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Regents' Lecturer Integrates Performance and Social Issues

Posted September 8, 1999

Photo: Rhodessa Jones

Theater saved Rhodessa Jones' life. Pregnant and unmarried at 16, Jones visited a theater group in Rochester, N.Y., at the suggestion of her brother. The experience transformed her from a despondent teenager to a confident artist and performer.

Knowing the positive effect the arts can have on women in trouble, Jones created the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, based in San Francisco. The project increases the self-awareness and self-esteem of women in jail through the creation and production of theater pieces based on their personal histories.

As a Regents' Lecturer for the Department of Dramatic Art, Jones brings her integration of performance and social issues to Berkeley in a series of lectures sponsored by the Center for Theater Arts.

"Creative Performance, Creative Survival" will be offered every Tuesday, from Sept. 21 to Nov. 2, at 2 p.m., in the Durham Studio theater.

Jones will moderate the discussions, which feature such guest speakers as San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, Berkeley Social Welfare Professor Jewell Taylor Gibbs, and the Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church. Topics include survival and prison reform, racial profiling and community development and belief.

In addition to her work with the Medea Project, Jones performs, teaches and speaks internationally on politically-aware art that addresses community needs.

For information, call 642-9925.


September 8 - 14, 1999 (Volume 28, Number 5)
Copyright 1999, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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