During the Holocaust, the atrocities of the Nazi regime forced countless Jewish families and individuals into hiding. Though they were not interned in concentration camps, these stowaways were subjected to another, silent, reign of terror—in which every creak and cough could result in discovery, detainment, and almost certain death. Thus, the scene is set for The Hidden Ones, an immersive theater production that brings audiences into the secret hiding place of two families at the end of World War II. Even though the experience lasts just a little over an hour and plays out within the confines of a small room, The Hidden Ones is artistic proof that less is often more—especially in immersive theater.
X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation by Marcus Gardley is not only a portrait of Malcolm X, the optimistic and eloquent civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1965, but also of a dangerous and tumultuous time. In Gardley's play, time and place dissolve from one scene into another—a courtroom, the home of Malcolm (poignantly played by Jimmon Cole) and his wife, Betty Shabazz (Obie winner Roslyn Ruff), as well as the street; an office; and the home of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. In all the scenes Gardley focuses on a question that dominates the court: who killed Malcolm X?