The Hope Rises Theatre Project is a partnership between Hendrix Odyssey at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and Hope Rises, a reentry program in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Three students, a professor from Hendrix College, and a theatre director from Little Rock will join the residents of Hope Rises to develop a performance piece over the summer. The group meets three times a week, during which time material from interviews and group discussion are collected for the purposes of the piece. The group develops movement during this time as well.
The motto of the project is: In order to change the story, we must change the storytellers.
The mission of the project is to give the women of Hope Rises the opportunity to share their experience through performance in order to gain a sense of purpose, to develop self-esteem and courage, and to raise the consciousness of the audience in the hope that the community will understand the experience of incarceration with empathy and with the understanding that incarcerated people deserve a chance to re-enter the world as whole people.
We will provide blogs that share the process and the moments of discovery experienced through working.
The project is funded through the Cynthia Cook Sandefur Odyssey Professorship held by Ann Muse. The students will receive Odyssey credit in the area of Service to the World. Wayne Chapman is an artistic collaborator and has worked with Muse on a similar project with Hope Rises. Students are Danielle Carney, Peter Grant, and Ragan Price, all juniors at Hendrix College.