The Great Immensity

The Great Immensity

By Steve Cosson & Michael Friedman

Directed by Steve Cosson

Originally produced at The Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Kansas City/MO.

February 17, 2012 through March 18, 2012

About the Premiere Production

"Obie Award-winning theatre innovators The Civilians are celebrated for their endlessly inventive and entertaining spin on the most pressing issues of our time. They now bring their provocative and ground-breaking approach to storytelling to Kansas City Repertory Theatre for the world premiere of The Great Immensity, an original musical that is part mystery and part morality tale. While searching for her missing sister, a young woman embarks on a harrowing international search that takes her from the tropics of Panama to the Canadian Arctic. Throughout the story, we meet an assortment of people – both fictional and real – whose lives have been deeply affected by the realities of climate change, the unlikely topic for this unconventional new musical. Woven into the story are authentic interviews with top scientists, indigenous community leaders, tour guides and others who have been touched by the reality of global climate change, deforestation and endangered ecosystems. "

Artistic Statement

The Great Immensity is a new kind of project for Kansas City Repertory Theatre, in that the story is fictional yet based on extensive research with climatologists and indigenous people affected by climate change. The work is created by The Civilians, whose mission is to craft plays from non-fiction source materials: they interview everyone involved and make a musical out of it. This whimsical approach takes what could be a very dry subject and transforms it into a really fun theatrical adventure. Lecturing people about climate change doesn’t work, so by telling stories about it, in ways that are truly inventive, we can start a dialogue and a conversation that stories can do better than statistics.

Grant Statement

The 2011 Edgerton Award makes it possible for the Rep to add a critical extra week of rehearsals to our production of The Great Immensity. New works, especially musicals, are exciting and challenging, so additional rehearsals directly affect the creative process and greatly enhance the quality of the finished production.

Director: Steve Cosson

Score: Michael Friedman

Additional Funders

National Science Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts

Subsequent Productions

The Public Theater

New York, NY, April 11, 2014 - May 1, 2014



The Civilians' THE GREAT IMMENSITY Begins Performances 4/11 at Public Theater

March 28, 2014


Amusing encounter led to The Great Immensity, a play about global warming

Kansas City Star

February 18, 2012