It's a cliché in theater at this point: waxing rhapsodic about spending two hours in the dark with strangers, sharing an experience that's impossible to replicate, and walking out onto the sidewalk bonded over your collective transformation.
The thing about The Jungle, currently at the Curran Theater, is it's true.
I cannot accurately convey the experience of seeing The Jungle. Oh, sure, I can tell you that in order to immerse the audience inside a refugee camp, the interior of the Curran Theater has been completely transformed with a brand-new floor, walls, ceiling and set built on top of the theater's orchestra seating. (See a time-lapse video of it here.) I can tell you that as attendees sit at tables in the theater, which has now become a restaurant, actors tumble into the audience, brush against seated attendee's backs, spill water and oranges into their laps, and employ them to hold flashlights and drums.
But that doesn't explain that this immersive set isn't the gimmicky sort, utilized to augment a dull play. Rather, the wood bark on the floor, the ratty cardboard strewn about, the actual fruit flies inside the Curran—it all lends more impact to a story of refugees who, as one describes them, "are not people but between people, drowning in a sea of suffering."
The Jungle takes place in the recent past, at a makeshift cafe in the refugee camp at Calais, France. Nestled among thousands of people hoping to get to the UK from over two dozen different countries, the cafe serves as a meeting place for leaders from different countries' camps to help each other, hold celebrations, and plan against evictions over naan and tea.