Emily Joy Weiner's Shared Sentences, which began previews October 26 Off-Broadway at Houses on the Moon Theater Company, will officially open October 30.
The world premiere, which runs through November 12, explores the toll incarceration takes on the families and loved one of those incarcerated. Lisa Rothe directs the production featuring additional material by Barbara Allan, Kevin Barron, Zudaydah Rivera, and Tanasha Gordon.
The company of Shared Sentences includes Nikomeh Anderson (The Civility of Albert Cashier), Glynis Bell (The Ferryman, Angels in America), Yadira Correa (New Amsterdam), Raphael Nash Thompson (Much Ado About Nothing), David Anzuelo (A New York Christmas Wedding) and Weiner (Othello).
Get a first look at the production below:
Shared Sentences began in 2018 through a series of interviews with people who had incarcerated loved ones: parents, siblings, partners, and friends. Houses on the Moon then facilitated an eight-week workshop with a select group of individuals, including an 84-year-old former elementary school teacher whose mentally ill husband murdered his father 50 years ago; a 25-year-old Trans man whose parents have both been incarcerated throughout his life; and a 40-year-old daughter whose father has been serving a life sentence since she was three years old. Weiner adapted the stories shared within the interview process and workshop into a more traditional play structure.
"There are more than 2 million people incarcerated in our country, which means there are millions of others who love them, whether they be parents, children, siblings, or spouses. As a society, we hear very little about their experiences navigating our complicated criminal justice system and the isolation, stigma, and challenges they live with," shares Houses on the Moon Artistic Director Weiner. "After my own harrowing journey of having an incarcerated loved one, coming together with others who have shared this path brought me unexpected joy. This was my inspiration for writing this play. These are stories that need to be told."
The creative team includes scenic designer Tanya Orellana, costume designer Theresa Squire, lighting designer Amina Alexander, and sound designer Lindsay Jones, who also composed original music.
For more information, visit HousesOnTheMoon.org.