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All the world's fit for a stage in Brian Glenn Bryson's eyes.

The Penngrove playwright and director has made a habit of turning life into theater, overseeing young actors as they interview real world subjects and use their verbatim words as dialogue.

In "The Bully Theatre/Film Project," Bryson's troupe members told the stories of victims and their tormentors. In "The Habit Project," they delved into routine and addiction.

And in "Prop 8 Love Stories," Bryson's actors interviewed straight and gay couples about "love, life and discrimination," a play Bryson launched in the wake of the ban of same-sex marriage in California.

This week, Bryson, 43, again reaches for the zeitgeist in "Civil Disobedience — the Musical," a play largely based on interviews with Sonoma County Occupy protesters. It opens Friday in Sebastopol.

As with his other plays, "Civil Disobedience" began with Bryson's interest in touchy territory. Walking Elephant Theatre Co., as his outfit is called, is named after the proverbial pachyderm people prefer to ignore.

At the time he started the play, Bryson was perplexed by the lack of outcry about the many things he believed were going wrong in the country, from out-sized corporate bonuses to environmental destruction.

"I was pulling my hair," he said "Why aren't people in the streets with all this craziness going on?"

He began "Civil Disobedience" to explore protesters and what turned them into such.

One challenge loomed however. In September, when he started casting, Bryson was unsure how he'd track down enough protesters to on whom to base his roles.

But within weeks, source material was the least of his concerns as the nationwide Occupy movement caught fire, overwhelming him with choices.

"I was trying to figure out how I was going to hunt these people down," he said. "Suddenly I was surrounded by them."

His young actors spent hours with Occupy protesters, going to rallies, marches, city council meetings and general assemblies in Sebastopol, Petaluma and Santa Rosa.

Bryson spent several nights sleeping at the tent city in Santa Rosa, filming such things as 1 a.m. group songs, which provided the basis for some of the songs in the musical.

The actors also cast their net for subjects outside the Occupy movement, interviewing a founding member of the Black Panthers, an investigative journalist and an animal rights protestor among others.

Jordan Torres, a 19-year-old student activist, plays his grandfather, Conrad Knudsen, a Marin resident who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama

One of the founders of Occupy Petaluma, Torres said his activism has been curtailed recently by the demands of the play, but he said the two endeavors are related.

A main point behind Occupy was to reach people who hadn't been reached before, he said.

"I really think the play is just another part of that," he said. "It is a way to get a message across to new audience and that's important."

Bryson's most recent play, "Prop 8 Love Stories," hit a nerve, going on a two-week Off-Broadway run in New York City and earning a publishing deal.

Bryson, who is expecting his first child during opening weekend, said he isn't focused on whether "Civil Disobedience" makes the same splash; he is just trying to pull it off.

"You just have to keep on moving forward and make is as best you can and as honest and as beautiful and as captivating as you can and then just see what happens,"he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Sam Scott at 521-5431 or at sam.scott@pressdemocrat.com.