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late 14c., from O.Fr. divorce (14c.), from L. divortium "separation, dissolution of marriage," from divertere DI-VORCE "to separate, leave one's husband, turn aside" (see divert). Not distinguished in English from legal [dih-vawrs, -vohrs] separation until mid-19c. The verb is late 14c., from O.Fr. divorcer. Related: Divorced; divorcing. 1533 1643 1970 1979 1999 2011 Asking The LEGALIZE IT 1111 $1.7 billion CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION The Civilians' mission of using Questions The number of wives serial wedder King Henry VIII would eventually have after the Archbishop of Canterbury granted him an annulment from Catherine of Aragon, allowing him to marry Anne Boleyn (and inciting a bit of trouble with the Catholic Church). The number of Oscars won by theatre to interact with a wider In the first legal divorce in the American colonies, Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a divorce from her absent and adulterous husband Denis. California becomes the first state to legalize the no-fault the 1979 film Kramer vs. divorce; previously, there had to be a spouse guilty of Hoffman and Meryl Streep as a adultery, abandonment, felony charges, or the like to get the legal split. The settlement in the most expensive divorce in the world to date, between media mogul Rupert Murdoch and ex-wife Anna. He remarried 17 days later. community continues now with the world premiere production of You Better Sit Down at Williamstown. An introduction to The Civilians Kramer, starring Dustin The number of divorce-themed pilots on this year's Network Television season docket. Tis the season of divorce! couple in a bitter custody battle. An interactive museum." That is one way that The Civilians Artistic When entering the show, audience members will have the option to to Director Steve Cosson describes the unique brand of theatre the New York City-based company produces. Founded in 2001, The Civilians is an investigative theatre company made up of a community of over 50 multi- disciplinary artists. From playwrights and composers to directors and actors, these share their own experience of divorce. These anecdotes will be a launching pad for an improvised performance and talkback after the intermission. And, on August 18 and 19, there will be special post-show presentations: short verbatim plays crafted and performed by a group of WTF apprentices who have been intensively training with The Civilians for the past two weeks. All the while, the artists have been using social media to bring the conversation It is not a conversation-interjections, even mundane comments, can bring an interviewee's train of thought to a halt- and absolutely no glimmer of judgment, whether spoken or in body language, can ever be perceived. The Civilians derives its name from notions about what it means for a piece to be "documentary" or "verbatim." For many, these terms connote boring, heavy material. Yet, a Çivilians show in development that is being penned by Civilians' Associate Artists-and WTF alums-playwright Bess Wohl and composer Michael Friedman. You Better Sit Down, however, moves into is always theatrical, humorous yet human, and often incorporates music. In the case of You Better Sit Down, both multi-media and social media are key in making the work accessible to a wide new territory for the group: the personal. The artists began their investigation the usual way-interviewing anyone they could about divorce-but soon found award-winning collaborators create shows that use fact and research CHILDREN OF DIVORCED PARENTS the vaudeville term for those outside as a springboard. As Cosson once explained, "The the theatre, playing up the notion that both artist and audience are involved ARE AT LEAST company exists 40% MORE LIKELY TO GET DIVORCED THAN CHILDREN OF PARENTS STILL MARRIED range of audiences. Historically, The Civilians has used its investigative methods to create shows that examine "complex and under- explored subjects." The company has investigated, among many topics, the Evangelical Christianity movement based in Colorado in This Beautiful that the story could not be complete without speaking to their parents. Witnessing the break-up of their parents' marriages was in part what originally inspired the artists to create the show. "There is so much [already out there] about how people fall in love," reflects actor/co-writer Jennifer R. Morris. to make a different kind of theatre to communities outside the theatre. possible.... [the] research, investigation and creativity serves to compel the artists involved to shed old ideas, recalibrate perceptions and hopefully discover the new forms and new stories that will keep theater a dynamic part of contemporary life." Investigation can mean a whole host MEDIAN AGE FOR of different things, and there is no one set way for creating a Civilians show. You Better Sit Down features interviews, in the piece. The company constantly pushes all its civilians to examine preconceived notions and grapple with new ideas. Questions are raised; answers, never given. Similarly, the plays themselves twist the preconceived combination of They are currently working with the Huffington Post to create an open forum entitled the "Museum of Contested Objects." Based off an earlier online project done with WNYC, the creators of You Better Sit Down will pose to "I was interested in the whole idea of how people fall out of love. What's the process behind the deterioration of love?" It was with that question in mind that the group sat their parents down for a talk. the online community the very same question that they first posed to their parents: "Was there an object you fought over during your divorce?"" Readers of the Huffington Post will be invited to share their experiences of their own parents' split and become a part of an ever-growing virtual museum devoted to the "D-word." City; questions surrounding eminent domain and community development in In the Footprint: the Battle Over Atlantic Yards; and the U.S. adult entertainment MARRIAGE CHILDREN OF PARENTS WHO MARRIED OTHERS AFTER DIVORCE ARE 91% MORE LIKELY TO GET DİVORCED industry in Pretty Filthy, a musical one method among many, including in-depth research and community residencies that The Civilians puts 1970 2007 27.5 25.6 NEVADA: THE STATE WITH THE HIGHEST DIVORCE RATE 6.6 PËR 1000 PEOPLE 23.2 20.8 to use. Based off of the U.K.'s Joint Stock Company methodology, a topic (divorce) was selected and interviews Be sure to check out: www. were conducted with people who have first-hand experience. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and now are being performed verbatim. This form of interviewing is quite tricky (especially when the subject is your parents) and requires great discipline. OF ADULT POPULATION and share your story! CURRENTLY DIVORCED CIRCA 2003 -RACHEL LERNER-LEY USA CANADA UK FRANCE GERMANY ITALY SDEN RESEARCH BY Sources: Associated Press. "US Divorce Rate Lowest Since 1970" by David Crary, AP National Writer, 2007. | US Census and National Vital Statisties Report. Nicholas Wolfinger, Understanding the Divorce Cycle, Cambridge University Press, 2005. | "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces" by Betsey Stevenson and justin Wolfers from Journal of Economic Perspectives Spring 2007 issue. | Online Etymology Dictionary: ANNE JOY & ERIC SHETHAR 96


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Divorce is a common occurrence today, but when did it first start and how is it characterized. This infographic provides information for the history of divorce, and what divorce means today. It also p...


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