CONWAY, Ark. (July 23, 2019)
Rises and the Cynthia
Cook Sandefur Odyssey Professorship at Hendrix College present the 2019 Hope
Rises Theatre Project: Hurry Up and Wait,
a performance piece based on the experiences of female inmates in the Arkansas
Department of Corrections. Two performances will take place Sunday, Aug. 11, at
6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The performances will be held at the Arkansas Repertory
Theatre’s Annex, a 125-seat black box theatre space at 518 Main Street in
Little Rock. Tickets cost $25 and may be reserved through Eventbrite.
The Hope Rises Theatre Project
aims to change the story of incarceration in Arkansas by changing who tells the
stories about prisons: the inmates themselves. Telling these stories helps to
enrich the lives of women at the Hope Rises re-entry facility through theatre
arts, and provides a raw, honest account of life in prison.
Project facilitators use
group discussion, individual interviews, voice work, and movement work to write
a performance piece based on experiences that Hope Rises residents have had
while imprisoned and during re-entry. Residents of Hope Rises will bring that
performance piece to life — providing an opportunity for new understanding
among those in the audience who have never experienced incarceration.
“Working with Hope Rises has
been so meaningful,” said Ann Muse ’83, the Cynthia Cook Sandefur Odyssey
Professor of Theatre Arts at Hendrix College. An experimental first year of
collaboration with Hope Rises in 2017-2018 led Muse to apply for the Odyssey
professorship, which she received in the spring of 2019. It provides funding
for the Hope Rises Theatre Project, as well as the opportunity for three
undergraduate theatre arts students — Danielle Carney ’21, Peter Grant ’21, and
Ragan Price ’21 — to collaborate with Hope Rises, Muse, and Little Rock theatre
artist Wayne Chapman in developing the work.
“Having the support to share
the work with my students and colleagues is a dream,” Muse said. “The ladies of
Hope Rises are among the most courageous I have ever met.” Muse has begun a blog
to chronicle the development of this year’s project.
“Of all the creative
programs that have been a part of my work with the women of Hope Rises, this
programming has had more impact and demonstrated more clear results than any
other to date,” said Kim Roxburgh, executive director of Hope Rises.
A private liberal arts
college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as
one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That
Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and
rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous
college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been
affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.
Rises provides holistic
services to women impacted by addiction, trauma, or incarceration to improve
their health and well-being and provide opportunities for personal growth and
empowerment. The nonprofit organization provides the necessary tools and
support to help women navigate the numerous barriers to re-entry. The Hope
Rises Justice Involved Women’s Empowerment Model is an evidence-based re-entry
approach, rooted in the most innovative research from the National Institute of
Correction and the Department of Justice to reduce the recidivism rate among