Who Benefits from the 99-Seat Plan?
3 hours ago
This is the former location of the blog of the Andrew Wood Acting Studio in Los Angeles.. The blog is now located at http://www.andrewwoodla.com/blog. This old location has been left in place as an archive.
A troupe of 18 convicted murderers, robbers and other felons at Woodbourne Correctional Facility had been scheduled to perform an original play Wednesday at Eastern Correctional Facility in Ellenville.
But the state Department of Correctional Services has canceled the show because union workers threatened to picket.
In January 2008, inmates began writing and rehearsing their own Broadway-style show about the difficulty of living behind bars and keeping a family. The play, "Starting Over," was funded and supervised by Rehabilitation Through the Arts, a nonprofit group that seeks to reduce recidivism through arts enrichment programs. The group declined comment on the cancellation, but it forged ahead with a production of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" last week at Sing Sing.
Kevin Walker, regional vice president for the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, said prison farms, annexes and print shops have been useful because they teach skills that can be applied toward a job on the outside. The union saw no value in theater work.
"How many of these medium-security convicts do you think will go to Broadway and get a job?" Walker said. "We believe it's a blatant waste of manpower and funding."