PVCC Presents Sentence: Flying in Place III from the Higher Education in Prison Program Performance Series
Charlottesville, Va. – April 17, 2023 – The Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) Division of Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences will present a new edition of its “Flying in Place” performance series. The cross-disciplinary project uses creative writings by students in the PVCC Higher Education in Prison program as a basis for theatrical performance. This third presentation in the series, titled “Sentence: Flying in Place III,” explores experiences a person who is incarcerated may go through and documents the perspective of former PVCC Professor of English Ben Sloan, who taught in area prisons and is one of the originators of the project.
Three shows will take place: Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, each evening at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance Sunday, April 30, at 2:30 p.m. A facilitated discussion follows the show on Sunday afternoon for those who want to learn more about the program and performance. All events will take place in the V. Earl Dickinson Building’s Main Stage Theatre. The public is invited to attend, and admission is free.
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Brad Stoller, who spearheads the interpretative movement component, describes a new format that features students and community members performing in short episodes with a selection of props in response to the poems, essays and manuscripts that share insight into life in prison. With titles like “Dining,” Behind Bars,” “Solitary,” and “Mental Health,” Stoller says the works follow a progression to form a story “from booking to release.”
In contrast to the point of view of the inmates, Sloan's own attitudes that evolved in response to his work are explored. Donning “professor attire,” he will join the group to perform in his own narrative in many of the pieces included in the program.
This performance also includes work by LaTasha Strother in the role of co-director. Strother, having been involved with PVCC Theatre for several productions from Shakespeare to improv, now pairs with Stoller to bring this latest concept to the stage.
The "Flying in Place” series was first conceived of and presented in the spring of 2022 under the leadership of Dean of Humanities, Fine Arts & Social Sciences Leonda Keniston. The project was envisioned as a collaboration among various humanities programs that would lift the voices of students in the PVCC “Higher Education in Prison” program. The goal was not just to showcase the student’s work, but also to invite the community to witness and understand more about persons who are incarcerated through their own words.
The V. Earl Dickinson Building is located on the PVCC main campus at the south end of 501 College Drive. Ample free parking is located in front of the building and the facility is wheelchair accessible.
This program is funded in part by a grant from Virginia Humanities and supported by Charlottesville’s Light House Studio.
About Piedmont Virginia Community College
Established in 1972, Piedmont Virginia Community College is a nonresidential two-year institution of higher education that serves Central Virginia – principally, residents of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson. PVCC is one of 23 community colleges in Virginia that comprise the Virginia Community College System. PVCC is committed to providing access to a college education for all who can benefit, an opportunity for each student to reach her/his potential and excellence in all programs and services. Visit pvcc.edu.
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Photography: Flying in Place Case members Fall 2022 and LaTasha Strother and cast members in Flying in Place II Fall 2022 courtesy of Lindsey Gray.