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


“You Make Us Feel Like We Matter”

Every year, Pioneer Playhouse takes one of its productions to Northpoint Training Center, the medium security prison where Voices Inside and Voices Inside/Out work. In fact, the prison playwriting program began after a production of Liz Orndorff‘s The Dillinger Dilemma was done at the prison in 2010, and the inmates were then invited to learn how to write a play.

On Monday, Tamed by Voices Inside/Out 2012 Resident Playwright Holly Hepp-Galván  was performed for the inmate population at Northpoint. (Holly scored the play commission while working at the prison last summer!) Tamed is an updated version of Taming of the Shrew where Kate is a b-girl from Brooklyn and Petruchio is Woodchuck Man, based on Turtleman from Animal Planet’s show Call of the Wildman. Holly is pictured with the real-life Turtleman below.
Holly Hepp-Galvan and Turtleman
Here’s Holly’s account of Monday night’s performance and its reception at Northpoint. What a fantastic night.
First of all to set the scene:  We all (cast, crew, set, sound, etc) arrived at Northpoint in a blinding rainstorm.  And that’s no exaggeration!  Even locals couldn’t believe the force of this storm.  Thunder, lightning, and TORRENTS of rain that just wouldn’t let up.  As soon as we all assembled in the little holding room there was a deafening crack of thunder that made the whole building jump.  We were then informed that lightning had hit the metal fence and knocked out the computers.  No computers meant no metal doors could be opened.  We would all have to walk through the yard.
Well the poor actors were in full costume and few of us had umbrellas.  We all got soaked to the skin.  It was just CRAZY rain.
I was concerned that the men might not want to venture out, but I needn’t have worried.  They soon came pouring in.  They filled every seat in every pew.  It was completely packed with only standing room at the back.
We started right on time and the actors were amazing.  Even soaking wet, they gave such an energetic and thrilling performance.  The whole room was laughing and cheering.  They gave them a standing ovation at the end.
We then had a lively talk-back where the inmates asked questions.  (Oh and I forgot to mention that Rob – one of the members of the playwriting circle – gave a nice overview of “Shrew” before we started!)  Then afterwards we were all swarmed by well-wishers.  They all wanted to tell us how much they’d enjoyed it.  One man held both of my hands and told me, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. You make us feel like we matter.”
I can’t give enough credit to Robby Henson (of Pioneer Playhouse) for bringing the show in (on top of everything else!) and to all the actors who performed in that tiny space with their wet costumes sticking to their skin.  It was just a joyful, joyful experience.
And as we exited, the rain – which had continued to pound us throughout the entire performance – somehow stopped and the sun came out.  We all went happily back to the Playhouse and ate fried chicken and biscuits until we wanted to burst.

Voices Inside/Out Hosts ‘Reflections’ and Unveils New Poster

On Monday, October 1, 2012, dozens of people attended Voices Inside/Out’s REFLECTIONS, an evening celebrating Holly Hepp-Galván‘s 2012 playwriting residency at Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison near Burgin, KY. The event was held at Davenport Studios in midtown Manhattan.

Jerry Matz and Holly Hepp-Galván

The evening began with Synge Maher, Voices Inside/Out’s Artistic Director, talking about the start of the program, and how she was so moved by acting in some of the inmate-authored plays in 2010 that she knew the world needed to experience their work. Holly, then, spoke about her time at Northpoint, the work created during her residency, and how spending the week working with the prisoner-playwrights has affected her writing since that time. Actors read scenes and writing exercises created by five of the inmates in the program. A big thank you to Tino Christopher, Jerry Matz and Mac Rogers for their participation.

The evening ended with a Q&A with Holly, Mac (the 2011 resident playwright), Synge and Lanie Zipoy, Voices Inside/Out’s Producing Director as well as the unveiling of this year’s poster featuring Holly (pictured below).

Voices Inside/Out poster

2012 Resident Playwright Announced

Voices Inside/Out supports the theater arts program at Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison in Burgin, Kentucky, through mounting public readings of the inmates’ work and maintaining a playwriting residency at the prison each summer.

We are thrilled to announce that Holly Hepp-Galvån is the 2012 Resident Playwright. Selected from more than 80 applicants, Holly will spend eight days at Northpoint in July. While there, she will teach master classes, critique the inmates’ work and share her own experiences as a professional playwright with the prisoner-playwrights. The residency includes a $2,000 stipend, airfare, lodging, per diem, and car rental.

Holly Hepp-GalvanHolly Hepp-Galván is currently enrolled in the MFA in Playwriting program at Hunter College with Playwright-in-Residence, Tina Howe. She will graduate in May 2012. At Hunter, she has been the recipient of the Rita and Burton Goldberg
Award for her trilogy, “Departures” in 2009 and has won the Irv Zarkower award twice, for “Oddities” in 2010 and “Andrea’s Esophagus” in 2011.

Recent workshops and productions include “Oddities” produced by Communicable Arts at the Cell Theatre, “Blank Slate” at One Woman Standing at Emerging Artists Theatre (EAT), and “Sprites” which was commissioned by Pollyanna Children’s Theatre and Ballet Austin and will premiere at the Long Center in Austin, Texas in October 2012.

In addition, Holly has been teaching theatre arts, writing and performance since 1993. She was director of the Performing Arts School at Zachary Scott Theatre Center from 1994-95, and for the past ten years has been Adjunct Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts at both the College of Mount Saint Vincent and Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York.

“Writing humanizes and allows for new perspectives in a way that few things can.” — Holly Hepp-Galvån

Five Finalists for 2012 Playwriting Residency Named

The Northpoint Voices Inside Playwriting Residency finalists were just announced. Our selection committee has selected five extraordinary playwrights, one of whom will spend eight days at the Northpoint Training Center in Burgin, Kentucky teaching playwriting. Congratulations to:

Robert Attenweiler
Holly Hepp-Galván
Mel Nieves
Shaun Raviv
Crystal Skillman

The resident playwright will be announced at our benefit reading on Monday, March 5, 2012 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City. Tickets are on sale now here or by calling 866-811-4111.

10 Semifinalists for 2012 Northpoint Voices Inside Residency Announced

Mac Rogers, 2011 Playwright-in-Residence at Northpoint Training Center2011 Playwright-in-Residence Mac Rogers (left) at Northpoint Training Center

Over 80 playwrights applied for the 2012 Northpoint Voices Inside Residency at the Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison near Danville, Kentucky.  We were thrilled with such an enthusiastic response to the residency and grateful that so many talented playwrights submitted outstanding applications.

Our reading committee had a difficult, yet rewarding task to recommend the top 10.  And, we believe they did a stellar job.

The 10 Semifinalists for the 2012 Northpoint Voices Inside Residency are (in alphabetical order):

Robert Attenweiler
Holly Hepp-Galván
Mel Nieves
Carrie Louise Nutt
Rich Orloff
Leslie Pasternack
Shaun Raviv
Greg Romero
Francesca Sanders
Crystal Skillman

Five finalists will be selected from this group by February 2012.  From that pool of five finalists, we will select one playwright to spend eight days teaching playwriting to and learning from the prisoner-playwrights at Northpoint Training Center.  The playwright-in-residence will be announced at our upcoming New York City benefit reading of short plays by the Northpoint prisoner-playwrights.

More details about the reading will be available by January 5, 2012.