SUNY Potsdam to stage plays penned by Riverview inmates
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 5:42 pm

POTSDAM -- The Department of Theatre and Dance at SUNY Potsdam will present, for the first time ever, a staged reading of seven short plays by playwrights incarcerated at Riverview Correctional Facility in Ogdensburg.

The free Playwriting Across Prison Walls Play Festival will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., in the Black Box Theater, located in the College's Performance Arts Center.

Playwriting Across Prison Walls is the beginning of great community theatre -- providing a voice and a platform to those behind bars.

In addition to the performance at SUNY Potsdam, there were staged readings at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility and the Riverview Correctional Facility earlier this semester.

All seven plays will be read by the students enrolled in the upper-division "Theatre in the Community" course offered this semester.

With months of script development, Assistant Professor Rivka Rocchio worked closely with the men at Riverview Facility to help them expand their ideas and make sense of their findings, as well as create cohesive plays to be put on stage.

The playwrights and title of the plays are as follows:

Jose A. Bell, "Up and Down Our Stares"

Chazz McDowell, "Sleep or Duty"

Christopher Chiaro, "The Meaning of Luminance"

Karon Ragoobar, "The Dream"

Corey "Harlow" McWhirter, "Diggin' Deep on the Surface"

Angelo M. Collins, "Urban Legend"

Richard Sanders, "Lies, Deception"

Admission to the staged reading is free, and run-time for the show is approximately 90 minutes. A talk-back will follow the performance, and audience members will be asked to complete surveys in response to the performance. The surveys are voluntary.

To reserve free seats in advance, contact the Community Performance Series Box Office at 315-267-2277.

Info: 315-267-2556,