Women inmates presented life-changing performances of A Christmas Carol at the Newman Center through DU’s Prison Arts Initiative.
The multifaceted Prison Arts Initiative brings the arts to incarcerated individuals with the goal to promote growth and change in their lives. To date the project has presented two plays. The first, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was performed for the public inside a men’s correctional facility in 2018. The second A Christmas Carol was performed by 30 incarcerated women at Newman Center on Dec 12-13, 2019, selling out over 1,000 tickets.
A Christmas Carol‘s themes of redemption and spiritual transformation were ideal to mirror the goals of this groundbreaking work. Project director Dr. Ashley Hamilton explains, “Do you think people who commit terrible crimes should have the opportunity to change, or do you think they should just be punished for the rest of their lives until they die?” She expanded to emphasize that this will be the pivotal moment when prison life began to change in America.
We were deeply inspired and humbled to be able to witness a project that is working successfully to make prisons more humane.
About DU’s Prison Arts Initiative
The University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative promotes access to high-quality therapeutic arts programs to incarcerated people in Colorado with the goal of empowering individuals to improve the quality of their lives and prepare to make positive changes in their communities upon release. DU PAI sees this work as part of DU’s commitment to be “a great private university dedicated to the public good.”
How a Prison Play Goes on Tour: The New York Times
Finding freedom and purpose in the power of making theatre: Denver Center for the Performing Arts
For information about the Newman Center:
Nathan Willers / firstname.lastname@example.org / 303-871-4154