Out for the day. Out for good. I feel like it's tattooed on my forehead.
Six women share a room in a prison dormitory. Rae reads poetry, Mo thinks she is going to die, Margaret writes letters, Sonia watches loud television, and Julia copes with sarcasm. Catherine tries to get ready. Preparing for release: town visits, home visits, pep talks and nerves; the stakes are high and expectations mounting for Catherine and the people in her life.
Acclaimed actor Zawe Ashton (Dreams of a Life, Fresh Meat) joins a cast of eight residents at HM Prison & YOI Askham Grange to perform a play created for them by award-winning playwright Chloë Moss. There Are Mountains is a new play set at the moment of release from prison and the impact on one woman, her family and her community.
HM Prison & YOI Askham Grange is located just outside of York in the village of Askham Richard.
Erin Gavaghan is an experienced executive arts manager who has worked within both new writing theatre and contemporary dance / choreography.
Erin has been Executive Director and joint CEO of Clean Break since October 2018. Previously at Siobhan Davies Dance, she held several roles; most recently as Executive Director (from 2014). Prior to that, she was the General Manager of Soho Theatre (2008-2012), having also followed a path of progression from Front of House Manager (2005-2007) and Deputy General Manager (2007-2008). Since moving to London from Canada in 2000, Erin has also worked at the Royal Albert Hall as the Stewards Administrator and Natural History Museum managing catering services.
Erin studied English Literature and Theatre (Directing) at the University of Victoria (Canada) and attained an MA in Arts Policy and Management from Birkbeck in 2005. She has a passion for life-long learning.
Anna Herrmann has been working in the field of theatre and social change for twenty seven years, specialising in theatre and education with marginalised groups in the UK and abroad. She has been with Clean Break since 2002 as the Head of Education, leading the company’s award winning work with women in the criminal justice system and women at risk of entering it. Anna is co-author of Making a Leap: Theatre of Empowerment: A Practical Handbook for Creative Drama Work with Young People (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). She has an MA in Arts Education from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and a PG Cert (Distinction) in Race and Ethnic relations. She is a regular visiting lecturer on Applied Theatre courses at Universities across the Country and between 2006 and 2018 was a trustee of Leap Confronting Conflict; a UK based national charity specialising in youth and conflict. Anna sits on the Steering Group of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance and is also a trained coach and regularly mentors artists in participatory settings.
Róisín McBrinn is a theatre director with over fifteen years experience working in the UK, Ireland and internationally. She has been with Clean Break since 2016 as the Head of Artistic Programme and during that time has directed Joanne (Soho Theatre and RSC) and House/Amongst The Reeds (Yard Theatre) for the company. She was formerly Associate Director at Sherman Cymru where she oversaw the commissioning and developing of new Welsh writing. Róisín has directed for the Donmar Warehouse (Noveccento), Sheffield Theatres (Afterplay), West Yorkshire Playhouse (Yerma), Prime Cut (Villa/Discurso), The Abbey Theatre (No Escape, Perve, Heartbreak House). She has developed new work for Soho Theatre, The National Theatre, The Bush, The Abbey and Sherman Theatre. This summer she is directing a stage adaptation of Roddy Doyle's The Snapper for Dublin's Gate Theatre.
It's the most positive experience I've ever had in jail.
It blew me away! Couldn't speak for about 20 minutes!
The quality of the production was outstanding and the concrete benefits that at least several of the participants derived from it--a boost to self-confidence as well as professional experience--will be valuable.