In the belly is where things digest, where they are broken down so their value can be extracted. This is where things are made to rot. If our society is a beast, its belly is the prison system.
This work from Insurgent Theatre seeks to manifest imprisonment on stage, overlays it with critical analysis of the system, and follows up with in-depth discussion about abolishing prison in America.
Created in workshop by Weslie Coleman, Kate Pleuss, and Ben Turk, with assistance from Harmony Bench and Rebecca Riley.
In the Belly takes the work we did on Ad Seg and expands it, incorporating lessons learned from Ad Seg audiences and from continued and expanded correspondence with incarcerated people.
We're also working from group readings of the following works: "Discipline and Punish" by Michel Foucault, "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander, and "Soft Cops" by Caryl Churchill, as well as others.
We've performed Ad Seg fifteen times, between Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin. See more info below, or on the tour report.
This is our kickstarter fundriasing video.
Ad Seg is prison slang for administrative segregation, also known as isolation or long term solitary confinement. Many prisoners are held in Ad Seg 23 hours a day for years on end.
Ad Seg is an experimental workshop piece developed by the cast. It's an early form of a larger project aimed at dragging america's prisons into the light. At this stage, we're mainly approaching the subject with our bodies and our imaginations.
It seems most americans relate to prison as an unmentionable aspect of our society, something we all fear and regret, but few of us want to even imagine. With this project we will discover and share our notion of prison life.
We like to produce shows on the cheap and focus on putting money toward people, rather than fancy props or high tech goodies. Profits from the show will be split three ways: 30% goes straight to the pockets of the performers, 35% goes to future touring of this and other shows (Insurgent Theatre) and 35% goes toward prisoner support in Ohio (Redbird Prison Abolition).