What happens when I look at you: the intimate space of prison theater


  • Karen Hamer University of Texas-Dallas
  • Cedric Martin DUPAI Sterling Correctional Facility




Teatro na prisão, Artes prisionais, Voluntários na prisão, Reabilitação, Artes em correções


Despite the burgeoning literature on theater and volunteers in prisons, there is little research that looks at the prison theater experience through the eyes of both the outside volunteers and the prisoner-participants.  This article seeks to weave together the voices of the co-authors in order to explore shared experiences of the prison theater classroom. These experiences – variously described as ‘magical’ and ‘transcendent’ – are dependent on the volunteer successfully navigating entry into the prison. The space of the prison theater classroom then becomes a relational refuge where both prisoners and volunteers can feel welcome and accepted, seen not as other but as essential.


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Biografia do Autor

Karen Hamer, University of Texas-Dallas

Doctoral student at the University of Texas-Dallas. She is the founder and artistic director of Tin Roof Productions 501(c)(3). Karen taught Shakespeare as a volunteer at Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colorado, from 2015-2017.

Cedric Martin, DUPAI Sterling Correctional Facility

Member of DUPAI at Sterling Correctional Facility, Sterling, Colorado. Of his 20 years’ incarceration, he has spent ten-plus years in solitary confinement. Cedric’s interests include physical mathematics, letter-writing, and drawing.


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Como Citar

HAMER, Karen; MARTIN, Cedric. What happens when I look at you: the intimate space of prison theater . Urdimento - Revista de Estudos em Artes Cênicas, Florianópolis, v. 3, n. 39, p. 1–33, 2020. DOI: 10.5965/14145731033920200110. Disponível em: https://revistas.udesc.br/index.php/urdimento/article/view/18907. Acesso em: 18 maio. 2024.



Dossiê temático: Artes da Cena atrás das grades