Theatre & Film Performances
DU PAI, in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC), connects incarcerated cast, crew and production teams to the public through live performances and audience talkback sessions. Arts-based performances serve educational purposes for both participants and viewers, while encouraging new conversations about the role of art across communities.
Attend a Performance
The DU Prison Arts Initiative partners with the CDOC to host theatre performances inside prison facilities. Attendees will need to comply with CDOC requirements, including a background check. Once approved, DU PAI will provide further information about what to expect when visiting. We also occasionally host performances at public venues, including the University of Denver. For additional information on attending an upcoming performance, either inside or outside a CDOC facility, please sign-up for the DU PAI newsletter.
Short Film: THESE WALLS
THESE WALLS is an original, short-film retrospective of Colorado's oldest prison, Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility. The film was devised, written, and performed by artists who were incarcerated there during the facility's 150th year. The film draws from historical accounts and contemporary personal narratives in order to investigate one man's search for humanity through an unexpected correspondence within the walls of a prison hewn from the canyon that became Cañon City. THESE WALLS asks audiences to consider the ways care and accountability can create healing and hope in our criminal justice system. THESE WALLS is produced and created by the DU Prison Arts Initiative in partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections.
"Our Town" tells the story of the fictional town of Grover's Corners and the everyday lives of its citizens. The play is written by Thornton Wilder, was directed by Ashley Hamilton, PhD, and included six DU undergraduate actors, three previously incarcerated actors (all on staff at DU PAI) and seven currently incarcerated actors who Zoomed in live to perform on projection screens.
Performances took place on November 5-6, 2021, at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.
A/LIVE INSIDE was a live virtual event weaving together theatrical performance, song, music, dance, visual art and panoramic true-life stories of incarcerated artists from multiple prison facilities in Colorado. The showcase was followed by a live roundtable discussion from incarcerated participants, DU Prison Arts Initiative and the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Art by Andrew Draper (incarcerated at Sterling Correctional Facility)
- Virtual Event
DU PAI Incarcerated Participant
I think a lot of people have the idea that prison is 'lock them up, throw away the key, they don't deserve anything.' So, when you start bringing the human conversation back . . . then those conversations start shifting.