In 2001, incarcerated actors took the “stage” with PPA for the first time, with a production of Hamlet, Act I at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center. Since then, PPA has produced nearly 70 shows in three state prisons. Hundreds of incarcerated artists have participated in these performances, which include Shakespearean classics, popular contemporary plays, and original works developed by nationally-recognized playwrights.
PPA’s performance art instruction includes workshops in acting, voice, movement, playwriting, poetry, and literature analysis. Through this multi-disciplinary approach, incarcerated artists learn creative and constructive ways to express emotions, build trust, and work collaboratively. The program is designed to help participants improve communication skills, instill responsibility to self and others, and identify healthy strategies for processing complex trauma.
Looking ahead, PPA plans to expand artistic offerings to include visual arts, songwriting, dance, and choir.
twice per year through the summer of 2014.