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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77178 Find in a Library
Title: Presenting Theatre for the Forgotten
Journal: Exxon USA  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(First quarter 1981)  Pages:8-11
Author(s): J Wandres
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the activities of the Theatre for the Forgotten (TFTF), a theater group which brings stage plays to the inmates of New York State prisons.
Abstract: TFTF, a group founded by an actor and an actress, became active in a program of workshops in all 15 of New York City's correctional facilities in 1973. The troupe gave its first performance before a packed house at the correctional facility on Rikers Island. The experimental concept went so well that TFTF was invited to repeat the performance in the women's prison. The cast then returned to Rikers Island to find a highly supportive staff improving theatrical facilities at the prison. The actors enlisted nearly 50 inmates to play the parts of spectators, court officials, and guards for a play about the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti. These initial successes led to acceptance of the program at New York's maximum security facilities located at Auburn, Attica, and Dannemora. The care with which plays are selected contributes to the welcome reception on the part of officials and inmates alike. TFTF activities have broadened to include workshops for inmates and detainees. In 1978, TFTF was approved for a $675,000 grant under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act. In addition, under TFTF's own Community Enrichment Through Arts funding, 50 actors, dancers, and technicians taught workshops and gave performances in parks, community centers, and senior centers. For TFTF, the challenge of earning the attention of the audiences in correctional facilities remains the central theme. Nine photographs are included.
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Inmate art programs; Inmate recreational programs; New York; State correctional facilities
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