Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Prison Performing Arts Workshop Helps Inmates Prepare for Life Beyond Bars

Photo by Virginia Lee Hunter

Lee Gough (right) plays as a relapsed criminal who tries to get Chris "Stretch" Melton (left) to sell drugs again for him.

PRISON PERFORMING ARTS PRESENTS GOING HOME

"Have you done some time in prison?" asks Raynell Brandon, talking like an infomercial narrator to his fellow inmates at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific. "Having trouble adjusting to society? Solve all of your problems with our new spray, De-Institutionalize Plus! It works in seconds!" The skit, a parody about a spray that magically eliminates the stigma of prison, is just one scene from Going Home, a production facilitated under the direction of Prison Performing Arts. Since 1989 the arts organization has put on dozens of shows and classes in correctional facilities around Missouri, but this is their first workshop to examine release and re-entry into society.

See the full story by Leah Greenbaum on the Riverfront Times Arts Blog: New Prison Performing Arts Workshop Helps Inmates Prepare for Life Beyond Bars

1 comment:

Jonathan Shailor said...

The men in this story are using gallows humor, performance, and dialogue to reflect on the challenges they face in their imminent reentry into society.

Greenbaum mentions that the men have been writing poems. Are these incorporated into the performances? I would love to read one or two of them.