Using a blend of interviews, archival research, Methodist hymns, and original songs, this daring new play investigates the lives in and around Miracle Village, a rural community for sex offenders buried deep in Florida's sugarcane fields.

During the late fall of 2015, members of Life Jacket travelled to southern Florida to interview the residents of Miracle Village, a rural community for sex offenders buried deep in sugarcane fields. The team has transformed its research into a moving and unflinching play about darkness, uncertainty, and the painful process of healing in small-town America. This play uses a fusion of personal interviews and found text crafted by Travis Russ, award winning playwright and director, as well as traditional Methodist hymns and original songs composed and arranged by Priscilla Holbrook, from the band Susan Jane.

 
 

PRODUCTION HISTORY

HERE ARTS CENTER / JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 24, 2018

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

GRANTS & RESIDENCIES

This play received developmental support through the 2017 Drama League Artist Residency (Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Executive Artistic Director; Travis LeMont Ballenger, Associate Producer; Sherri Eden Barber, Program Director), funded in part by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the Howard Gilman Foundation; the 2017 Make Room Residency on Governor's Island (B.J. Evans, Artistic Director); the 2017 Artist Residency at the Tank (Rosalind Grush & Rania Jumaily, Co-Artistic Directors); NYU's 2017 Ethnodrama Forum (Joe Salvatore, Executive Director), the 2016 IRT 3B Development Series Residency (Kori Rushton, Artistic Director); and the 2016 One Company Residency (Nick Demos, Executive Director). This play was awarded the 2017 Nancy Quinn Fund Grant, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York). This play is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We are grateful to the many wonderful artists who participated in previous development phases of this show including: Jake Alexander, Nick Auer, Steph Bacon, Cecil Blutcher, John Carlin, Michael Castillejos, Joyce Cohen, Brendan Dalton, Austin Davidson, Andrew Dawson, Paul DeBoy, Anni Epstein, David Goldberg, Stuart Green, Amy Hayes, Shea Madison, Jeannie Moffitt, Ashley Nease, Nick Plakias, Katie Proulx, Scott Redmond, Michael McCorry Rose, Christopher Russo, Aidan Sank, Celia Schaefer, Chad Stoffel, Jane Summerhays, Gareth Tidball, Clay Westman, Rachel Tuggle Whorton, and Evan Reynolds White.