Local News

Inmates Use Acting As Freedom From Life Behind Bars

Posted October 16, 2003 4:57 a.m. EDT

— For some inmates at the Raleigh Correctional Center for Women, acting equals freedom, literally.

Most of the inmates are in prison for violent crimes committed when they were teenagers. Kim Stone is a convicted murderer who has been behind bars for 16 years. She and her fellow inmates have written a play about their experiences.

"We're not bad people. Some of us have made horrible mistakes. This is something we can get beyond. We can become better if we really want to and I really do," Stone said.

Writer Judith Reitman founded the program that allows inmates in the minimum-security prison to perform in public.

"It's the most exhilarating thing I've ever been a part of. It's transforming lives, enabling that transformation," Reitman said.

Inmates like Cassandra Adams wrote every word that is performed. Adams wants the audience to realize that bars are the only thing separating them from other women.

"I just want them to realize that we're still human even though we're incarcerated, that we're still women. We still have feelings and emotions," she said.

When the women leave prison, many will have spent half of their lives there. They hope the next chapter will hold more promise.

St. Mary's School is hosting the show Friday night. The play entitled "Doing More than Time" is a fund-raiser for the group's next production. If you would like to attend, the show starts at 8 p.m. at the Pittman Auditorium.