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Prologue

Jack Hitt tells the story of a small town production of Peter Pan in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture, and Captain Hook's hook flies off his arm and hits an oldwoman in the stomach. By the end of the evening, firemen have arrived and all the normal boundaries between audience and actors have completely dissolved.

Act One: Opening Night

Writer Jack Hitt tells the story of a small town production of Peter Pan, in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture, and Captain Hook's hook flies off his arm and hits an old woman in the stomach. By the end of the evening, firemen have arrived and all the normal boundaries between audience and actors have completely dissolved.

Act Two: Tribe

This American Life associate producer Peter Clowney visits a modern-day touring company of Hair. They don't just believe they're doing a job as professional actors. They're living as a modern-day tribe of hippies — with all the tensions of any communal living.

Act One: Act V, Scene 1

Jack Hitt begins his story about a group of prisoners at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center who are rehearsing and staging a production of Hamlet. The man who plays Hamlet gets in character by recalling times he's wanted to hurt people, like the crime that sent him to prison, in which he shot two people and left them for dead.