L&C Hosts Prison Performance Arts Troupe
By Darick T. Earney
On Feb. 11, Lewis and Clark Community College will host its very first drama theater production of “Going Home,” performed by the Prison Performing Arts Alumni Troupe.
The event is free to attend, and the performance will be held in the Benjamin Godfrey Memorial Chapel at 2 p.m. The length of the play is 30 minutes, followed by a 30 minute question and answer session afterward.
“Going Home” is an original play written and directed by the PPA Alumni Troupe. The play examines the lives of several prisoners and their attempts to re-enter society and accept the changes that have been made since their incarceration.
L&C’s Sociology Professor Jenn Cline, along with the help of Student Activities President, Jared Hennings, worked together to make it possible for the PPA to perform with the goal of enlightening students.
“Our goal was to open up students’ minds to the idea that learning can happen anywhere; that the classroom is not the only environment where learning occurs,” Hennings said.
As a fan of the PPA troupe, Cline had also felt that a performance of “Going Home” would make students more aware of the stereotypes prisoners live with everyday.
“As a sociology professor, I find it important that we humanize former inmates. There is a stigma to being an inmate, which often becomes what we call a ‘master status’ in sociology. I think this performance will show that former inmates are also humans with desires, goals, fears, hopes, and dreams.“
The Prison Performing Arts troupe started 22 years ago as a means of giving incarcerated adults and children in the St. Louis area a chance to learn how to re-adapt to society.
PPA has several theater and live performance based programs for both children and adult inmates. Some of these programs include Arts Alive! and The Hip-Hop Poetry project, both of which allow inmates to express themselves through poetry reads, dance, and drama theater.
To learn more about the Prison Performance Arts troupe, or find out when more upcoming events are, visit their website at http://prisonartsstl.org/.
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