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The award-winning Civilians theater company is producing a new musical about porn, inspired by real-life stories.
The award-winning Civilians theater company is producing a new musical about porn, inspired by real-life stories.
304 backers pledged $28,892 to help bring this project to life.

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Pretty Filthy:  A new musical about the “other” Hollywood! project video thumbnail
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Pretty Filthy is a musical that dares to go where no other major musical has gone before: the San Fernando Valley, world capital of porn. Here on the other side of the Hollywood sign, they’re not pretending to have love scenes--they’re doing it for real. The creators of Pretty Filthy spent months visiting porn sets and interviewing the real people of porn. What we learned changed our lives—and now we want to change yours. This labor of love (and sex) has been years in the making—YOUR support will help bring this bold new musical to the stage!

A SHOWBIZ MUSICAL ABOUT PORN?

The story of Pretty Filthy began several years ago. Members of our company, The Civilians, found themselves talking about some of their favorite musicals—Gypsy, Cabaret, A Chorus Line. What do these classics have in common? They’re shows about performers— lives on the other side of the bright lights. We asked ourselves: “Well, what type of entertainer has yet to have their own major musical?” The obvious answer was the “adult” entertainer. The porn star on the other side of your screen. 

But the hard question was—what would it take for us to do this right? We didn’t want to just write about our pre-conceived ideas. So we left New York for the Valley, and over several months we interviewed hundreds of porn professionals. We visited sets, visited porn stars at home, ate sushi with porn stars. We listened. We learned. And the extraordinary people we met proved our hunch was right—porn is the next big show-biz musical. In a sense, porn is a mirror of our society (and a mirror that shows everything from the sublime to the totally trashy). But most importantly, these characters need to be heard on stage. (And they need to sing.)

A TRUE LABOR OF LOVE.

The show’s creative team, composer Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Fortress of Solitude), writer Bess Wohl (American Hero), and director Steve Cosson (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play), have been crafting this musical for the past several years. Taking inspiration from the extensive research, the writing team developed the script. Along the way, we tried out songs and material in front of small audiences, much of which you can listen to on The Civilians podcast here.  (For quick reference: episodes 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 58, 65)

The Civilians are thrilled to be producing the culmination of all these efforts with the premiere production of Pretty Filthy. The show will be presented in a beautiful hundred-year-old Broadway style theater in New York City’s historic Lower East Side. We’ve put together a cast featuring some of the brightest stars of musical theater, and a dream design team of Broadway visionaries. We are primed to launch, but we are doing this ourselves without the support of a larger institutional theater. And that makes this campaign all the more critical to our ability to fully realize the potential of Pretty Filthy.

Composer Michael Friedman and Writer Bess Wohl
Composer Michael Friedman and Writer Bess Wohl

WE CAN'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOU.

This is by far the most ambitious project The Civilians has undertaken to date. We are producing on a bigger scale than ever before, and taking this risk because we believe so completely in Pretty Filthy. By supporting this project, you are an integral part of this brilliant team. Every contribution, no matter the amount, is vitally important and will go directly towards supporting this non-profit production. Your help also enables us to host a series of discussions with several leading adult entertainers such as the legendary Nina Hartley. We invite you to take this leap with us and boldly go where no major musical has ever gone before.

Research in the valley
Research in the valley

THE PERKS

To thank you for joining us on this Pretty Filthy journey, we’ve put together some exclusive awards—benefits and experiences that are only available through this Kickstarter campaign. You can help bring the legendary Nina Hartley to New York, and join her for a pre-show dinner, a backstage tour, and you’ll sit next to her during the show! Other rewards are one-on-one script development sessions with writer Bess Wohl and composer Michael Friedman. A special, behind-the-scenes download of photos and excerpts from our investigation. Free advice by phone from a porn star! And for the very brave, you can make your own movie with multiple AVN Award-winning director Eli Cross! We’re delighted to be able to share these unique experiences with you. And we’re immensely grateful to our friends in the adult industry for helping to make it all possible. Thank you! 

Please note that some restrictions to ticket-related perks apply:

-Tickets are for specific dates during the performance run. Midweek preview performances refer to the following dates: 2/1/15, 2/3/15, 2/4/15, 2/5/15. Any preview performances refer to the following dates: 1/31/15, 2/1/15, 2/3/15, 2/4/15, 2/5/15, 2/6/15, 2/7/15, 2/8/15.
-All tickets must be redeemed and booked by Friday, January 16, 2015.  We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate specific requests after this time.
-Please specify if there any special accessibility needs in advance.
-The show is suitable for adults only.

MORE ABOUT PRETTY FILTHY

Originally commissioned by the prestigious Center Theater Group in Los Angeles, Pretty Filthy will have its world premiere at The Playhouse, in the Abrons Arts Center in New York City.The limited engagement runs from January 31 - March 1, 2015 with preview performances taking place January 31 - February 7.

Click here to view coverage of Pretty Filthy in the New Yorker winter season preview!

Tickets and more info here!

New Yorker illustration by Daniel Hertzberg
New Yorker illustration by Daniel Hertzberg
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes! The Civilians is a 501(c)3 non-profit entity, so all Kickstarter donations are tax-deductible. "How much of what I give is deductible?" you ask. That depends. When the campaign ends, we'll send you a survey. If you choose to receive the tangible benefits associated with your donation, those costs will be deducted from the amount you gave. And, yes—we'll also email you a tax receipt for your records.

Risks and challenges

By definition, this is a musical about an industry that is pushing boundaries, taking risks, and overcoming new challenges. This industry has had to adapt to major changes brought about by rapidly evolving technologies. Doing honor to this industry and the candid interviews given by insiders has been a huge challenge, and one we feel we have conquered.

The Civilians have created a musical about porn that is honest, which is a risky thing to put on stage! In addition, this is a huge step for us as a company as we embark on producing a musical on a bigger scale than ever before. The success of the show is dependent on our Kickstarter supporters and audiences. We hope you will help us by helping us to create a full and complete production this February.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Receive an exclusive sneak-peek download of a song from the show.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Receive an exclusive digital download of special behind-the-scenes material including interview excerpts and photos from the PRETTY FILTHY investigation curated by Steve Cosson. And your name listed on The Civilians' website as a supporter!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A ticket to a mid-week preview performance of the show. Plus everything from the $10 level.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A ticket to any preview performance of the show plus a special gift bag filled with fun surprises waiting for you at the show. Plus everything from the $10 level.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A signed valentine from a porn star! LYNN LEMAY or VERONICA HART will sign a valentine just in time for Valentine's Day for that special someone. Plus everything from the $25 level.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Two tickets to any preview performance of the show with reserved seating plus a special gift bag filled with fun surprises waiting for you at the show. Plus everything from the $10 level.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Anything you ever wanted to know about anything but never had a porn star to ask. Expert advice via phone from porn legends ELI CROSS, KAYDEN KROSS, LYNN LEMAY, or VERONICA HART. Plus everything from the $50 level.

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    Reward no longer available 8 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    VIP NIGHT PACKAGE : Two tickets to special VIP preview performance with a special pre-show VIP reception at the theater. Reserved VIP seats. Meet Director STEVE COSSON and the cast backstage post-show. Plus everything from the $10 level.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Exclusive Opening Night package including 2 tickets to PRETTY FILTHY Opening Night and post-show party! Plus everything from the $10 level.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Artistic consultation session with a member of the PRETTY FILTHY creative team. Meet one-on-one with bookwriter BESS WOHL to get her thoughts on your script/screenplay, OR with composer MICHAEL FRIEDMAN for feedback on a new song you've been working on OR with director STEVE COSSON for a personalized session focused on a writing, directing or investigative theater project! Plus everything from the $1,000 level.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    A behind-the-scenes visit to the set of one of JIM POWERS next films! Plus everything from the $1,000 level. Please note that donor is responsible for necessary travel and lodging.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Invitation to an intimate pre-show dinner with the legendary porn star *NINA HARTLEY* and members of the creative team. Following the dinner, you will sit with her at the performance (1 ticket included), which will include a special Q&A with Nina after the show.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Invitation to an intimate pre-show dinner with the porn star *JAMES DEEN* and members of the creative team. Following the dinner, you will sit with him at the performance (1 ticket included), which will include a special Q&A with James after the show.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Invitation to an intimate pre-show dinner with the legendary porn star *GINGER LYNN* and members of the creative team. Following the dinner, you will sit with her at the performance (1 ticket included), which will include a special Q&A with Ginger after the show.

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    Your name in the program as Honorary Associate Producer and an invitation to observe a PRETTY FILTHY tech rehearsal. Plus everything from the $1,000 level.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The opportunity for your own boudoir video filmed by director ELI CROSS! Plus everything from the $1,000 level.

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Funding period

- (23 days)