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Inside Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison, we are rehearsing Thornton Wilder's Our Town, but we need your help.
104 backers pledged $3,761 to help bring this project to life.
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$3,761

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Thornton Wilder’s Our Town opened on Broadway on February 4, 1938 — this year, we celebrate the Pulitzer Prize-winning play’s 75th year of candidly asking us whether we are paying attention to our lives, “every, every minute.”  Twenty participants in RTA at Sing Sing have been rehearsing Our Town since February; next month, they will perform the play both for the general population of the prison and for an invited civilian audience. 

We need your help to costume this production and to build platforms on which to play; we need your help to hire a videographer to document the production, so that we can send DVDs to the families of the participants, who are not allowed to attend. Your contribution will give these men the gift of self-confidence, a sense of accomplishment, improved communication skills, and the knowledge that someone on the outside cares.

Rehabilitation Through The Arts believes in the profoundly rehabilitative effect that engaging in the arts has on men and women behind bars. Through creative expression in theatre, dance, voice, writing and visual art, prisoners learn social and cognitive skills that act as a springboard to education, family reconciliation and ultimately, successful reintegration into community life. You can read a bit more about our work here.

Risks and challenges

The show will go on. May 29, 30 & 31st.

With your help, we can tell the story more clearly, more compellingly, and we can give all the participants, incarcerated and otherwise, a richer experience.

Staging a play inside a maximum security prison presents all kinds of challenges: two actors in this production have already been transferred to medium-security prisons, and their roles had to be re-cast; an understudy stepped in when another actor had a security violation. We have to navigate class and work schedules, family visits and other prisoner commitments. Every detail requires approval; every costume and prop needs security clearance. But RTA has staged productions at Sing Sing for 17 years – from Shakespeare and West Side Story to original plays written by prisoners. With your help, this show will go on.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Playbill for Our Town.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Production poster, signed by the incarcerated actors.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A DVD of the production.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A DVD of the production, PLUS a dozen fiercely good cupcakes, hand baked by the director, who happens to make a mighty fine baked good when she is not directing in prison.

    Cupcakes can be delivered in the tri-state area only. Sorry, folks.

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Funding period

- (13 days)