Poetic Justice ProjectDonate
Poetic Justice Project advances social justice by engaging formerly incarcerated people in original theatre that examines crime, punishment and redemption.
The Big Idea:
Poetic Justice Project!
In January, Poetic Justice Project, the first theater company of formerly incarcerated actors in California, enters its 10th year. To celebrate (and educate), we want to create a 12-minute documentary film about the actors and production process. The company has engaged nearly 100 actors in 17 productions, performs regularly in S.B., Santa Maria, and S.L.O., and has also performed on Alcatraz Island, a 10-city Prison Town Tour, and at the International Steinbeck Festival. The actors have unlocked more than 7,000 Californians’ hearts and minds. In 2018, Poetic Justice Project wants to reach 3,000 more people, bringing the 10-year total to more than 10,000!
Nine years ago I appeared in Poetic Justice Project’s first play, BLUE TRAIN. I was still on parole and a little reluctant to take the part—I had never acted before. But performing in BLUE TRAIN was a life-transforming experience. The audience loved us! But even more profound, I fell in love with the audience. There is something magical that happens when a person who has been imprisoned and ostracized by society is able to tell his story to a group of people who represent the very society that locked him up. With each play, I witness walls of hate, fear, and shame dissolve under the applause of acceptance, acknowledgment and praise. I see the impact of a story well told on the faces of our audience members. It is something that I will cherish for as long as I live. Poetic Justice Project makes healing possible one line, one act, one play, one tear, one laugh, one human being at a time.
— Leonard Flippen, Santa Maria