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Play Examines Stories of the Wrongfully Convicted


Contact:Eric Jome

Illinois State University’s School of Theatre and Dance will present a special performance of The Exonerated at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 21, in the University’s Center for the Performing Arts Theatre. Following the performance, there will be an interdisciplinary panel discussion about the criminal justice issues surrounding the play’s narrative.

The Exonerated will also be performed in Centennial West 207 at 7:30 p.m. March 27, 28 and 29 and April 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee performance on April 5.

Tickets for the special March 21 performance are $10. Tickets for other performances are $12 for adult general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Center for the Performing Arts, by phone at (309) 438-2535 or online at

Written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, and directed by Cyndee Brown, associate professor of theatre, The Exonerated tells the true stories of six wrongfully convicted survivors of death row. The play is based on taped interviews and research involving court transcripts, police records, witness statements, case files, letters and news articles.

Post-performance panelists will include Dawn Beichner, associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences and Women’s and Gender Studies at Illinois State; Sherrin Fitzer, women and family administrator at Logan Correctional Center; and Billy McGuinness, visual artist and creator of the photo exhibit Illinois Corrections. The panel will be moderated by Will Daddario, assistant professor of theatre studies.

In tandem with the production of The Exonerated, a photo exhibit of Illinois Corrections will be on view in Gallery 2.5 in the Center for the Visual Arts from March 18 through April 8. Illinois Corrections examines the architecture of mass incarceration with high resolution composite photographs of each of the Illinois Department of Corrections’ 27 facilities.

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