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Al Tony Simon and Tychist Baker describe their experiences as formerly-incarcerated individuals, and their work with puppetry through the group Inside Change. Simon became involved in theater in prison, and then with prison activism through RAPP (Release Aging People from Prison), and Milk Not Jails’ efforts to reform New York State parole boards. Great Small Works theater company introduced Simon to puppetry, which he has used in his work with young people in youth detention centers, schools, and at-risk communities through the One Foot In and One Foot Out program, and later the creation of Inside Change. During his incarceration Tychist Baker started studying, reading “hundreds of books,” and when he was released began collaborating with Milk Not Jails, with whom he worked on prison reform, and teaching martial arts and anti-rape training to kids through the One Foot In and One Foot Out program. With a combination of sock puppets, humanettes, and marionettes, Baker shows, the program teaches kids Identity, Purpose, and Direction.
puppetry, performing objects, African American culture
African American Studies | Africana Studies | Arts and Humanities | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies
Simon, Al Tony and Baker, Tychist, "Puppetry and Inside Change" (2019). Living Objects: African American Puppetry Essays. 19.