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.

LISTEN TO NPR'S INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR & CAST

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.

Smart and troubling… 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.
— THE NEW YORK TIMES
Dodging prurience and judgment, the piece is a deceptively gentle look at redemption, faith and what makes a community... A heartbreaking, complicated portrait of people adrift.
— THE NEW YORKER
Hands down - the bravest show currently playing in New York… Powerful performances electrify an already supercharged script.
— THEATERMANIA
Making documentary theatre takes great discipline and a touch of innovative genius... With [this] new work, Life Jacket Theatre has proven itself to be a strong new practitioner in this genre.
— EXEUNT MAGAZINE
 
 

PRODUCTION HISTORY

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), 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

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This play is the recipient of a Creative Engagement Grant as well as residencies at the Drama League, New York University, the Tank, IRT 3B Development Series, and Barton Booth.

We wish to express our appreciation to the many wonderful artists who participated in previous development phases of this show including: Jake Alexander, Nick Auer, Steph Bacon, Cecil Blutcher, Michael Castillejos, Brendan Dalton, Austin Davidson, Andrew Dawson, Paul DeBoy, Anni Epstein, David Goldberg, Stuart Green, 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, Clay Westman, Rachel Tuggle Whorton, and Evan Reynolds White.