A Tough Line is a multimedia theater piece of music, dance, theater, film, and poetry based on the dramatic seizure of the Nord-Ost Theater on Dubravka Street, Moscow, October 2002, when an audience was held captive by Chechen separatists for over 72 hours. At the beginning of the second act, audience members reported thinking that the terrorists, who entered the theater armed with guns and bombs, were in fact actors in the play, about to enact the Siege of Leningrad. After three days, the military infused the theater with a powerful sedative that inadvertently ended many lives, but ended the hostage crisis.

A Tough Line demands that societies evaluate the critical distinctions between terrorism and leadership. VisionIntoArt builds its work out of the moment when art and terrorism blurred, and the theater of expression became the captive ground for political subversion.

A Tough Line is theatrically directed by Sam Helfrich.Newly commissioned music by composers Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum, Milica Paranosic, Paola Prestini & Nico Muhly; poetry by Roger Bonair-Agard and Lynne Procope; film by Chase Palmer; animation by Emily Flake.