Stateville

  • APTP at Stateville: Voices from the Inside

    Since early February, I have been co-teaching a theater and writing course at Stateville, a maximum-security prison located just outside Joliet, Illinois, through the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. In this course, the dozen or so students explore voice, body, and spirit through many of the same exercises done with the teenaged ensemble at Albany Park Theater Project. During one session, students discussed the inability to create a visual and sonic record of the performance art they were creating. As one student said, “I wish we could camcord this.” Recording devices are not allowed in the prison. That same student then made the suggestion that each week a student ought to write down the events of the previous class to document not only the activities, but the impact it had on them and their peers. More than a journal entry, this writing would be the film, the photograph, the audio file, and the documentary they wished they had. These students do work and want the world to know it. Learn more about their work below in the words of students Devon Terrell and Darrell Fair:

  • Onichino: The Family Feud

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Carl “Raphael” Williams rewrote “Pinocchio.” Read C.R.’s story below:

  • The Story of Rob Hood

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Rodney Clemons rewrote “Robin Hood.” Read Rodney’s story below:

  • Pinocchio

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Darrell Fair rewrote “Pinocchio.” Read Darrell’s story below:

  • Anansi the American Eagle

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Abdul-Malik Muhammad wrote his own “Anansi the Spider” story. Read Malik’s story below:

  • Jack and the Beanstalk

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Willie Moses McGee III rewrote “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Read Willie’s story below:

  • Duckin’ Ugly

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Devon Terrell I rewrote “The Ugly Duckling.” Read Devon’s story below:

  • Sleeping Snow Brown & the Seven Dudes

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Henry Lovett rewrote “Sleeping Beauty” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” Read Henry’s story below:

  • Rob in the Hood

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    B.J. Henderson rewrote “Robin Hood.” Read B.J.’s story below:

  • Black Swan

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Albert X rewrote “The Ugly Duckling.” Read Albert X’s story below:

  • The Real Story of Humpty Dumpty

    During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?

    Markus Buchanan rewrote “Humpty Dumpty.” Read Markus’ story below: