How to Work Creatively with Women in the Criminal Justice System
This course will take place over five 3-hour sessions in May and will be led by Clean Break artist Kate McCoy and guest co-facilitators, including Clean Break staff and artists. Clean Break Members (women with lived experience of the criminal justice system and women at risk of entering it) will also be in attendance and bring their own reflections of Clean Break’s work to the process.
Kate is a participatory performance maker and has been creating theatre and running workshops with women in prison for over twenty-five years. She brings a deep understanding of creative experiences and the importance of engagement for people who have been labelled by society, and how this approach can include, unite and inspire.
Who is the course for?
This insight into Clean Break's practice and philosophy is for theatre artists, group work practitioners and/or applied theatre students, who are passionate about women’s experiences, committed to social justice and interested in theatre practice in prisons, criminal justice, and community settings.
What skills and knowledge will you gain?
Through interactive exercises, group work and discussion, participants will:
Session 1: Wednesday 5 May, 2-5pm
Working with women in the community: Clean Break and who we work with
Led by Kate McCoy and Head of Participation, Jacqueline Stewart, this session will provide participants with an overview of Clean Break, and an introduction to the multiple needs and experiences of women affected by the criminal justice system. Jacqueline Stewart has led Clean Break's support services for over 17 years, and together Kate and Jacqueline will explore the benefits of a women-only space, building a non-judgemental approach, equity and fairness in practice and leading with kindness.
Session 2: Monday 10 May, 2-5pm
Working with women in the community: Our Members Programme
Participation Manager, Lorraine Maher will join Kate to focus on theatre as a tool to build confidence, creativity and amplify women’s voices, offering insights and practical strategies to build creative, safe spaces and exploring some of the challenges that might arise along the way. Lorraine has a wealth of experience working through theatre in youth and community settings and has been the Participation Manager at Clean Break for the past seven years.
Session 3: Wednesday 12 May, 2-5pm
Working with women in prison: using theatre as a rehearsal for change
Drawing on Kate and guest facilatator Laura Asare’s extensive experience of running theatre workshops in prisons, this session will offer a brief overview of what to consider when working as an artist in a prison setting whilst providing an insight into how Clean Break uses its play texts as a stepping-stone for change, engaging and enabling women to play, rehearse and think about their futures
Session 4: Friday 14 May, 2-5pm
Working with women in prison: playwriting as a source of imaginative escape
As a commissioned playwright for Clean Break, Viv Franzmann co-facilitated many residencies in women's prisons and in mental health settings over a number of years. Drawing on this experience this session will provide practical ideas for delivering playwriting workshops in women’s prisons.
Session 5: Monday 17 May, 2-5pm
You as a practitioner: support, wellbeing and designing your next steps
This work is rewarding and challenging. It is important to look after yourself both for your own wellbeing, as well as to ensure you are fully able to attend to the needs of your group. In this session guest artist and dramatherapist, Sam Adams, who delivers Clean Break’s health and wellbeing work, will offer some strategies for self-care and resilience.