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NCJ Number: 64072 Find in a Library
Title: CONS OF SHORT EYES - OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT
Journal: CORRECTIONS MAGAZINE  Volume:5  Issue:4  Dated:(DECEMBER 1979)  Pages:48-53
Author(s): J POTTER
Corporate Author: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE FOLLOWS UP THE PERSONAL CAREERS OF CONVICT ACTORS INVOLVED WITH THE SUCCESSFUL BROADWAY PRODUCTION OF 'SHORT EYES' IN 1973 AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT ACTIVITIES OFFSTAGE AND ON.
Abstract: 'SHORT EYES', AUTHORED BY EX-CONVICT MIGUEL PINERO, AND PERFORMED BY EX-CONVICT ACTORS TO RAVE REVIEWS AND ENTHUSIASTIC AUDIENCES, WAS A SUCCESS SO SPECTACULAR THAT, AFTER ITS BROADWAY RUN, THE PRODUCTION TOURED EUROPE, AND GAINED INSTANT FAME FOR ITS PARTICIPANTS. THE PRODUCTION WAS AN OUTGROWTH OF MARVIN FELIX CAMILLO'S SING SING ACTIVITIES WITH A PRISON THEATER WORKSHOP, WHICH EVOLVED INTO A COMMUNITY-BASED REPERTORY COMPANY OF POSTRELEASE PRISONERS CALLED THE FAMILY. THOUGH NONE OF THE PARTICIPANTS HAVE CONTINUED SPECTACULAR ACTING CAREERS, THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED IN STAYING OUT OF PRISON. THE MOST POIGNANT STORY IS THAT OF BEN JEFFERSON, WHO WAS GUNNED DOWN IN OBSCURITY ON A HARLEM STREET CORNER 5 YEARS AFTER HIS INSTANT FAME AS ONE OF THE STARS IN 'SHORT EYES'. OTHERS, NOTABLY PINERO, TITO GOYA, AND J.J. JOHNSON HAVE CONTINUED THEIR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE THEATER DESPITE THE SCARCITY OF ACTING JOBS AND PROBLEMS OF UNDESIRABLE TYPECASTING. THE FAMILY TROUPE CONTINUES TO FUNCTION, DRAWING EX-CONS, EX-ADDICTS AND GRADUATES OF ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOLS AND DRUG CENTERS INTO ITS ACTIVITIES. IFE SHIPP, THE ONLY WOMAN EX-PRISONER INVOLVED IN THE ORIGINAL PRODUCTION HAS GONE FROM ACTING TO WORK AS A HOUSE PARENT IN A DIAGNOSTIC CENTER FOR DELINQUENT ADOLESCENT GIRLS. BESIDES REMINISCING ABOUT THE ORIGINAL PRODUCTION, THE PARTICIPANTS INTERVIEWED ALSO EXPRESSED POSITIVE VIEWS ON THE THEATER AS A VALUABLE POSTRELEASE EXPERIENCE, AND VIEWED THEMSELVES AS RESPONSIBLE FOR SETTING AN EXAMPLE OF ADJUSTMENT FOR CONVICTS STILL IN PRISON. PHOTOGRAPHS ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Community support; Ex-offender employment; Post-release programs; Social reintegration; Vocational training
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64072

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