"When my dear friend Sarah Shourd told me about the fundraising campaign to help raise awareness about the cruelty of solitary confinement, I knew I wanted to help. She offers a way to give directly to a campaign led by someone who has *lived through* solitary confinement -- indeed, I cannot think of a person I would want to support more in these efforts than Sarah Shourd. With your help, she will compile the stories of people facing solitary *right now*, and she will work tirelessly to strengthen this important movement. I have seen her in action and she knows no other way than to give it her ALL. Please donate what you can." -- Lia Rose
ABOUT THE PROJECT: BY SARAH SHOURD
For this project I will draw from my own experience as an author, a journalist and the 410 days I spent in solitary confinement while held as a political hostage by the Iranian government from 2009-2010. My goal is to portray real stories with truthfulness, dignity and complexity and also to make the experience of watching this play as visceral as possible.
I want the audience to breathe along with a young man having a panic attack after being denied a visit with his mother, to crawl inside the skin of an immigrant detainee terrified of being deported and to travel with a lifer on a magic carpet of memory—only to be pulled back into the stark, implacable reality of the hole. By hearing these stories, my hope is that the audience will be able to relate to the men and women enduring this torture in our prisons, to their pain but also to their resistance to the dehumanizing forces around them, their incredible resilience…and their refusal to be institutionalized.
Once the play is written we’ll move to stage production—enlisting well-known actors and survivors to perform in cities across the country. Our strategy is not just to perform the play—in each city we visit we will meet with local politicians, prison officials, activists, survivors and their families. Everywhere we go, we will provide our audience with ways to stay involved, act on what they’ve seen and contribute to nation-wide efforts to end this practice in our prisons for good.
Become a Producer for ‘Opening the Box’:
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