Voices Inside/Out Rocks Out NYC

On Monday, March 24th, Voices Inside/Out presented five short inmate-authored plays at the beautiful Engelman Recital Hall of Baruch Performing Arts Center in Manhattan. What a wonderful night where the audience was treated to outstanding work, including Derek Trumbo’s Convictionthe 2013 Pen Prison Writing Contest winner for Drama.


Thanks to our fab directors: Axel Alvin, Mark Armstrong, Reginald L. Douglas, Erica Gould & Kate Pines. And our wonderful actors include Noelia Antweiler, Tyler Bellmon, Juan Castano, Kwaku Driskell, Luke Forbes, Christopher Livingston, Clinton Lowe, Jamil A.C. Mangan, Michael Markham, Tobias Segal, Sarah Sokolovic, chandra thomas, Mark McCullough Thomas & Haley Zega.

And, we appreciate the support of the new audience members as well as our returning fans. The reading benefits our 2014 Playwright Residency at Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison near Danville, KY. We announced last night that this year’s playwright will be Crystal Skillman.

If you would like to support this work, please consider making a tax-deductible donation here.


Voices Inside/Out Featured on WABC Radio in NYC

Co-Founder and Producing Director Lanie Zipoy and 2012 Playwright-in-Residence Holly Hepp-Galván sat down with Laura Smith of legendary WABC 770AM in New York City and spoke about Voices Inside/Out on her March 22nd episode of The Saturday Cafe. While there, we ran into Geraldo Rivera and The Princeton Mom. And most importantly, we spoke about the work we do at the medium security men’s prison in Kentucky and our annual reading series of inmate-authored plays.

If you missed the interview, you can tune in here: http://www.wabcradio.com/page.php?page_id=1231. Select the March 22nd podcast and go to the 23:45 mark. The interview runs 11 minutes.

WABC Radio_web

Lanie Zipoy and Holly Hepp-Galván at the microphone. Photo: Lisa Fane

Voices Inside/Out Takes the Stage at BPAC in NYC

Join us for our fourth annual Voices Inside/Out benefit reading in New York City.

See six short plays created in the award-winning prison theater arts program at Northpoint Training Center, a male medium security prison near Danville, Kentucky. These inmate-authored plays offer comedic and dramatic takes on life on both sides of the barbed wire. All proceeds benefit our groundbreaking prison playwriting residency.

Tickets: $20

Voices - 4x6 Postcard Front - Mel 02

Monday, March 24th
Baruch Performing Arts Center
55 Lexington Ave. Entrance on East 25th between Lexington & Third Avenue

7:30 pm | The reading will be 85 minutes and followed by a reception.

Voices Inside/Out is a hit at NYC Festival

We thank Hunter Canning for these beautiful photos of A Brother’s Love Is A Brother’s Love by Troy Hughes (directed by Lydia Fort) and Objectify by Derek Trumbo (directed by Mary Hodges). Both plays wowed audiences at the 2nd Annual Bad Theater Fest. And these productions marked the world premieres of these plays.
Brothers Love_08web
Featuring Gil Charleston, Donnell E. Smith & Jonathan Hooks
Brothers Love_14web
Featuring Gil Charleston, Jonathan Hooks & Donnell E. Smith
Brothers Love_18web
A Brother’s Love Is A Brother’s Love Creative Team: Gil Charleston, Jonathan Hooks, Lydia Fort & Donnell E. Smith
Here are photos from OBJECTIFY:
Featuring: Tiffany Nichole Greene (foreground), Background: Tareek Brown, Mary Hodges, Timothy Hampton & Galway McCullough
Featuring: Tareek Brown, Mary Hodges, Tiffany Nichole Green, Timothy Hampton & Galway McCullough
Objectify Creative Team: Tareek Brown, Timothy Hampton, Tiffany Nichole Green, Mary Hodges, Lorna Haughton & Galway McCullough
A big thank you to Starr and Shawn at the Bad Theater Fest (Joan too). We had a fun time presenting these plays. And a shout out to Deadria Harrington for her help with casting and the Women’s Project for rehearsal space.

‘Ghost and a Soda’ Premieres to Raves in NYC

Ghost and a Soda – the existential comedy created during Mel Nieves 2013 playwriting residency – was a big hit at the Bad Theater Fest last evening. The play was born from the “Chopped” exercise Mel had the circle do – read more about it here – and this take on the concept has shades of Sartre and Jeff Foxworthy. I bet you never expected to hear those two names in the same sentence, but somehow the play works.


We were lucky that Advisory Board member Montserrat Mendez directed Kristin Cantwell, Chris Pope alongside two actors who have been a part of the prison program – Noelia Antweiler and Eric Hedlund – in this fast paced romp. What a dream team.


Voices Inside/Out at NY Theater Festival October 31st – November 3rd

Three plays by members of the playwriting circle at Northpoint Training Center; a medium security prison near Danville, KY; will be featured in the Bad Theater Fest at The Tank October 31st – November 3rd. The festival celebrates risk-taking and diverse points of view.


Written by PEN Award-winning playwright Derek Trumbo, Objectify is a lyrical exploration of selecting a partner. This time the tables are turned as a woman must choose among a thinker, the muscular one and the dreamer. The play was created during Holly Hepp-Galvan’s 2012 Voices Inside/Out Playwriting Residency. Mary Hodges will direct.  Objectify will premiere on October 31st at 9pm. Get your tickets now.

Ghost and a Soda-1
Ghost and a Soda
by Calvin Sturgill is a mash-up of Jeff Foxworthy and Sartre in an alternate universe. Seriously. The play was created during Mel Nieves’ 2013 Voices Inside/Out Playwriting Residency. Montserrat Mendez directs.  The performance is Saturday, November 2nd at 7pm. Get your tickets now.

A Brother’s Love Is A Brother’s Love by Troy Hughes follows two brothers who are reunited in prison after being out of touch for years. Lydia Fort will direct. The premiere performance is November 3rd at 7pm. Get  your tickets now.

The Bad Theater Fest takes place at The Tank (151 West 46th Street, 8th Floor, NYC ). We will announce the cast soon.

Reflections is a Big Hit


Mel Nieves leads the circle at Reflections. Photo: Chris Kateff.

Thank you to everyone who came to Reflections with Mel Nieves on Monday, September 23rd.

For 75 minutes, 40 people sat in a circle and shared in the experience of this wonderful program. 2013 Playwright-in-Residence Mel Nieves spoke eloquently about his June residency. We had terrific actors — chandra thomas, Norman Small, Jr., Noelia Antweiler and Chuck Calvello — read work by Drew, Eric and James– all members of the playwriting circle at Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison near Danville, KY. All were big hits. Voices Inside/Out co-founder Synge Maher read the gorgeous thank you letter from Eric’s mom about the program and its impact on her son and the whole family. Voices Inside/Out co-founder Lanie Zipoy talked about the residency and the dream of having at least one teaching artist in every prison in America.

The group stood in a circle with eyes closed and did the Peter Brook exercise that Mel had the circle do during his residency in June. In this exercise, the group has to recite the alphabet one person at a time without doubling up on a letter. This large group made it to Letter X on the first try. Astounding. It’s taken much smaller groups hours to be able to complete this exercise.
We close the night with a q&a with Mel. Most people were interested in his experience — what he learned and gained from the program– and how to make a program like this viable in other prisons.