Soul Rebel Performance Troupe Performs “The Exonerated” at Siena College
Albany’s Soul Rebel Performance Troupe will offer three staged readings of The Exonerated, written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, at Siena College’s Roger Bacon Auditorium in Loudonville tonight through Sunday (March 16-18). The Exonerated uses court transcripts, interviews and letters to recount, in their own words, the true stories of six Americans who were convicted and sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit. Together, the five men and one woman spent more than 100 years on death row before being freed.
Director Jean-Remy Monnay spoke about the decision to do this staged reading when the troupe performed it last May: “The Exonerated touches on many of the problems and devastating outcomes of the U.S. system of mass incarceration which are in the headlines and being debated on social media every day. We want to bring people from the community together and get them talking. Theater provides us with a context to learn and talk about emotionally charged and controversial issues.”
Annie Rody-Wright, an attorney and Visiting Professor at Siena College, was in the audience last May and agreed with Monnay’s statement. She was very moved by the performance and wanted her students to see it. In addition to teaching Criminal Justice classes, she also teaches First Year Seminar at Siena and in Greene Correctional Facility. The impact incarceration has on those incarcerated and their families is very real to her FYS students who have developed a peer relationship across the two campuses through continual review of each other’s papers.