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America is Hard to See Life Jacket Theatre Company


About the show

During the late fall of 2015, members of LIFE JACKET THEATRE COMPANY 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.

AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE is produced by Life Jacket Theatre Company whose recent production of GOREY: THE SECRET LIVES OF EDWARD GOREY (HERE, 2016), was a Critics' Pick by the New York Times and Time Out New York (★★★★) and was nominated for a 2017 Drama Desk Award, seven 2016 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, and two 2017 Henry Hewes Design Awards (granted by the American Theatre Wing). 


Playwright, Director, & Set Design: Travis Russ
Composer, Lyricist, & Music Director: Priscilla Holbrook
Research & Development Team: Travis Russ, Anthony Dvarskas, Amelia Parenteau, Priscilla Holbrook
Lighting Designer: Solomon Weisbard
Costume Designer: Andrea Hood
Production Stage Manager: Kristina Vnook
Casting Director: Dale Brown
Press Agent: Matt Ross Public Relations
Assistant Stage Manager: Nick Auer
Assistant Lighting Designer: Alex Mannix
Cast: Ken Barnett*, John Carlin*, Joyce Cohen*, Amy Gaither Hayes*, David Spadora*, Gareth Tidball

Produced by Life Jacket Theatre Company 

Photo by T. Charles Erickson

*Indicates member of Actor's Equity Association.

Show Press

“A smart and troubling new piece of documentary theater… 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.”
— The New York Times
“Lovely… 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