La Paloma Prisoner Project Will Share the Stories of Incarcerated Women Through Workshops, Advocacy and More

By: Dec. 12, 2019
La Paloma Prisoner Project Will Share the Stories of Incarcerated Women Through Workshops, Advocacy and More

The La Paloma Prisoner Project is Raquel Almaƶán's theatre and outreach project about the reclamation of identity by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women, and sharing those stories through workshops, advocacy and community partnerships. Developed from her longstanding work with incarcerated and impacted communities, the associated play, LA PALOMA PRISONER, directed by Estefanía Fadul, will have its World Premiere at Next Door @ New York Theatre Workshop (79 East 4th Street between Bowery & 2nd Avenue) alongside a series of initiatives aimed at raising awareness and inciting action towards the end of global mass incarceration. The play is a New Georges Supported Production. Performances begin April 19, 2020 and run through May 9, 2020. Tickets will be available at To make an advance reservation, please visit

The La Paloma Prisoner Project includes programs designed to uplift the voices and narratives of current and formerly incarcerated women-identified folx of color through arts programming, workshops in prisons, panel discussions, and other events leading up to the production's scheduled run at NYTW in April.

Some of these events include:

November 13, 2019 - La Paloma Prisoner Project: Women, Trauma & Decarceration at Kingsborough Community College. In collaboration with Dr. Vanda Seward.

Featuring panelist Donna Hylton (Center for Health, Equity and Justice).

November 20, 2019, 8:00 pm - Poetic Theatre Productions, Judson Arts Wednesdays, and The La Paloma Prisoner Project in association with La Lucha Arts present: Ascención: Celebrating the Movement Toward Liberation, directed by Estefanía Fadul. At Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC.

Various Dates in November & December 2019 - Almazán facilitates as a guest artist at Rikers Island, East River Academy.

December 18th, 2019 - La Paloma Prisoner staged reading tour to Incarceration Facilities (Rikers Island) in New York City, directed by Estefanía Fadul.

December 20th, 2019 - Almazan facilities a theatre workshop at (Rikers Island) with clients of Steps to End Family Violence serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women.

March 2020 - Women and Incarceration Literacy Event. Panel and excerpt readings of books by female writers addressing female incarceration from a variety of perspectives.

April 2020 - Panels, workshops, conversation circles, and other events in conjunction with the La Paloma Prisoner at Next Door @ NYTW.

More events to be added, please visit the website for additional updates.

The La Paloma Prisoner Project will be working with the following community partners:

PEN America Prison and Justice Writing Program

STEPS To End Family Violence- a Program of Rising Ground

Dr. Baz Dreisinger (author, Incarceration Nations)

Janos Marton (Civil Rights Advocate)

Dr. Vanda Seward (CUNY Kingsborough)

Pamela Villa (BronxConnect)

LA PALOMA PRISONER is a multi-disciplinary play about the reclamation of identity by women in the Colombian prison system. Performances begin April 19, 2020 and run through May 9, 2020 at Next Door @New York Theatre Workshop. Tickets will be available at Based on the true story of a group of incarcerated women selected as beauty queen contestants at the Buen Pastor prison in Bogotá, this new play interweaves the ritualistic journey of a "parade of prisoners" within Colombia's social, political, and spiritual history. The play centers on an infamous woman nicknamed "La Paloma" who transcendentally soars beyond physical and societal barriers to avenge the raped women of Bogotá. Her actions revolutionize the women's lives, Bogotá's prison society, and the world beyond its walls.

This play was developed alongside and will continue a community engagement program of panels, workshops, staged readings, and community partnerships with organizations dedicated to serving people impacted by the criminal justice system. The play is a participant in New Georges' Supported Productions program, in which New Georges provides an institutional platform to affiliated artists producing their work independently.

Website: or


RAQUEL ALMAZÁN (Playwright) interdisciplinary artist, facilitator and activist. (M.F.A. - Playwriting, Columbia University /B.F.A. - Theatre, University of Florida, New World School of the Arts). Her eclectic career spans original multi-media solo performances, playwriting, devising and dramaturgy.

She is a practitioner of Butoh Dance and creator/teacher of arts programs for youth/adults, focusing on social justice. Her work has been featured in New York City- including Off-Broadway, throughout the United States and internationally in Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala and Sweden; including several of her plays within the (Latin is America play cycle) writing bi-lingual plays in dedication to each Latin American country. Professional Development residencies with Eugene O'Neill Center Playwrights Conference and The Playwrights' Center. Recipient of Kennedy Center's Latinidad Award, NALAC Award and the Kate Neal Kinley Playwriting Fellowship and the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Playwriting Prize.

Selected plays include: La Paloma Prisoner (NYTW 2020 World Premiere, workshop: The Signature Theatre, La Mama, The Lark table read, INTAR and LAByrinth Theatre Company, Womens Playwriting International Conference- Stockholm). La Migra Taco Truck (off broadway Theatre Row). LA NEGRA (BRIC Arts, Classical Theatre of Harlem - Lincoln Center, Iati Theatre ) CAFÉ (Workshop- Columbia University, Readings -Sol Project, Kennedy Center) Porning the Planet (Dixon Place). Does That Feel Good to you My Lark? (Reading- Bushwick Starr, New Georges residency) The Hopefulness (Reading-Theatre Row Reading-Rising Circle Theatre Company. Artistic Director of La Lucha Arts dedicated to producing her new works. Member of The Dramatists Guild and SAG-AFTRA.

ESTEFANÍA FADUL (Director) is a Colombian-American stage director. Recent work includes the world premieres of Christina Quintana's Azul (Southern Rep) and Scissoring (INTAR), Stefan Ivanov's The Same Day (Sfumato Theatre, Bulgaria), Preston Max Allen and Jessica Kahkoska's Agent 355 (Chautauqua Theatre Company, Musical Theatre Factory), Kate Hamill's Pride and Prejudice (Heritage Theatre Festival), James Anthony Tyler's Pranayama (Juilliard), and Matthew Paul Olmos' asi van los fantasmas de méxico (Repertorio Español). Estefanía has developed new plays and musicals off-Broadway and regionally at The Playwrights' Realm, Long Wharf, The Drama League, Artists Repertory Theatre, Milagro, Musical Theatre Factory, LPAC, and Hi-Arts, among others. She is an alumna of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center/NNPN's National Directors Fellowship, the Foeller Fellowship at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Drama League Directors Project's Fall Fellowship and TV Directing Fellowship, the Van Lier Fellowship at Repertorio Español, and the NALAC Leadership Institute. She is a member of the New Georges Jam, The Latinx Theatre Commons steering committee, The Civilians' R&D Group, the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, and SDC. B.A. Vassar College.

CITYLORE (Project Partner) Founded in 1986, City Lore's mission is to foster New York City - and America's - living cultural heritage through education and public programs. We document, present, and advocate for New York City's grassroots cultures to ensure their living legacy in stories and histories, places and traditions. We work in four cultural domains: urban folklore and history; preservation; arts education; and grassroots poetry traditions. In each of these realms, we see ourselves as furthering cultural equity and modeling a better world with projects as dynamic and diverse as New York City itself.

NEW GEORGES (Theatrical Partner), founded in 1992, serves the largest ongoing working community of women and tgnc theater artists in New York City with career-transforming productions of unusual plays; a diverse slate of programs; and The Room, our workspace for women theater artists, celebrating its 25th birthday this year. Playwrights and directors for whom we were the source of a first production or an early artistic home are now a visible presence in every precinct of the American theater and every corner of our culture (including Heidi Schreck, Anne Kauffman, Marielle Heller, Diana Son, Jenny Schwartz, Sheila Callaghan, Rachel Chavkin, Tracey Scott Wilson, Lee Sunday Evans, Hilary Bettis, Lisa D'Amour). Honors for New Georges, its plays and its people include 3 Obie Awards, The National Theatre Conference Outstanding Theatre Award, The Lilly Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn and Kesselring prizes.

POETIC THEATER PRODUCTIONS (Theatrical Partner) seeks to define the modern genre of "poetic theater" by connecting and fostering a community of artists who are passionately creating relevant and accessible work and reinvigorating a conscious theater of language. Poetic Theater Productions offers resources and opportunities for poets, playwrights, and theater artists to create new work and see it through to production via educational workshops, developmental readings and performance. PTP seeks out and creates opportunities to connect with communities affected by the issues of topic within our productions through collaborative projects and exchanges of art and ideas.


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