Action & Change Theatre (ACT) Ensemble is the name of Grapefruit Lab’s residency at Colorado’s Sterling Correctional Facility. From May 2018 through September 2019, Misty Saribal and Julie Rada facilitated a theatre and performance studies workshop for an ensemble of incarcerated artists.
ACT Ensemble performed two productions:
- Mercury in Retrograde (August 9, 2018), an original devised performance based on the adventures of the god Mercury as he flew through time, disrupting the moments of everyday peoples’ lives.
- Monologue Mixtape (February 2, 2019), a showcase of monologues excerpted from award-winning contemporary plays of the U.S. American theatre and arranged into a collaborative hour of performance.
ACT Ensemble then embarked on an investigation at the intersects of performance, art, dance, aesthetics, narrative, and the meaning of theatre/performance in prison. Throughout, the ensemble incorporated compositional and embodied practices to discover artistic excellence, develop new work, and deploy practice-based-research methods.
Though since disbanded, while active, ACT Ensemble boldly stated:
ACT Ensemble’s approach is philosophically oriented toward the potential for liberation through art and the intrinsic value of art for all lives. ACT Ensemble believes high-quality, aesthetically-rich art should be accessible to all, rather than inaccessible and elitist. ACT Ensemble envisions a world of accessible art spaces, shared and abundant resources for artists, and a world without prisons. As we strive for this revolutionary future, in the present, ACT has the privilege of creating outstanding art with genius incarcerated artists and sharing moments of humanity and brilliance by accomplishing the near impossible – performing art in spaces of confinement.