Working Creatively with Women in the Criminal Justice System
This course will take place over six 3-hour sessions in November-December 2021 and will be led by artist and Clean Break facilitator 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: Monday 15 November, 2-5pm
Working with women in the community: Clean Break and who we work with
Guest facilitator: 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 service 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: Wednesday 17 November, 2-5pm
Working with women in the community: Our Members Programme
Guest facilitator: Lorraine Maher
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. This session will 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.
Session 3: Wednesday 24 November, 2-5pm
Working with women in prison: using theatre as a rehearsal for change
Guest facilitator: Laura Asare
Drawing on Kate and Laura’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: Wednesday 24 November, 2-5pm
Working with women in prison: playwriting as a source of imaginative escape
Guest facilitator: Deborah Bruce
As a commissioned playwright for Clean Break, Deborah co-facilitated many residencies in women's prisons 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 29 November, 2-5pm
You as a practitioner: support and wellbeing
Guest facilitator: Sam Adams
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.
Session 6: Wednesday 1 December, 2-5pm
Your next steps and plenary session
Guest facilitator: Anna Herrmann
Clean Break Joint-Artistic Director Anna Herrmann will join you on the final session to answer questions which have arisen during the training and to reflect together about some of the challenges this work raises. The session will also provide you with an opportunity to consider your next steps, and think through how to build on your learning moving forward.