Scripting Detention

A Project in Theater and Autoethnography with Incarcerated Teens


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About the Book

Documenting a theater project for incarcerated youth in a New Mexico juvenile detention facility, this book presents the script of a play about prison life, and interweaves the author’s creative, self-reflective text (autoethnography). The collaborative experience of writing and staging such a play enacted by prisoners frames a discussion of larger social and political themes in the criminal justice system, and of the complexities of getting juveniles to engage with variously positioned mentors.

About the Author(s)

Nandita Dinesh teaches theater arts, literature and performance, and oversees the juvenile justice programming at the United World College in New Mexico.

Bibliographic Details

Nandita Dinesh
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6905-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2983-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
One. Wispy Communities and George White 19
Two. Language, Carlos Sadaña and Marcos Gusmán 48
Three. Masculinity and David Villaseñor 74
Four. Psychological Differences, William Jones and Tishia Jackson 103
Five. Education and Tobiah Edwards 131
Six. The Guards 156
Conclusion 183
Epilogue 203
Appendix A: The Original Script of Lives Behind the Walls 205
Appendix B: Extracts from the Script of IFF Kashmir 214
Chapter Notes 221
Bibliography 222
Index 227

Book Reviews & Awards

“Using and fusing personal, popular, and expert narratives from/about incarcerated youth, Dinesh offers an innovative and accessible book about voice, diversity, and representation. An essential text for artists, researchers, and policy makers interested in criminality, storytelling, and social justice.”—Tony Adams, Professor, Bradley University.