The conventional assumption is that live theater is an immediate, in-your-face experience, while film and television are mediated and distant. The performance work of New York's visiting Temporary Distortion troupe turns those ideas around. In their world, film and video peer into all the corners of our emotional landscape. Live actors often stand isolated in plexiglass closets, interacting with films, just one element in an elaborate multi-screen construction. Stationary and surrounded by moving images, these performers speak their lines as if in a phone booth, while their on-screen counterparts live in a larger world. Their work often draws from classic film genres, and Americana Kamikaze, a riff on Japanese horror films, is available through Making its U.S. premiere, Newyorkland is inspired by tough cop movies from the '70s (think of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection) and police police procedurals on TV. No surprise, director Kenneth Collins is the son of a policeman, and scenographer William Cusick has worked on Law & Order. SANDRA KURTZ

Nov. 17-20, 8 p.m., 2011

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