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The golden record

Thu, Jan 26 @ 8pm

Fri, Jan 27 @ 8pm

Sat, Jan 28 @ 8pm

Sun, Jan 29 @ 2pm

Curated and adapted by Courtney Bailey

Directed by Rachel Tibbetts


Acting Ensemble: Julie Antonic, Summer Baer, Courtney Bailey, Scott Brown, Larry Butler, Autumn Hales, LaWanda Jackson, Katherine Leemon, Hazel McIntire, David Nonemaker, Eric Satterfield, Tyler White


Assistant Director, Editor, Graphic Design: Eric Satterfield

Stage Manager: Kristen Strom

Costume Design: Liz Henning

Lighting and Set Design: Erik Kuhn

Projection Design: Michael Perkins

Sound Design: Ellie Schwetye

In 1977, the Voyager Spacecraft carried two golden phonograph records into the depths of space, never to return. The records hold a message in a bottle to potential interstellar civilizations: a catalog of human sounds and images to let these strangers know a little of who we are. Prison Performing Arts' The Golden Record shares its own catalog of stories from PPA Alumni, interweaving a whimsical space expedition with collected writing of PPA artists. Two cosmic travelers journey through space with their own record of stories, scenes, poems, and memories. Their task is to carry their transmissions to a new destination, but they keep forgetting where they're going, and their glitchy spaceship is struggling to get them there. Will they make it to their new home? Will it matter if they can't remember where their destination is in the first place?

The Golden Record is an original play curated and adapted by Courtney Bailey. Courtney says this about the script creation process, “This script was built from a deep dive into the PPA archive, including the creative work of PPA Alumni and artists who remain incarcerated. After getting to know the archive itself and the members of the PPA Alumni Theatre Company, I proposed the central image of "the Golden Record," Carl Sagan's interstellar time capsule of life on Earth that is currently hurtling beyond our solar system. I asked the PPA Alumni to help me understand what stories they wanted to tell from PPA's past; in other words, what would comprise our own "Golden Record"? Using their guidance, we built an entirely new play about a journey through space that includes intertextual engagement with past PPA works like First Impressions, Antigone, and Kept Away, as well as writing from Spoken Word artists at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center. Together with the PPA Alumni, we created a new work that bundles together the richness of PPA's past while bravely confronting the organization's bright future.”

The Golden Record is made possible by funding from the Conboy Foundation, John and Carolyn Peterson Charitable Foundation, and the Missouri Arts Council.

Photo Credit: Rachel Bailey

Previews & Reviews

"We are time travelers, carrying the last memories of the people who are gone. And so it's our job is to keep their memories alive and not forget them, but in the midst of it, we've kind of forgotten ourselves."

- LaWanda Jackson

"It’s an inventive reflection on identity, the passage of time, relationships, processing grief, a sense of uncertainty blended with hope for the future, and more. It’s a whimsical flight of fancy, a melancholy reflection, and an archive of past performances rolled into one imaginative package."

- Michelle Kenyon, Snoop's Theatre Thoughts

"The acting is solid, even from the less experienced artists, helping the show to resonate on an emotional and social level. The show is also enhanced by effective direction from Rachel Tibbetts, the smart use of sound design by Ellie Schwetye and video and projections by Satterfield and Michael Musgrave-Perkins. While the premise of The Golden Record is imaginatively quirky, the desire to communicate with others — wherever they may be in relation to your journey — is palpable and relevant to the mission of PPA."

- Tina Farmer, Riverfront Times

"Works such as THE GOLDEN RECORD are testament to the positive effect PPA’s leadership, staff and collaborators have in bringing out the positive potential in its incarcerated artists, both former and present."

- Mark Bretz, Ladue News

"The Prison Performing Arts Alumni Company, composed of citizens who have spent some time away from us and have now returned, along with some friends, continues to practice the performing arts they had enjoyed while restricted, to the great enjoyment of those of us in their audiences."

- Bob Wilcox, HEC Media 

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