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Kingsley, Jessica Publishers
Performing New Lives: Prison Theatre

Performing New Lives: Prison Theatre

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Performing New Lives draws together some of the most original and innovative programs in contemporary prison theatre. Leading prison theatre directors and practitioners discuss the prison theatre experience first-hand, and offer valuable insights into its role, function, and implementation.

A wide range of prison theatre initiatives are discussed, from long-running, high-profile programs such as Curt Tofteland's"Shakespeare Behind Bars" in LaGrange, Kentucky, to fledgling efforts like Jodi Jinks' "ArtsAloud" project in Austin, Texas. The book offers unique insights into the many dimensions of the prison theatre experience, including: negotiating the rules and restrictions of the prison environment; establishing trust, teaching performance skills and managing crises; building relationships and dealing with conflicts; and negotiating public performances and public perceptions. Excerpts of interviews with inmates, and a conversation between practitioners in the final chapter, reveal the impact that prison theatre programs have on the performers themselves, as well as audience members, and the wider community.

Exploring prison theatre processes and theory with insights into how it works in practice, and how to replicate it, this book is essential reading for drama therapists, theatre artists, and prison educators, as well as academics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849058230
Publisher: Kingsley, Jessica Publishers
Publication date: 10/15/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Teya Sepinuck is the founder and director of Theatre of Witness. For the past 26 years, she has been creating and producing Theatre of Witness projects with prisoners and their families, survivors and perpetrators of abuse, refugees, immigrants, elders, and those who have lived through war. In 1991, Teya founded 'TOVA – Artistic Projects for Social Change' through which she created and produced more than 40 original Theatre of Witness works. She has been the recipient of the Philadelphia Human Rights Award for Arts and Culture, a Local Hero Award from the Bank of America, as well as the Cultural Arts Award from Women's Way and the Mayor's Commission on Women. Her work has taken her to Poland and Northern Ireland, where she is currently engaged in her second two-year residency at the Playhouse in Derry/Londonderry, creating works with ex-combatants, members of security forces, survivors, witnesses, and those living with the intergenerational legacy of the 'Troubles.'

Table of Contents

Foreword Evelyn Ploumis-Devick 7

1 Introduction Jonathan Shailor 17

2 "To Know My Deed": Finding Salvation through Shakespeare Laura Bates 33

3 Rehabilitation Through the Arts at Sing Sing: Drama in the Big House Brent Buell 49

4 59 Places: Dance/Theatre in the Hampshire Jail Amie Dowling 66

5 Time In: Transforming Identity Inside and Out Judy Dworin 83

6 The Buckle on the Bible Belt Jodi Jinks, ArtsAloud and Rude Mechanicals 102

7 From the Meanest Creature: Theatre as a Vehicle for Change Sharon Paquette Lajoie 109

8 Faith, Hope, and "Sweet Love Re-Membered": "Restoration" Theatre in Kansas Prisons John McCabe-Juhnke 127

9 Fabulous Females: Secrets, Stories, and Hope: Guarding and Guiding Girls Beyond the Barbed Wire Fence Meade Palidofsky 143

10 Living with Life: The Theater of Witness as a Model of Healing and Redemption Teya Sepinuck 162

11 Prison Theatre and the Promise of Reintegration Jonathan Shailor 180

12 Sculpting Empowerment: Theatre in a Juvenile Facility and Beyond Julia Taylor 197

13 The Keeper of the Keys Curt L. Tofteland 213

14 Revisiting Sacred Spaces Jean Trounstine 231

15 The Inmates, the Actors, the Characters, the Audience, and the Poet Are of Imagination All Compact Agnes Wilcox 247

16 "Their Minds Transfigured So Together": Imaginative Transformation and Transcendence in A Midsummer Night's Dream Elizabeth Charlebois 256

17 A Conversation with the Authors: Prison Theatre Artists in Dialogue 270

The Contributors 285

Subject Index 292

Author Index 299

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