Prison Story Project to be presented at Marlboro College

MARLBORO — Marlboro College students, faculty, and staff will perform a staged reading of scripts from the Prison Story Project, based on writing by incarcerated people living in northwest Arkansas. The performance will take place in Whittemore Theater on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

The performance is the culmination of a “pop-up” class and collaboration between faculty, students, and Matthew Henriksen, creative writing director (Death Row) of the NWA Prison Story Project.

Henriksen and other participants will lead a conversation about prison activism, writing, and theater behind bars following the performance.

“The performance will include stories both from women in prison and from men on Death Row,” said Bronwen Tate, Marlboro professor of writing and literature, who is co-teaching the course with theater professor Jean O'Hara. “The Prison Story Project works with these people to help them tell their stories, and creates a collage from them.”

Created in 2012, the Prison Story Project is dedicated to bridging the gap between inmates and the communities they are members of through the healing art of story.

Small groups of inmates meet regularly to explore the art of storytelling, articulating their own stories through writing, reading, poetry, mask making, song writing, and life mapping. These stories are shared through readings both within prisons, where they are a valuable source of reflection, and for outside audiences.

In addition to the performance on Saturday, there will be a workshop with Matthew Henrikson on Friday, Feb. 15, at 11 a.m., room to be determined. The workshop will explore teaching storytelling and writing in circumstances such as prisons.

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