“I’m emotional and I’m nervous at the same time. My daughter is going to be here, my father’s going to be here, and it’s like, I have to do something I’ve never done before, just for them. I made a mistake, and it’s a chance for me to do better.”
RTA MEMBER, BEDFORD HILLS
Family relationships are tough to maintain from prison. The hassle and expense of visits to remote facilities, the emotional strain on children whose parent is absent, the burden on a sibling to take care of an aging parent ... years of hardships take their toll. Families often say they "do the bid" alongside their loved one. On the other hand, being grounded in family, while in prison and when released, is one of the most important factors in success on the outside.
RTA has helped families connect through a tradition of sending performance DVDs to those unable to attend prison productions.
In 2015, the Department of Corrections allowed RTA family members to attend the community performance at Sing Sing for the first time. The Wizard of Oz was chosen for this momentous event. For one night, the men weren't prisoners - they were Scarecrow, Lion, Tin Man, Wizard, Flying Monkeys - even Munchkins.
Since then, family members have been able to see our women's group perform The Wiz and Bedford Sings Broadway! at Bedford Hills and On the Waterfront and Of Mice and Men at Sing Sing.