Women prisoners showcase acting skills

JOHANNESBURG Prison inmates will soon demonstrate their theatre skills to the public for the first time, thanks to a collaborative effortt between American theatre activists, the director and the prisoners themselves.

JOHANNESBURG Prison inmates will soon demonstrate their theatre skills to the public for the first time, thanks to a collaborative effortt between American theatre activists, the director and the prisoners themselves.

The project, called Theatre forIncarcerated Women, is coordinated by the International Theatre Exchange with Cultural Odyssey: The Medea Project.

After the astounding success of the Urban Voices Theatre prison project of 2008 the partners will again stage Serious Fun at Sun City, a prison theatre project.

This is a continuation of the collaborative project with the female prisoners of he Johannesburg Prison, popularly known as Sun City, award-winning director and performer Rhodessa Jones from the Medea Project in San Francisco and Urban Voices.

"It promises once again to be a unique and moving experience that will give our mates a reason to experience the intricate lives of female inmates," Jones says.

In 2008 a full-length workshopped theatre production was staged with female inmates of the Johannesburg Prison. This was the first time that an international and local prison theatre collaboration was staged in South Africa.

Having worked with women prisoners for more than 20 years in the prisons of San Francisco and other places across the world, Jones plans to develop and sustain the work she did with the prison group last year in a workshop that uses theatre to develop life skills to deal with prison life and beyond.

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