by Chris Davis
"Prison Stories," a nifty theatre project facilitated by Memphis storyteller Elaine Blanchard is the subject of a new half-hour documentary airing on WKNO this week. Four years ago Blanchard started paying regular visits to a select group of female inmates held at the Shelby County Detention Center. She continues to work with an ever-changing cast of women behind bars, helping them first to talk about themselves, and then to create detail-rich biographical sketches that take audiences behind the headline-grabbing crime statistics and and into a world of difficult lives and impossible landscapes. Blanchard transforms these hard stories into new plays and mounts them in and out of prison with lots of help from area actors and some fabulous musicians. "Inside Story" tells that story.
I don't have a preview of the doc, but I do have a clip of Blanchard talking about "Prison Stories."
For more information about Blanchard and Inside Story visit her website.
Inside Story airs on WKNO Thursday, May 15th, at 9 p.m., Friday, May 16th at 2 a.m. and Saturday, May 17 at 3:30 p.m.