Program helps female inmates with stress, self expression

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CHICAGO -- A helping hand for female inmates at the Cook County jail is coming in the form of a new theater program.

The classes are designed to uplift women and improve communication skills as they await trial.

They are facing everything from drug, to kidnapping, to murder charges.  But once a week for about 90 minutes, stress and fears are forgotten and learning becomes the focus.

For eight weeks a small group of inmates practice meditation, theater games, and improvisation.

It is the second series of classes the Piven Theatre workshop in Evanston has brought to the jail.

Kerry Wright is the Deputy Director of Enrichment Programs.  She says not only does the program help inmates learn communication and life skills,  it makes life in general better for all.

“Those inmates involved in these types of programs really try to stay out of trouble and not want to get any incidents because once they do they very rarely get to come back to the program,” Wright says.

Each session is broken down into a series of games and improvs before gathering into group for writing personal thoughts and emotions from the class.


More information

Piven Benefit Reading

Sunday March 12th 3pm

Davis Theater

4614 N. Lincoln Ave.

Reception to follow

Tickets - $65


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