“I cannot begin to tell you how important those sessions were to me and the rest of the group. It was the one time we were able to interact in a constructive, non-competitive way. I saw my fellow inmates in an entirely new light: as creative, intelligent women. The classes were both freeing and empowering. Still Point brought us color, light and imagination. I can honestly say that Lisa and her group enriched not only my prison experience but my life"
-Roberta Ashley, Former Workshop Participant
“Still Point Theatre is courageous in its efforts to make a difference in the lives of our inmates and our community… The creativity of this project, along with the skills and enthusiasm of the people involved, are very effective and are slowly breaking the many complex barriers of incarcerated female inmates, who are so often depleted of hope and motivation."
-Rick Riddle, Former Program Manager, Lake County Jail
Through the Persephone Project, Still Point conducts outreach programs for currently and formerly incarcerated women in the greater Chicago area. We facilitate weekly theatre workshops at Cook County Jail, Lake County Jail, and the Metropolitan Correctional Center. These workshops are safe spaces for incarcerated women to examine their stories and build community with one another. Facilitators use creative writing exercises, theater games, storytelling, and improvisational techniques to help participants develop an original performance around specific subjects or themes.
The classes help build communication skills as the women learn how to articulate their own thoughts and feelings. The four-month process culminates in a special on-site performance for invited guests, prison volunteers, and fellow inmates. For women who often feel invisible or forgotten, this event provides a unique opportunity to share their experiences and receive the validation of an audience’s applause.
Recognizing the many challenges that exist for formerly incarcerated women, we provide programming designed to address their needs during the critical time after release. In an ongoing collaboration with Grace House, a transitional home for women exiting the Illinois prison system, writing and public speaking are developed to assist with the job-seeking process.
We also provide support and encouragement to help women build a new life for themselves. The ultimate goal of the Persephone Project is to reduce recidivism.
For more information please call (773) 868-1700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This video was filmed by Adam Villiani in 2018.