I Am Here
I Am Here is a play about incarceration; about the brutal banality that is the United States Criminal Justice System, and what that system exposes in our society and ourselves. Generally speaking, the US criminal justice system is depicted in TV and movies through dramatic courtroom scenes, drug deals and gun fights. But what does it mean to stay in one place for so many years, isolated from the world that you’ve known and the people you love, deprived of so many human basics (eating food that is food, using the bathroom in private, etc.)? And what does it mean to have a loved one locked up? To do daily battle with the stigma and the everyday administrative, financial and emotional drama that come with having a loved one incarcerated? These are the questions I Am Here aims to ask. It is a product of personal experience: three months after I met him, my husband was arrested and indicted. Now he is a formerly incarcerated man on probation, with a felony conviction stamped permanently on him. This play began as an effort to channel our experiences into a constructive conversation. Its ultimate goal is to provide any and every audience with a platform for conversation about mass incarceration and the toll it takes on those it touches.
I Am Here has received developmental support from New Georges. An excerpt was presented at the #AmericanAF Festival at the New Ohio.