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The most electrifying, galvanizing theater experience I've had outside of New York was in Melbourne, Australia, where a theatre company was doing a site-specific adaptation of Jean Genet's "The Miracle of the Rose" in an abandoned prison. Audience members were lined up on the second floor, right in front of their "cells", and you looked down on the ground level and watched as your "fellow prisoners" performed. On the third level, above the audience, were guards patrolling the entire event, banging their nightsticks on the railings at unexpected moments. And it wasn't simply a spectacle. It was a heartfelt, passionate, insanely sexual and violent play, and as the night wore on and the theater got darker and colder, you couldn't help but feel like you were ensnared in a world unlike any you'd ever experienced.
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Apr 13, 2011