Prison stories public performance set for May 9

Women at the Northwest Arkansas Community Correction Center watch Thursday as actors perform using a script developed from stories told by inmates who participated in the NWA Prison Story Project.

Todd Gill, Flyer staff

The NWA Prison Story Project will debut its latest public performance at 8 p.m. Friday, May 9 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 224 N. East Ave. in Fayetteville.

Stories From the Inside Out, adaptations of true stories told by women at the Northwest Arkansas Community Correction Center in Fayetteville, includes two performances twice each year – one inside the prison for approximately 100 female inmates, and a second performance for the public.

The biannual sessions each include a new group of 12 inmates who volunteer for the program, which consists of twice-a-week courses with a team of artists who help the women explore their own personal stories through poetry and creative writing.

Inmate portraits from local photographer Andrew Kilgore will be on display Friday night at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Todd Gill

At the end of each session, their stories are shaped into a script to be performed by local actors.

This latest session was led by storyteller Kathy McGregor, project director; poet Katie Nichol, creative writing director; and Jonny Schremmer, theatre director. As part of the program, the inmates co-wrote a song with local singer-songwriter Shannon Wurst, who has worked with the project since its inception in October 2012.

Friday night’s public performance includes a 7 p.m. wine and light food reception where the inmates’ art work will be on display alongside portraits of this session’s participants by local photographer Andrew Kilgore.

A suggested $10 donation is welcome at the door, and free child care will be available as the performance contains adult material not suitable for young people.

For more information call 479-871-4875 or visit