Improvisation. The theatrical art of flying without a net. An art form that necessitates trust, support, and a need to tear down all of one’s figurative and emotional walls. Needless to say, I was nervous about attending the drama class at Arrendale State Prison before my first day. I had absolutely no idea what I was walking in to (outside of what I had seen on television). I mean, I was going to walk in to an environment where I would be asking these women to tear down their barriers, while of course they were literally barricaded in by the prison walls. I was doomed to fail, right? Wrong.
What I experienced was so inspirational and full of support, that I left after the first day exhausted yet renewed; Inspired, heartbroken and most definitely fortified in the knowledge that arts education is necessary and vital for not only our children, but as a tool to rehabilitate and heal those who are less fortunate. These women welcomed me, tried new things, and really wanted to share their experience with me. By the time I went back for week two, I felt like part of their “production” team. These women are committed to growing as artists and supporting one another in their troupe. I feel nothing less than honored to have been a part of this program this semester. Thank you.