WTF Preview: “You better sit down: tales from my parents divorce” by the Civilians on Nikos Stage Aug 16-21

Update 8.22: For a review of The Civilians show at Williamstown Theatre Festival, use this (link.)

From our News Desk,August 9, 2011: Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Artistic Director Jenny Gersten announced today the full cast and creative team for The Civilians’ You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents’ divorce. The original work written, directed, and performed by members of the New York investigative theatre company The Civilians, will run August 16, 2011 through August 21, 2011, opening August 17, 2011 at 7:30 p.m., a one-week only engagement!

“In terms of difficult subjects, there is The Civilians and “You Better Sit Down: tales from my parent’s divorce”. It’s another topic that people don’t necessarily want to engage in, but I think it is a very entertaining and very lively examination of America’s most substantial social phenomenon.” – Jenny Gersten, in her Berkshire on Stage interview before the season began.

Conceived by Jennifer R. Morris and directed by Anne Kauffman, You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents divorce features writing by Anne Kauffman, Matthew Maher, Caitlin Miller, Jennifer R. Morris, Janice Paran, and Robbie Collier Sublett based on interviews with their own parents. The cast at WTF will include The Civilians members Matthew Maher, Caitlin Miller, Jennifer R. Morris, and Robbie Collier Sublett. There will be an interactive talkback with the cast following every performance, not only to discuss The Civiliains’ unique way of making theater, but provide an opportunity for WTF’s audience members to share their own tales.

Crafted from interviews between the cast and their own parents, You Better Sit Down is an alternately heartbreaking and hilarious look at the stories behind the statistics of one of the most prominent social phenomena of our time. Shockingly candid, these delicate parent-child conversations, with the actors playing their own parents, yield unique insights into falling in love, falling out of love, and rebuilding a life after the complex experience of dividing a family.

The creative team includes Mimi Lien (Scenic Design), Sarah Beers (Costume Design), Ben Stanton (Lighting Design), and Leah Geipe (Sound Design). Megan Schwartz Dickert is the Production Stage Manager.

In a very special collaboration with WTF’s training program, The Civilians are in residence at WTF, with members Robbie Collier Sublett and Jennifer R. Morris offering a workshop for apprentices to engage in their theater-making approach. These emerging artists will then join The Civilians in the post-show talkback series in a unique opportunity to take the stage.

The Civilians will also be working with The Huffington Post online to create a “Museum of Contested Objects”, an online forum where readers and patrons of WTF can post their own stories, pictures, and videos associated with their personal experience with divorce. An interactive component will be introduced via the “Museum of Contested Objects” for participants visiting WTF to see You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents’ divorce to further involve them in the piece.

This production of You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents’ divorce is supported by the Tiger Baron Foundation.


Tickets for the 2011 Williamstown Theatre Festival season are on sale now and can be purchased online at, by phone at (413) 597-3400 or in person at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, 1000 Main St. (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 01267. New curtain times for all Main Stage and Nikos Stage shows are as follows: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 p.m. For more schedule details, visit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s