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  • Prison Performing Arts

New JDC Audio Drama - "What I See"

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

PPA Teaching Artist Carl Overly, Jr. describes the process for creating the original audioplay "What I See" from the youth artists at the Juvenile Detention Center:

I started by giving the youth 2 prompts:

  1. What do you see when you look in the mirror?

  2. What do you think other people see when they look at you?

I then had them share what they wrote, where we discovered that a lot of them shared the same responses.

When we discussed the themes of the piece we were going to create, the artists again had a lot of similar responses:

  • Probation

  • Black Lives Matter

  • Sports, Justice

  • JDC

They decided they wanted to incorporate all of these things into the play.

In class, we explored examples of vignette plays and discussed how those worked. The youth liked the idea of 3 separate vignettes and 1 vignette that brought everyone together. The artists were split into 3 groups and started writing.

We spent 3 weeks just making sure all the dialogue made sense and sounded like things they would say. After each class, I collected their papers and typed out what they had written. Each time I came back, they added dialogue and cut things that were not working.

The youth then wanted some music and they suggested “No Profanity,” and two of the artists wrote write raps to the track with the guidelines of “nonviolence” and “no profanity.”

The last things I asked the youth for were different sound cues required by the story. I collected all of those and added them into the script.

The last class before recording we prepared by reading over the play twice and we worked on voice acting, like sounding winded when playing basketball.


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