New York choreographer David Gordon—a founding artist of the Judson Dance Theater, New York's influential experimental company from the 1960s— worked with Susan Hess Modern Dance to re-envision his dance theater work Uncivil Wars: Moving with Brecht & Eisler (2009). Uncivil Wars is based on Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler's legendary play Roundheads and Pointheads, which was first produced in 1936. Of Gordon's subversive aesthetic and trademark unpredictability, dance critic Suzanne Carbonneau writes, "Gordon is not interested in conforming to ideas of what he should be doing [...] rather, his interests lie in expanding ideas about what performance can be." Susan Hess Modern Dance collaborated with Gordon's Pick Up Performance Co(S.) to find cast members for the Philadelphia production in 2014. Concurrent with this process, Gordon led a series of open rehearsals participated in a session with local choreographers about their work. Theater critic and translator of the version of Roundheads and Pointheads on which Gordon based his work led a presentation at the conclusion of the final open rehearsal.