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Do you think we could have another movement of the size of the Paris Commune again? Let us know what you thought about Paris Commune by commenting here!


  1. The play showed how nearly inevitable it is for attempted revolutions to fail. If they aren’t crushed, like the Paris Commune, they betray their ostensible principles. like all the Communist revolutions cited in the play’s history section.
    “Do you think we could have another movement of the size of the Paris Commune again?” Who’s we? The U.S. would have to become much less stable than we are for it to be possible. Certainly the Occupy movement won’t do it. Other countries may be more susceptible to the overthrow of democracy.
    I think all the performers did a very fine job singing and acting, and it made for an informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking evening of theater.

  2. Perhaps because this was the first performance, but virtually all of the actors “pushed” what I assumed was supposed to have been a conversational, ‘jes folks” tone until it became virtually unlistenable. The material is interesting (how could it not be?) but came across as a shapeless, undifferentiated mess: each moment was pretty much the same as any other.

    I realized, after Bob’s intro, that this was the same company that presented “You Better Sit Down” — which was the reason I didn’t include “Paris Commune” in my subscription this season: thinking about both, there’s a kind of self-satisfied smugness that suffused both productions — smart-ass college sophomores having a go at Really Important Topics.

  3. Paris Commune–while an interesting story and well scripted it was a hot mess of staging. People seemed to be running around the stage willy nilly. The lighting was sometimes on the actor sometimes not and the lighting from below made many of them appear to be ready for their senior discounts. The lights on the back of the set were so dim, that you couldn’t tell what was there before it moved onto something else. The story was good. The acting very good in some places. The use of a story teller, excellent, but perhaps it should have stayed with the telling of just the story and not the needless, distracting prancing around.

  4. I had lots of fun and learned a little history! And, no, I don’t see enough energy in the American population at large to do anything so daring. Remember what happened to the Black Panthers? Occupy Wall Street? We have gradually been transformed into consumers and that’s what we struggle to maintain. Real change is scary to us.

  5. The power of The Paris Commune derives, I think, from its extraordinary text–which combines archival and “old” material with a more modern way of organizing the material and giving it voice and resonance—a bit ironic, a bit decentralized, a bit self-referential. Add to that the staging, and you have a remarkable performance. These literary devices kept the potential of melodrama and preaching at bay. The high point, for me, of this blending was the scene of the “Internationale.” I kept wondering if we, the audience, will be asked to join in–but more so, how would we be asked to participate and how would I react. Well, I joined, a lump in my throat.
    This is marvelous theater. I will see all future productions of The Civilians! Thanks!

  6. Felt too much like a history lesson and not much like a play. Felt data was shouted out (dates and events) at such a rapid pace that it lost what it was trying to do – inform the audience about the events leading up to the Commune. Also cramming in the history of labor and unions added to already fact crammed events. For me, it was an assault on the ears and brain with the sustained level of shouting in the second half of the play. One the other hand, it’s a fascinating period in French history but felt it could have been conveyed in a more interesting and creative way. I give credit for taking on such an inspiring piece of history especially in the times in which we are living. Thank you for that!

  7. My wife and I were disappointed in the play [not the message]. It didn’t feel very dramatic, yet it did feel very didactic. Also, the dates, etc that were flashed on the screen were hard to read [maybe simply a different color would have worked better]. Not that one should compare, but we saw Marie Antoinette at the ART [on much the same topic] last week and found it to be much more entertaining, and better theater.

  8. Monique DlugySeptember 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Le contenu historique était parfait , mais la représentation théâtrale était grotesque, incompréhensible pour un francais non averti a cet
    Événement del’histoire de France et encore plus pour un Américain.
    Ce brouhaha , ce mélange des genres était intolérable et inaudible .
    Dommage d’avoir sacrifie et ridiculise d’aussi belles idées !!!


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