“Winn brings to mind theories of play and performance that rarely enter the professional preparation for teachers at the secondary level....How can dramatic play build empathy for others and a sensibility to when ‘difference’ is most likely to ‘make a difference’?”
—From the Foreword Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University
“In the brilliant hands of Maisha T. Winn, Girl Time harvests seeds and stories about girls living in juvenile settings…Penned in the ink of love, awe, despair, and dignity, the volume swings between documentary and possibility.”
—From the Afterword by Michelle Fine , Graduate Center, CUNY
This original account is based on the author’s experiences with incarcerated girls participating in Girl Time, a program created by a theatre company that conducts playwriting and performance workshops in youth detention centers. In addition to examining the lives of these and other formerly incarcerated girls, Girl Time shares the stories of educators who dare to teach children who have been “thrown away” by their schools and society. The girls, primarily African American teens, write their own plays, learn ensemble-building techniques, explore societal themes, and engage in self analysis as they prepare for a final performance. The book describes some of the girls and their experiences in the program, examines the implications of the school-to-prison pipeline, and offers ways for young girls to avoid incarceration. Readers will learn how the lived experiences of incarcerated girls can inform their teaching in public school classrooms and the teaching of literacy as a civil and human right.
Maisha T. Winn is associate professor of Language, Literacy and Culture in the Division of Educational Studies at Emory University, Atlanta. She is the author of Writing in Rhythm: Spoken Word Poetry in Urban Classrooms.
All author royalties go to Synchronicity Performance Group’s Playmaking for Girls Program and The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women.