyn-Paris Exchange. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #The Undertaking.

Program Notes


Writer/director Steve Cosson interviews poet Eileen Myles as part of The Civilians’ process for Rimbaud in New York last spring.

Our Bodies, Ourselves (The New Yorker)
A macabrely entertaining and incisive look at the modern death industry from The New Yorker.

Jessica Mitrani Studio
Explore the world of multidisciplinary artist and project collaborator Jessica Mitrani.

Learn more about the inaugural year of this Festival highlight.

Author Simon Critchley talks his own and other philosophers’ views on death and the afterlife.

Now your turn...

What did you think? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #TheUndertaking.


  1. Smart, moving, funny, theatrical. An extraordinary Undertaking, indeed,

  2. The photo promoting this show suggested a much more sober production. The actual set and costuming, in my opinion, trivialized the significant content of the writing. Well written, but poorly conceived. When the writer is also the director, there's no one on hand to say "no."

  3. Take such a compelling topic as this (Is there any more compelling?), slather on some technology, (i-phones, lap top, video) and a "realistic" chatty modern living room presentation of the often engaging material, and what is left, in my opinion, is a self-consciously "cool" looking production, that more often looked like a lecture on death and dying that morphed into a TV sit-com format. Not that the topic needs darkness or heavy-handed emotional extremes or theatrical fireworks, on the contrary, but there was just too much whimsy and not nearly enough compelling theatre.