Based on verbatim interviews and archival research, this daring new play investigates the lives in and around Miracle Village, a ruralreligious community for sex offenders, buried deep in Florida's sugarcane fields.

 
 

LISTEN TO EXCERPTS OF SONGS FROM THE SHOW

During the fall of 2015, members of Life Jacket Theatre Company travelled to Southern Florida to interview the marginalized residents of Miracle Village. Their real-life stories are brought to striking and provocative life in this groundbreaking play - an exciting blend of spoken text by Travis Russ as well as religious hymns and original songs composed by Priscilla Holbrook, lead singer of the band Susan Jane

AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE is a moving and shockingly truthful play. A talented ensemble of six actors embody over 50 roles including Miracle Village residents, law enforcement officials, religious leaders, elected officials, and other prominent figures on opposing sides of this controversial issue. 

This uncomfortable and disruptive play tells tough, thoughtful, and real stories about darkness, uncertainty, and the painful process of healing in small-town America.

 
 

 

PRODUCTION HISTORY

THE DRAMA LEAGUE / MAY 10-13, 2017

Cast: TBA. Production Team: Travis Russ (Playwright & Director), Priscilla Holbrook (Music & Lyrics), Anthony Dvarskas & Amelia Parenteau (Research & Development), Chad Stoffel (Music Assistant). ARTIST RESIDENCY

FREDERICK LOEWE THEATRE / APRIL 21, 2017

Cast: John Carlin, Amy Hayes, Michael McCorry Rose, Jeannie Moffitt, Gareth Tidball, Evan Reynolds White. Production Team: Travis Russ (Playwright & Director), Priscilla Holbrook (Music & Lyrics), Anthony Dvarskas & Amelia Parenteau (Research & Development), Chad Stoffel (Music Assistant). NEW YORK UNIVERSITY's 2017 ETHNODRAMA CONFERENCE

THE TANK / MARCH 13-19, 2017

Cast: John Carlin, Joyce Cohen, Anni Epstein, Amy Hayes, Michael McCorry Rose, Evan Reynolds White. Production Team: Travis Russ (Playwright & Director), Priscilla Holbrook (Music & Lyrics), Anthony Dvarskas & Amelia Parenteau  (Research & Development), Chad Stoffel (Music Assistant). ARTIST RESIDENCY

IRT THEATER / OCTOBER 11-24, 2016

Cast:  Brendan Dalton, Andrew Dawson, Christopher Russo, Aidan Sank, Celia Schaefer, Jane Summerhays, Gareth Tidball. Production Team: Travis Russ (Playwright & Director), Priscilla Holbrook (Music & Lyrics), Anthony Dvarskas Amelia Parenteau (Research & Development), Chad Stoffel (Music Assistant), Carl Vorewerk (Associate Producer). ARTIST RESIDENCY

 

GRANTS & RESIDENCIES

This play received developmental support as part of the: 2017 Drama League Artist Residency Program (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 Artist Residency Program of the Tank (Rosalind Grush & Rania Jumaily, Co-Artistic Directors); the 2017 IRT 3B Development Series (Kori Rushton, Artistic Director); and the 2016 Writers' Residency Retreat through One Arts Company (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). Further, 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 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.