Obscured behind concrete and razor wire, the lives of the incarcerated remain hidden from public view. Inside the walls, imprisoned people all over the world stage theatrical productions that enable them to assert their humanity and capabilities. In part one of this episode, Ashley E. Lucas discusses her most recent book, Prison Theatre and the Global Crisis of Incarceration, as well as her very personal experience with the carceral system growing up. We cover her in-depth research into prison institutions around the world, the role that theatre plays in creating community, and how it can transform the lives of the people forced into the prison system.
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Ashley Lucas is Associate Professor of Theatre and Drama at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project. She and Jodie Lawston co-edited the book Razor Wire Women: Prisoners, Scholars, Artists, and Activists (2011), and they coauthor a blog by the same name. Ashley also wrote the play Doin’ Time: Through the Visiting Glass, which she has performed as a one-woman show since 2004.