performance | writing | direction

La Paloma Prisoner


Artwork by Nathier Fernández


La Paloma Prisoner Project in association with La Lucha Arts presents: La Paloma Prisoner : previously programmed as part of the Next Door series with New York Theatre Workshop for a full theatrical run, directed and co-produced by Estefania Fadul.


Follow the journey on the LPP FACEBOOK PAGE

About the project:

La Paloma Prisoner Project is a theatre initative 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, 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 performances/ workshops in prisons, conversation circles, and panel discussions leading up to the production’s world premiere 2023. 

About the play:

La Paloma Prisoner is a multi-disciplinary play about the reclamation of identity by women in the Colombian prison system. Based on the true story of a group of incarcerated women selected as beauty queen contestants at the Buen Pastor prison in Bogotá, this new play interweaves the ritualistic journey of a “parade of prisoners” within Colombia’s social, political, and spiritual history. The play centers on an infamous woman nicknamed “La Paloma” who transcendentally soars beyond physical and societal barriers to avenge the raped women of Bogotá. Her actions revolutionize the women’s lives, Bogotá’s prison society, and the world beyond its walls.

The project has received the following funding:

2022 Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Award NYC Women’s Fund New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA), world premiere of La Paloma Prisoner

2021-22 Chelsea Factory Artist Residency

2021 Map Fund Lead Artist Grant Recipient

2021 NYSCA Grant in collaboration with New York Theatre Workshop

2020 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Grant 

2020 Community Fundraiser achieved on Kickstarter

2019 NALAC National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Grant

2015 Arthur J. Harris Memorial Prize for Arts in Social Justice

La Paloma Prisoner Project on the Kilroys List honoring canceled or postponed productions due to the COVID-19 pandemic written by woman, trans, and gender non-binary writers.


A reading of the Spanish translation of La Paloma Prisoner by Mariana Carreño King and Raquel Almazan was presented virtually by Repertorio Español on June 16th 2020. Directed by Estefanía Fadul. Cast: Zuelma Clares, Dalia Davi, Gladys Perez-Mojica, Zuleyma Guevara, Monica Steuer, Teresa Yenque, Andrea Abello, Francisco Arcila and Gerardo E. Gudiño.

The La Paloma Prisoner Project is honored to be working with the following community partners:

This play was developed alongside and will continue an engagement program with community partnerships and organizations dedicated to serving people impacted by the criminal justice system.

PEN America Prison and Justice Writing Program

STEPS To End Family Violence- a Program of Rising Ground

Dr. Baz Dreisinger (author, Incarceration Nations)

Janos Marton (Civil Rights Advocate)

Dr. Vanda Seward (CUNY Kingsborough)

Pamela Villa (Bronx Connect)

Brigitte Harris (Impacted Women Ambassador for the La Paloma Prisoner Project)




January 2020 – Almazan facilities a theatre workshop at (Rikers Island) with clients of Steps to End Family Violence serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women.

TBA, 2020, World Premiere of La Paloma Prisoner at New York Theatre Workshop Next Door Series. directed by Estefania Fadul.

TBA 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).

TBA – Talk backs, story circles and other workshops and events with our community partners.

June 2020 – Spanish translation reading via zoom with Repertorio Espanol.


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 18th, 2019  –  La Paloma Prisoner staged reading tour to Incarceration Facilities (Rikers Island) in New York City, directed by Estefania Fadul.


INTERVIEWS + AWARDS + MEDIA: (Click Bolded text for links)



Queensboro Facility


LA PALOMA PRISONER – presentation history: (full length) Chelsea Factory works in progress showing directed by Estefania Fadul. 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 is a multi-faceted theatre and outreach project about the reclamation of identity by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in the prison system. For over a decade 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 in the field 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. This piece is an offering of collective voices that illuminate the urgency towards ending mass incarceration.” – Raquel Almazan

Bogota 2010


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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