“Intermission!” cried the emcee, the first English she had spoken during her appearances between the pieces so far. As she and her English translating counterpart shuffled off the stage, the lights rose in the theatre.

Gwen, for her part, immediately grabbed her program, pulling it open to the lyrics of the song that had closed out the act. Performed by a tenor who strained for his highest notes, the song “Heaven Awaits” was a bel canto aria composed by the production’s artistic director, D.F.

“What do you think D.F. stands for?” Dania said, pointing to the leader’s name in the program. His headshot, adorning the title page, obscured his eyes behind dark, tinted glasses.

“Falun Dafa?” Eleanor suggested. “Maybe it’s a fake name.”

Continue Reading