The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company’s (US) Voices from Inside Program (VIP) provides transformative theatre-arts education & mentorship to Los Angeles County adolescents, ages 13-19, who are currently or formerly incarcerated, as well as those in high-needs areas who are vulnerable to incarceration.
In collaboration with the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network (AIYN), US conducts our intensive VIP residencies at Title 1 schools, community centers, and juvenile day reporting centers located in our chronically underserved target neighborhoods of South LA/Watts and Pacoima/San Fernando, as well as in juvenile detention facilities — such as Central Juvenile Hall and Campus Kilpatrick — that serve incarcerated minors from throughout LA County. VIP project seeks to expand to serve high needs youth via 14 multi- week residencies; which includes the roll-out of a brand new alumni program.
“I wanted to show people that I have some type of talent [so] I committed and cared. Art makes me feel like I have a future in myself. Somewhat makes me feel like I could accomplish things I doubted on.”
“We provide a positive, safe environment where incarcerated youth can learn to trust others, develop, self-respect, and explore non-violent solutions to conflict. I’ve seen rivals, in our program, come together in harmony to collectively write and perform an original play – a monumental breakthrough that occurs all through the theatre stage.”