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This daring new play uses a blend of verbatim interviews, Methodist hymns, and original folk songs to investigate the lives in and around Miracle Village, a rural American community for sex offenders buried deep in Florida's sugarcane fields.

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LISTEN TO NPR'S INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR & CAST

"This play, an investigation of transgression, redemption and the limits of compassion, takes a hard, uncomfortable look at forgiveness and what it means to put it into action... Paying homage to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Mr. Russ (playwright and director) presents Miracle Village as an ordinary American town, except in the ways it isn’t.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES

"This play introduces us to a strange community that could only be American. The writer-director Travis Russ put together this lovely show, drawing on interviews that his New York-based company conducted in Miracle Village, Florida, a small settlement populated with convicted sex offenders. Dodging prurience and judgment, the piece, dotted with brief songs by Priscilla Holbrook, is a deceptively gentle look at redemption, faith, and what makes a community. The play is a heartbreaking, complicated portrait of people adrift.”

THE NEW YORKER

"Fascinating and slippery… [this] play recognizes that there are no easy truths - and the limits of verbatim theatre. One of the great things about this show, which is performed by an ace ensemble, is that it is complex, layered, makes you shift uneasily in your chair, and makes you wonder what we mean by redemption, and whether we can extend it to everyone, whatever they have done.”

LYN GARDNER (STAGEDOOR)

READ ABOUT THIS PLAY IN AMERICAN THEATRE MAGAZINE

PRESS

★★★★★ CRITIC’S PICK! Deliberately pushing the limits of human empathy, this is theatre that can transform how we see the world... Groundbreaking in its form and emotional complexity.
— FEST MAGAZINE
A smart and troubling new piece of documentary theater… The room was so pin-drop quiet that you could hear the electric hum of the lights.
— THE NEW YORK TIMES
★★★★★ CRITIC’S PICK! Bristles with conviction and heartrending songs... Delivered with ringing clarity and purpose, and as unsettling as it is compassionate.
— THE LIST
Hands down, the bravest show currently playing in New York... Powerful performances electrify an already supercharged script.
— THEATERMANIA
 

PRODUCTION HISTORY

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE / AUGUST 2-26, 2019

Cast: John Carlin, Joyce Cohen, Amy Gaither Hayes, David Spadora, Gareth Tidball, & Harry Waller. Production Team: Travis Russ (Playwright & Director), Priscilla Holbrook (Composer & Lyricist), Greg Solomon (Lighting Designer), Andrea Hood (Costume Designer), Ben Moss (Music Director), Anthony Dvarskas & Amelia Parenteau (Research & Development Team), Ayden Lopez & Kyle Cherry (Stage Managers), Dale Brown CSA (Casting Director), Mobius Industries (Press Agent). EUROPEAN PREMIERE

HERE ARTS CENTER / JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 24, 2018

Cast: Ken Barnett, John Carlin, Joyce Cohen, Amy Gaither Hayes, David Spadora, & Gareth Tidball. Production Team: Travis Russ (Playwright, Director, & Scenic Designer), Priscilla Holbrook (Composer, Lyricist, & Music Director), Solomon Weisbard (Lighting Designer), Andrea Hood (Costume Designer), Kristina Vnook (Production Stage Manager), Anthony Dvarskas & Amelia Parenteau (Research & Development Team), Dale Brown CSA (Casting Director), Matt Ross Public Relations (Press Agent). NYC PREMIERE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This play is made possible in part with support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York State Council, ART/New York's Nancy Quinn Fund Grant and Creative Space Grant in conjunction with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Drama League in connection with the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Tank, Make Room on Governor's Island, IRT’s 3B Development Series, One Company, Fordham University, and New York University.