(Alexis Soloski’s article appeared in The New York Times, 8/6; via Pam Green.)

In the spring of 2011, the librettist Dick Scanlan and the Broadway actress Sherie Rene Scott woke up early and drove a few hours upstate to the Woodbourne Correctional Facility in New York, a medium-security prison in Sullivan County. They’d already been fingerprinted and tested for tuberculosis. They’d selected clothing that wouldn’t trigger the metal detectors.

Ms. Scott had just closed the short-lived, roundly derided musical stage adaptation of the film “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” She was more at less at liberty. Mr. Scanlan hadn’t yet begun work on “Motown: The Musical,” so he was free, too. They had come to Woodbourne to lead a one-day workshop on personal narratives alongside a veteran volunteer, Mr. Scanlan’s childhood friend, Shawn McNesby Fischer.


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