DU PAI's performances and arts events are evidence of memorable and enduring collaborations with facilities across Colorado. The casts and crews for these productions consist of incarcerated people, which means all design and technical elements are imagined and created inside. This dedication to the arts by all involved has resulted in two full-scale productions since Fall 2019.
IF LIGHT CLOSED ITS EYES, The film, Premiere Screening
The University of Denver's Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI) and the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) are excited to invite you to the first public film screening of IF LIGHT CLOSED ITS EYES at the SIE Film Center on Wednesday, May 31st.
Wednesday, May 31st, 2023
Opening Reception: 5:30pm
Film Screening: 6:30pm
Panel Discussion: 8:30pm
IF LIGHT CLOSED ITS EYES is a verbatim documentary play, created from 100 interviews, exploring the criminal justice system and shared humanity. This production was performed, designed, and produced with over 100 incarcerated artists, with the guidance of DU PAI faculty, in Sterling Correctional Facility in the CDOC and is the culmination of over two and a half years of work by the creative team. The live theatre production was performed for over 1,200 people (CDOC Staff, Residents, and the public) in the summer of 2022 in a cell house in Sterling Correctional Facility. The DU Prison Arts Initiative filmed this production to share its impact more broadly.
More on the creation IF LIGHT CLOSED ITS EYES: The IF LIGHT CLOSED ITS EYES creative team conducted over 100 interviews with incarcerated people, CDOC staff, victims and survivors of harm, family members of incarcerated people and victims, district attorneys, lawyers, senators, politicians, educators, spiritual leaders and more to understand their experiences with the criminal justice system. The creative team spent countless more hours crafting, designing and producing this unprecedented verbatim play from those interviews. Along the way the team discovered the power of collecting and holding other people’s stories and how they connect us to our shared humanity and complex histories. IF LIGHT CLOSED ITS EYES is an exploration and documentation of the American criminal justice system at a pivotal time in history, as well as a vision of possibility for corrections in the future. You can purchase the IF LIGHT CLOSED ITS EYES script, follow the link in the comments.
Executive Producer and Director: Ashley Hamilton
Director of Dance: Joanna Rotkin
Director of Photography: Drummond West
Producer and Production Manager: Tess Neel
2023 Unchained Voices Fine Arts Show
DU PAI is excited to announce that our 2023 Unchained Voices Fine Arts Show will be hosted by Arapahoe Community College's Colorado Gallery of the Arts. This year's show will be curated by MCA Denver's very own Leilani Lynch, and the proposed theme of the 2023 Unchained Voices exhibition is “Liminal Presents and Futures.” The theme asks artists to think about the concept of liminality or in-betweenness as it relates to incarcerated life. Please see below for more information about the upcoming art galleries:
Colorado Gallery of the Arts – Arapahoe Community College the Annex Building – Selected works will be showcased in an in-person gallery from September 25–October 27, 2023, 5900 S. Santa Fe Dr, Littleton 80120
We will be hosting an Opening Reception on Wednesday, September 27 at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts
Unchained Voices 2023 online gallery – All work will be displayed on the Unchained Voices Website from September 25–October 27
Artwork pictured: "Saturday Afternoon in Eloy" by R. Ragels (2022 Submission)Purchase Unchained Voices Art
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