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 18th – May 9th, 2020, directed by Estefania Fadul. NYTW- Next Door tickets

Kickoff Celebration Details: 

The La Paloma Prisoner Project Kickoff

Saturday, September 14th, 2:00-5:00PM

Free admission – Tix HERE

The People’s Forum

320 W 37th St

New York, NY 10018


About The Event: 

The La Paloma Prisoner Project Kickoff is 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 decarceration. The Kickoff will feature performances, including live music and a special presentation of a selection from the play, and will highlight key organizations within the movement.


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.


  • 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 (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 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.


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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