Since its founding in 2001, The Civilians—a center for investigative theater led by artistic director Steve Cosson—has supported the creation of 13 original shows; the company received an Obie Award in 2004. The Civilians champions innovation by tackling complex and underexplored subjects, enabling artists to enrich their process via in-depth interaction with their topics, diversifying artistic voices and audiences, and integrating theater with new media. Development often involves community residencies, travel, and extensive research. This high degree of engagement with the public continues into production; The Civilians encourages audiences to be active participants through ongoing channels of dialogue. The company provides a home for a multidisciplinary group of artists and partners with regional theater and arts presenters in New York, nationally, and internationally.