Prisoner Awareness Day Youngstown

Tuesday, September 13 · 5:00pm – 10:00pm
The Lemon Grove Café
122 West Federal Street
Youngstown, OH


Insurgent Theatre is bringing their play IN THE BELLY to Youngstown, Ohio on September 13th. IN THE BELLY depicts long term solitary confinement in order to begin a critique of the entire US prison system. This collaboratively developed workshop piece draws from many prisoner accounts, audience feedback and close study of history, including ideas from Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. One third of the money raised will go to supporting Ohio Prisoners via RedBird Prison Abolition.

There will be a special screening of the new film “The Great Incarcerator, part 1: Dark Little Secret.” This 35-minute film is by Youngstown native D Jones. Also there will be performances by Youngstown activists and artists. Stay tuned for future details.

Venue: Lemon Grove
Venue Address: 122 Federal Plaza West
Venue Phone: 330-744-7683
Date: September 13, 2011
Time: 5pm
Cost: pay what you want
Insurgent Theatre:
Dark Little Secret:

In the belly is where things digest, where they are broken down so their value can be extracted. This is where things are made to rot. If our society is a beast, it’s belly is the prison system. This new work from Insurgent Theatre seeks to manifest imprisonment on stage, overlays it with critical analysis of the system, and follows up with in-depth discussion about abolishing prison in America.

In the Belly was collaboratively created and performed by Weslie Coleman, Kate Pleuss, and Ben Turk in the winter of 2011. The cast imagined themselves in three of the 25,000 long term solitary confinement cells in America. They’re performing what they discovered in a series of scattered moments, regimented actions and critical perspectives. After their first tours, the cast continued to develop and workshop the play, incorporating a theatrical adaptation of Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish.

“Most Americans seem to relate to prison as an unmentionable aspect of our society, something we all fear and regret, but few of us want to even imagine. For this project we have challenged ourselves to discover and share our notions of prison life and to imagine this system acting on our bodies and minds.” -Cast Members
***This show contains nudity, violence and other sad realities of the US prison system.

MORE ABOUT DARK LITTLE SECRET: Dark Little Secret examines the United States prison system and its unprecedented explosion in population and the exploitation of dark, poor faces, intentionally relegated to second-class citizenship otherwise known as continued, legal slavery.

MORE ABOUT REDBIRD PRISON ABOLITION: RedBird Prison Abolition is a group of people in Columbus, OH who want to see the prison system come to an end. The all-volunteer group has no budget, substantial funding or formal mission statement. RedBird’s activities are guided by correspondence with incarcerated people because prison abolition ought to begin with the needs of those most directly effected by the system. Things they’ve done include: writing prison pen pals, connecting prisoners with needed resources, raising funds for legal defense, hosting events, publishing materials, and creating critical discussions about the US prison system. One third of funds raised from In the Belly will go to RedBird.

Insurgent Theatre strives to connect performing arts with radical struggles, to make theatre that is relevant, engaging, challenging and useful for those who confront the US police state and global capitalist empire. We’ve been making original theatre since 2003 and frequently touring the country since August, 2008.


“One of the most inpiring DIY tours I have ever encountered. Its execution is intensly captivating and provocative. What other play features an hour of harsh interrogation and pistol-whipping followed by remarkably constructive conversation with its audience?” -Robert Inhuman, Realicide

“Insurgent Theatre’s exciting, insightful, postdramatic scripts, their courageous acting and staging, and their generous, even tender, care for their audiences, reflect a passionate commitment to learning, [and] a faith in the value of theatrical communion.” -John Schneider, Obie award winning playwright and cofounder of Theatre X