America is Hard to See
Closed 1h 30m
America is Hard to See
90

America is Hard to See NYC Reviews and Tickets

90%
(21 Reviews)
Positive
100%
Mixed
0%
Negative
0%
Members say
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Profound

About the Show

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

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Member Reviews (21)

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95
Intense, Moving, Disturbing, Thought-provoking, Masterful

See it if Lives of paroled sex offenders in an isolated community. Complex people with a lot to offer despite their crimes. Beautiful songs & vocals.

Don't see it if The play forces you to open up to these people, but it is disturbing to do so. Explicit descriptions of sex acts with minors. Read more

74
Ambitious, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Profound, Resonant

See it if Drama w/music surrounding a community of 'recovering' pedophiles Intense, edgy material eases uneven layout Real subject - quality of mercy

Don't see it if Integration of various story lines is awkward w/Chad's story stealing focus Forgiveness theme wins out over self-knowledge/search of motive

86
Great singing, Interesting staging, Creative use of material, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in a wider take on the Me Too movement. The show is incredibly timely. It explores complexity of many points of view

Don't see it if frank sexual descriptions will upset you. The actors interpret actual people describing life experiences. Some of which are disturbing.

84
Ambitious, Absorbing, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if you like plays drawn from real interviews & tackling uncomfortable subjects, learning how the marginalized struggle, plots that move in time

Don't see it if you are repelled by topic of sexual abuse, don't believe sex abusers deserve redemption, plays that jarringly mix music with dialogue Read more

84
Challenging, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Talented actor/singers, Examination of forgiveness

See it if documentary theatre, excellent singer/actors playing mutliple characters, LifeJacket Theatre Co. and Travis Russ' work turn you on

Don't see it if documentation of American pedophilia, difficult topics, inability to think about taboos, would cause you to be miserable watching this show

97
Masterful, Compelling, Intelligent, Absorbing, Underrated

See it if you’re open to the idea that some people capable of awful crimes are also capable of acute remorse. AIHTS succeeds @ walking a fine line.

Don't see it if the idea above isn’t constructive to you; you’re appalled/uninterested by the show’s blurb. (The mktg’s entirely accurate re tone, content.) Read more

90
Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like challenging theater about challenging subjects - it prompted a long discussion among my friends about how to deal w/sex criminals.

Don't see it if This show is the definition of trigger warning - pedophiles are allowed to try to charm you; it's true to life, but can be disturbing.

86
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Ambitious, Uneven

See it if you enjoy visually stunning forays into the tough ambiguities of human existence.

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable exploring sexual assault. Read more

Critic Reviews (6)

The New York Times
February 2nd, 2018

"A smart and troubling new piece of documentary theater...Russ's script isn't always helped by his direction, which is sometimes less clear than it needs to be...Music and lyrics by Priscilla Holbrook that are often lovely but don’t always fit smoothly into the action...Arrives at an awkward time to ask for sympathy for these men...But this play, an investigation of transgression, redemption, and the limits of compassion, takes a hard, uncomfortable look at forgiveness."
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Theatermania
February 2nd, 2018

"While writer and director Travis Russ takes a sympathetic view of the play's subjects, he is not naive about the fact that we all construct myths to help us live with ourselves and the choices we have made...With lyrics drawn entirely from real interviews, Holbrook's original songs are honest and tuneful...Everyone in the cast either sings or plays an instrument, and their powerful performances electrify an already supercharged script."
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Exeunt Magazine
February 8th, 2018

"Life Jacket Theatre has proven itself to be a strong new practitioner in this genre…The play depicts those characters with empathy, but also honesty… And the show raises profound questions worth pondering…Cast members prove adept at switching between multiple roles…It’s not easy to craft a nuanced story about a population so routinely and swiftly demonized. But Life Jacket Theatre makes the case that such an exercise is not just possible, but necessary."
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Stage Left
February 20th, 2018

"A powerful and provocative evening of theatre that is deeply unsettling, surprisingly humane, and ultimately uplifting...Inspiring tough soul-searching and difficult questions for those willing to ask them...A weighty piece that reminds you of the powerful role theatre plays...It is uncomfortable...guaranteed to challenge your assumptions...You will emerge both changed and eager to continue the conversation. And that is the highest praise I can give any piece of theatre."
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Gay City News
February 2nd, 2018

"When you hear that there is a new play with music about an enclave of people on the sex offense registry, the tendency might be revulsion or demurral. If you can’t get past that initial reaction, you will missing out on one of the finest theatrical experiences of the season...The uniformly excellent ensemble is rounded out by Joyce Cohen who, like the rest of the cast, seamlessly takes on multiple roles in a story that by turns surprises, informs, and moves."
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The Gay & Lesbian Review
March 26th, 2018

"The plot has a way of entangling us into a world we would much rather keep at a safe distance, while simultaneously laying bare our perverse cultural appetite for the spectacle of criminality...Provides a complicated—and at times sympathetic—glimpse into the lives of one of the most loathed groups in America: registered sex offenders...The audience cannot walk away from this piece without feeling incredibly uncomfortable and morally compromised...Heartbreaking."
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