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Prison Arts in the News

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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

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The DU Prison Arts Initiative enriches the lives of people who are incarcerated. Play productions and theatre performances, podcast episodes, art workshops, leadership programs and educational courses are just some of the ways DU PAI is changing the conversation about prison. Explore news media archives covering the many initiatives of DU Prison Arts.

 

Recent Stories in the Media

Date Story
December 23, 2019

Denver Inmates Performing 'A Christmas Carol' Take Second Chance Message To Heart

Earlier this month, inmates at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility left prison to perform Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" at the University of Denver, and they say they really felt the play's theme of redemption.

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December 26, 2019

Prisoners take 'Christmas Carol' to the public, selling out almost immediately: 'Like a dream'

Nearly 40 inmates spent the holiday season rehearsing Christmas carols and dance ensembles for their performance of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

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Past Coverage

  • Winter 2019-2020

    How a Prison Play Goes on Tour (The New York Times)

    Thirty Colorado inmates staged"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" for nearby prisons. For some, it was the first time in years they were outside 20-foot walls and razor fences. 

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    DU Prison Arts Initiative putting on play for state inmates, by state inmates (The Colorado Springs Gazette) 

    The production is part of the DU Prison Arts Initiative. The university partnered with the Colorado Department of Corrections to fund three years of arts programming for prisoners. 

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    Incarcerated Women Star in the Newman Center’s Most Anticipated Holiday Performance, A Christmas Carol (5280: Denver's Mile High Magazine)

    The three-performance series—a collaboration between the Colorado Department of Corrections and University of Denver's Prison Arts Initiative—is an effort to provide therapeutic and creative outlets for prisoners. And each show is completely sold out.

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    'So Excited:' Incarcerated Women Perform 'A Christmas Carol' At DU Theater (KUNC: Community Radio for Northern Colorado)

    Colorado Edition co-host Erin O'Toole spoke to KUNC's Stephanie Daniel about the unique arts collaboration between the University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI) and the Colorado Department of Corrections.

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    Making History: First Ever Play By Inmates Performed Outside Prison Walls Takes Place In Denver (CBS Denver)

    For the first time in the United States, a group of inmates is performing a play outside of prison walls, and it’s taking place at the University of Denver.

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    By Performing ‘A Christmas Carol,’ Female Inmates Get To Practice Living Out Their Own Second Chances (Colorado Public Radio)

    Theater is a place to build healthy relationships and practice self-expression before inmates are released.

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    Prisoners take 'Christmas Carol' to the public, selling out almost immediately: 'Like a dream' (Fox News)

    From the outside, all aspects of the show resemble a standard holiday performance. But, as soon as the final number concludes and the curtains close, members of the all-woman cast swap their colorful costumes for prison uniforms and head back to their temporary home: the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility.

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  • Fall 2019

    Colorado Arts Program Aims To Bring 'More Humanity' To Prison (KUNC)

    Inside a gymnasium in northeast Denver, a group of actors are performing the play 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.' The lights dim, synthesized music blares and Chief Bromden stands on a box, arms outstretched. Bromden is the narrator, a catatonic, half-Native American man who talks to the audience through hallucinations. 

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    Prison Theatre: Finding Freedom in the Worst Possible Place (DCPA)

    Nathan Ybanez has spent his life being watched with suspicion, lust and disgust – both before and after he was sentenced to life in prison at age 16. 

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    Prisoners Put On A Play (News Channel 13)

    History this afternoon at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility as inmates from the prison in Sterling put on a play this afternoon. 

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    This isn't "Orange Is the New Black": Colorado inmates take theater production on tour (The Denver Post)

    Brett Phillips sauntered onto a stage, swagger in full display as he introduced himself as Randle Patrick McMurphy in the production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." 

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    PHOTOS: Felons performed "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility (The Denver Post)

    More than two dozen felons performed in the production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" Tuesday at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. Organizers said it is the first prison theater production in the country to take a show on tour. It's all part of the University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative, a 2017 program to bring arts into Colorado prisons as a way to reduce recidivism, and promote community and humanity with a segment of the population often stigmatized by the outside world. 

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    Colorado prison allows inmates to perform in plays (Daily Blast)

    A Colorado prison has a program that allows inmates who have committed violent crimes to participate in plays. Should inmates be allowed to participate in fun activities? 

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    Inmates bring their production of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest' on tour to another prison (9 News)

    History happened Tuesday afternoon at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. Male inmates from the prison in Sterling came to the women's facility to perform, and the group's director said their production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" is the first time in America that a prison play has gone on tour. 

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    "Inmates as Actors: University of Denver Takes Theater to Colorado Prisons" (FOX 31 Denver)

    They are the last people you'd expect to see taking the stage: Colorado prisoners, performing for other Colorado prisoners. Early Tuesday, inmates at Sterling Correctional Facility took their show on the road, performing their production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" to a crowd of female inmates at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. 

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