Open Forum

1.  Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project

Posted 08-04-2014 23:41
At National Conference (which was awesome, btw!), I spoke with a colleague who introduced me to this project, and I am now exploring the idea of introducing it to my school. I have been researching as much as possible online, but would love to know more from the perspectives of those who have been involved with the project. I would love to hear all about it so I can see when the right time might be to include it in our season. One specific thing I am curious about is how involved the other academic areas were (whole departments, certain classes, etc), and if you had to convince your administration to approve the project (which I know I will need to do, as any controversy does not go over well with my admin, even when well supported).

Thank you for your valuable time and experiences!

Cathy Swain-Abrams
Teacher, Drama Director
Olentangy Local School District
Lewis Center OH

2.  RE: Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project

Posted 08-06-2014 21:08
My department produced Dead Man Walking two years ago. We had a great experience with this show. My students loved it and we had tremendous community support. I enjoyed many of the technical challenges and built screens into our set which utilizes multi media (Death row facts, visuals, flashbacks of the crime etc) throughout the play.

Our Government classes held Death Penalty debates while our IB Theory of Knowledge classes participated in discussions about the Ethics of the Death Penalty. I brought in attorneys who special in Death Penalty cases-one was about to argue a case in front of the US Supreme Court.

I teamed up with our Prison Library Project and we held a panel discussion following two of our performances.

My lead contacted Sister Prejean who sent a lovely note for us to read on opening night.

The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project (which owns the rights to the production) has pages of helpful suggestions for you and your school, and they will be a great resource to you.

Krista Carson Elhai
Claremont CA

3.  RE: Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project

Posted 08-08-2014 12:44
  |   view attached
I'm a newbie to the Educational Theatre Association and was thrilled to search the discussion posts and find this thread! 

As the National Coordinator of the Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project, I'm happy to support anyone interested in this interdisciplinary program. I can provide resources, ideas and examples from past schools, and be a source for brainstorming possibilities. The possibilities for participation can grow as large as your capacity and imagination allows! 

Our goal is to support conversations about capital punishment in as many schools around the country as possible. And since every school has a unique culture and community, there are limitless opportunities for how to engage with Dead Man Walking materials and the issue of capital punishment. 

I've attached a packet of information and there's also a lot of fantastic information on the website at 

Thanks for starting this thread, Cathy - I look forward to working with you and all who are interested in fostering creative and critical discourse. 

Rachael Hudak
National Coordinator of the Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project 
DePaul University
Chicago IL