performance | writing | direction

La Paloma Prisoner

paloma finale

La Paloma Prisoner- Signature Theatre: Photo by Bobby Plascencia.

OFFICIAL RELEASE: La Paloma Prisoner is programmed as part of the Next Door series with New York Theatre Workshop 2019/2020 series for a full theatrical run from April 19th – May 9th, 2020, directed by Estefania Fadul. NYTW- Next Door tickets

About the La Paloma Prisoner Project:

La Paloma Prisoner is a theatre project by Raquel Almaƶán about the reclamation of identity by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in the prison system. Developed from her longstanding work with incarcerated and impacted communities, the play will have its World Premiere at Next Door @ New York Theatre Workshop in spring 2020, alongside a series of initiatives aimed at raising awareness and inciting action towards the end of global mass incarceration. The project includes programs designed to uplift the voices and narratives of current and formerly incarcerated women-identified folx of color through workshops in prisons, conversation circles, a mini symposium, and panel discussions leading up to the production’s scheduled run at NYTW in April.

About the play:

La Paloma Prisoner is a multi-disciplinary play about the reclamation of identity by incarcerated women in the Colombian prison system. This new play centers on an infamous woman nicknamed “La Paloma” who transcendentally soars beyond physical and societal barriers to avenge the raped women of Bogota, leading the public to believe La Paloma may have magical avenger abilities. Based on the true story of incarcerated women  selected every year as beauty queen contestants at the Buen Pastor prison in Bogota, this new play interweaves the ritualistic journey of a “parade of prisoners” with Colombia’s social, political, and spiritual history. Claiming of this newfound power, the women redefine beauty, their own humanity, and their identity as criminals. La Paloma Prisoner revolutionizes not only the women’s lives, but prison society and the world beyond its walls.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS:

Fall 2019

Sept. 14th, 2019–  La Paloma Kickoff event held at The People’s Forum, was the launch of a series of events geared toward amplifying & celebrating the community of activists and artists who are actively raising awareness and inciting action toward de-carceration. The Kickoff featured performances, including live music, an excerpt reading of the play, and a panel highlight key organizations within the movement.

Oct. 18- 20th, 2019 –  Almazan collaborates with impacted advocates, artists and change-makers creating an original piece addressing civic participation towards de-carceration. With Theater of Change Forum with Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Columbia University School of Law and The Center for Institutional and Social Change.)

Nov. 2nd, 2019– Almazan collaborates with Pen America in a series of interviews, featuring Pen America poetry by incarcerated women at Paloma Prisoner events and as a guest at the Writing for Justice Fellows cohort gathering.)

Nov. 13th, 2019- La Paloma Prisoner Project: Women, Trauma & De-carceration at Kingsborough Community College. Collaboration with Dr. Vanda Seward. Featuring panelist Donna Hylton (Center for Health, Equity and Justice).

Nov. 20th, 2019– Poetic Theatre Productions Poetic Theater Productions, Judson Arts Wednesdays, and The La Paloma Prisoner Project in association with La Lucha Arts presents:

Ascención: Celebrating the Movement Toward Liberation – directed by Estefania Fadul.

Wednesday, November 20 at 8:00PM

Full, free potluck-style meal served at 7:15 pm at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square S)

Join us for an evening highlighting the work of women artists of color devoted to advocating for and developing work around de-carceration, liberation, and reclamation. With a particular focus on those who have been targeted or imprisoned for protecting and defending themselves, their rights, and those of other women or their families, Ascención will create a space for activism, healing, and embracing a destiny of liberation.

November/ December 2019– Almazan facilitates as a guest artist at Rikers Island, East River Academy.

December 2019 (Date TBA) –  La Paloma Prisoner staged reading tour to Incarceration Facilities in New York City, directed by Estefania Fadul.

December 2019 (Date TBA) –  (Almazan facilities a theatre workshop with clients of Steps to End Family Violence serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women).

Winter/Spring 2020

January 2020 – Theatre Workshops with Impacted Women in collaboration with community partners.

March 2020– Women and Incarceration Literary Event. Diverse panel and excerpt readings of books by female writers addressing female incarceration from a variety of perspectives. Including Dr. Baz Dreisinger (Author of Incarcerated Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World and Executive Director of the Incarcerated Nations Network).

April 19th – May 9th, 2020, World Premiere of La Paloma Prisoner at New York Theatre Workshop Next Door Series. directed by Estefania Fadul.

TBA – Talk backs, story circles and other workshops and events with our community partners during the run of the show at New York Theatre Workshop.

 

INTERVIEWS AND AWARDS:

  • An excerpt from the La Paloma Prisoner play, analysis and interview with Alessandro Clericuzio in Performing Gender and Violence in National and Transnational Contexts; Edited by Maria Anita Stefanelli; published early 2017 by L.E.D. Edizioni universitarie di Letterature Economia Diritto, Milano. HERE
  • Columbia University awarded this play the Arthur J. Harris Memorial Prize in social justice and the play received the NALAC National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Arts Grant for prison and community center performances (Impacted Women Series for La Paloma Prisoner Project)  – more HERE
  • La Paloma Prisoner awarded the LGBTQ Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Playwriting Prize. 2nd place prize. More HERE
  • Celebrity Scoop interview HERE
  • Paloma Media page HERE

LA PALOMA PRISONER – presentation history: (full length) Workshop production at The Signature Theatre off-Broadway directed by Charlotte Brathwaite. (Selected for World Theatre Day: Performing Gender and Violence in Contemporary National and Transnational Contexts Conference in Rome, Italy. Tre Roma University, Rome Italy reading) (Women’s Playwrights International Conference- Stockholm, Sweden) (The Lark Play Development Reading) (Labyrinth Theatre Intensive reading) (Staged Reading at La Mama ETC and INTAR). Critical Breaks Residency directed by Estefania Fadul (Hi-Arts).

LA PALOMA PRISONER PROJECT – MORE HERE

La Paloma Prisoner Project is a multi-faceted theatre and outreach project about the reclamation of identity by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in the prison system. For the last three years this project has taken the form of play presentations, panels, conferences, activist demonstrations, advocacy think tanks, workshops and community partnerships with orgs dedicated to serving impacted people.

“My major inspiration for La Paloma comes from my experience as an arts facilitator to incarcerated women at two maximum security prisons in South Florida. This play fuses years of activism and writing about marginalized women and continued work with incarcerated youth at Rikers Island prison in New York as well as the Chelsea detention center for women with Dream a Dream Project. Attendance in Bogota, Colombia at the Buen Pastor Prison for the Annual Celebration and Beauty Pageant.” – Raquel Almazan

LA PALOMA – Some say I can fly. On nights like these, I can. Me llamo La Paloma. They call me Paloma because I’m gentle and only want peace, flying to other dimensions. The bones of my wings sprout out from my ass, almost breaking my spinal cord every time. All those men I killed… I did it out of peace.

ALL WOMEN – I prayed in your churches, you sent me to hell. I listened to my mother and you fathered me like a dictator. You told me to dream big, duerma con los angelitos, and awakened me from my sleep with invisible hands choking my throat.

DIANA – Letters from our loved ones.

LA LOBA – The forever fight for FREEDOM. The death of thousands of citizens. We fight within ourselves to kill ourselves. Our civil war of modern progress.

ORO – Letters from those to be born.

ALL WOMEN – Y aqui estamos otra vez en la misma mierda. The same shit.

LA LOBA – Letters from the Dead.

MARILYNN – Si, Loba, this one is for you…

(Marilynn hands Loba a letter.)

LA LOBA -Yes from my son…

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