Urban voices theatre training programme at Sun City Prison

Urban Voices Prison Programme

Urban Voices / The Medea Project: Theatre for incarcerated women in partnership with Joburg Correctional Services will be hosting the following:

A Three week theatre training programme for theatre and community/social services practitioners specifically geared for working with women offenders/inmates at Joburg Female Correctional Centre.

Rhodessa Jones, San Franciso based, award winning actor and director from Cultural Oddyssey and The Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women –will be conducting the three week training programme at the Joburg Correctional Centre. Ms Jones has worked over 20 years with incarcerated women in various jails and correctional centres around the world. For more on Ms Rhodessa Jones /Medea Project check out : (http://www.culturalodyssey.org/v2/aboutus/)

Schedule at Joburg Female Correctional Centre: Diepkloof /opposite South Gate (Popularly known as “Sun City”)

Three hours a day – Monday – Thursday – October 12 – November 3 2011

9 AM – 12 PM

Primary Goal of Residency:

Activities of Residency: Only open to Women participants:

1.Teach and train female poets, musicians, choreographers, writers, directors, specific correctional service staff, actors and community workers/social services, to conduct workshops and rehearsals with the female offenders in The Medea Theatre Project Process.

This will be done in combination with the rehearsing of the female offenders in the production “Serious Fun at Sun City” for future presentations.


Artists and correctional staff, must be interested in working with Ms Jones to deepen their sense of the process of working with incarcerated women. Rhodessa Jones will continue to be the overall director of the process so that it has a focus and style of how the work is made.

NB: If outside participants cannot be present for the entire session, we can accommodate the participants on the days that suit them within the schedule above.

However a basic letter of why you want to be involved in the process as well as a basic resume ,ID copy, days that you are able to attend , needs to be emailed to :Roshnie Moonsammy , email: info@artsexchange.co.za before the 27 September 2011 and we will notify you about the success of the application. There is a limit on the number of participants and all selected participants will have to cleared with correctional services.


Rhodessa Jones

Rhodessa JonesRhodessa Jones is Co-Artistic Director of the San Francisco acclaimed performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is an actress, teacher, singer, and writer. Ms. Jones is also the Founder and Director of the award winning Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women which is a performance workshop that is designed to achieve personal and social transformation with incarcerated women. This is Rhodessa’s fifth visit to South Africa hosted by the Urban Voices and The State Theatre. In July 2005 she began workshops inside several prisons and also performed at the Market Theatre. In October of 2011 she returns to Johannesburg, South Africa to conduct residency activities inside the Joburg Central Correctional Centre popularly known as ‘Sun City’.

In December 2007 Rhodessa received a United States Artist (USA) Fellowship to support her work. Ms. Jones is currently collaborating with the Women’s HIV Programme at UC Medical Center conducting workshops and residency activities that will lead to a world premier performance in 2009. The programme will increase the personal empowerment of a large group of predominately African American women with HIV. In June Rhodessa gave the Keynote Address at Chicago’s DePaul University for the Race, Sex, and Power Conference, and in May she gave the Keynote Address at New World Theatre’s Intersections Conference in Amherst, Massachusettes. In March 2008 Rhodessa conducted a week-long residency at Denison University in Granville, Ohio delivering a Keynote Address and performing The Love Project. In addition, The Love Project was also performed at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia in March, and at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in August 2007.

During the month of September 2007 Rhodesssa was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland for the Women’s Studies Department. She was also the Artistic Director of the San Francisco International Theater Festival that took place in the spring of 2007. During July and April 2007 Rhodessa was Artist-in-Residence at the University of West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago. In March 2007 Rhodessa directed Lysistrata for the African American Shakespeare Company. In June 2006 she directed a public reading for Eve Ensler’s, VDAY: Until the Violence Stops Festival. The performance at Lincoln Center featured Rosie O’Donnell, Shirley Knight, Phylicia Rashad, and Rosario Dawson. Ms. Jones is always in demand to speak about the Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women and her experiences.

Rhodessa has been on two panels in March and April 2006 including one for the U.C Davis Law Symposium entitled, The Making of A Criminal and the other, for Stanford University, entitled Women in Prison. Ms. Jones was also the keynote speaker for the Visions in Feminism 2006 Conference, held at the American University in Washington D.C. during May. During November Rhodessa was invited by the Malafestival to conduct workshops and performances in a Turin, Italy prison with women inmates. In the Fall of 2005 Rhodessa was Scholar/Activist-in-Residence at Intercollegiate Women’s Studies of the Claremont Colleges. In August Rhodessa was the Keynote Speaker for the Annual Conference of the National Association for Drama Therapy at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Rhodessa’s published works include: A Beginner’s Guide to Community-Based Arts. Oakland: New Village Press, 2005; Imagining Medea: Rhodessa Jones and Theater for Incarcerated Women. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001; Rhodessa Jones: Theater for a New Millennium. Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance in the Twentieth Century. Theater Communications Group (1999); Rhodessa Jones: Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women. Colored Contradictions: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Plays 1996.

Enquiries: email: info@artsexchange.co.za

Tel 011 726 6916 /0832720285