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This week’s arts section opens with Sophia Bushong‘s fascinating feature about dog & pony dc, one of a growing number of local theater companies braving the wilds of audience integration. What’s audience integration? Well, imagine going to a play, being handed a set of instructions, and told, “Tonight, you’re part of the show.” dog & pony’s mission, as co-founder Rachel Grossman puts it, is for the audience to complete its ensemble.

On the grazer page, Managing Editor Jonathan L. Fischer maps out D.C.’s arts spaces, and I talk to ex-Golden, Extra Golden, and Weird War guitarist Alex Minoff about “Hard Labour,” a song he wrote kind of as a kiss-off to the kids who called him “faggot” in high school.

In galleries, Jeffry Cudlin examines Taryn Simon‘s engrossing but seriously fucked up exhibit at the Corcoran, calling it “a serious, deeply affecting show, even when it veers into the absurd.” Studio Theatre’s production of Annie Baker‘s worthwhile play The Aliens doesn’t make a lot of noise—-because between 40 and 60 minutes of it are silent, writes Chris Klimek. At Artisphere, WSC Avant Bard’s Six Characters in Search of an Author sounds like a hit Fringe show, writes Rebecca J. Ritzel, but the metadrama actually dates back to 1921.

In film, Tricia Olszewski reports that Life of Pi has its flaws—-but the movie’s sun-drenched beauty lets it get away with that. And finally, Leor Galil listens to the (killer) second record from D.C. crust-metal band Ilsa, and wonders whether the band’s music scares its own members. (Probably.)