AMZ Creative, LLC announced it is accepting submissions for the 2012 Voices Inside Playwriting Residency at Northpoint Training Center, a male population, medium security prison in Burgin, Kentucky.
Voices Inside, founded by Curt Tofteland (Shakespeare Behind Bars), Robby Henson (Managing Director, Pioneer Playhouse) and playwright Liz Orndorff, is an inspirational inmate writing and theater program at Northpoint Training Center. The program uses theater arts and creative thinking to increase communication skills, build self-esteem, humanize and enrich the lives of those closed off behind bars. It has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.
The 2012 Voices Inside Playwriting Residency offers a unique eight-day exchange. Under the guidance of Voices Insides Artistic Director Robby Henson and playwriting instructor Liz Orndorff, the resident playwright will lead writing workshops and critique the inmates' work. The prisoner-playwrights will also read the visiting playwright's work and discuss the playwright's process and style. The residency will take place in July 2012.
Mac Rogers, winner of back-to-back Independent Theatre Bloggers Association Best Off-Off Broadway Play awards for Universal Robots and Viral, was the first recipient of the residency, and spent two weeks in Kentucky in July and August 2011. He taught the prisoner-playwrights how to set up a suspenseful play and to utilize silence in their work. Rogers said of the experience, "Working with the playwrights of Voices Inside was a profoundly rewarding experience. Seeing how much the act of playwriting means to these men was a powerful reminder for me of how much solace and enrichment there is in artistic expression. I was proud of what little I could teach them, and grateful for all they taught me."
More information about the residency and the application may be found at www.northpointplays.com
The Northpoint Voices Inside Playwrighting Residency is a collaborative effort among the Voices Inside Playwriting Program at Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison in Burgin, Kentucky; the Pioneer Playhouse (Danville, KY), AMZ Creative, LLC (NYC) and Theaterlab (NYC). The program supports a playwriting residency at Northpoint and presents the prisoner-playwrights' work in New York City. The first presentation of prisoner-playwrights' plays was performed at the Baruch Performing Arts Center on May 27, 2011. The cast included Ashlie Atkinson, Kwaku Driskell, Peter Jay Fernandez, Kyle Knauf, Michael Markham, Eric T. Miller, David Sedgwick and Rick Zahn and the directors were Carlo Altomare, Jeremy Dobrish, Erma Duricko, Padraic Lillis, Synge Maher and Melanie Sutherland.