A presentation by the Actor's Gang called Lyrics From Lockdown in LA put a magnifying glass on America's mass incarceration problem. The two-week run of this groundbreaking production told the story of Bryonn Bain, an actor, author, and hip-hop artist who was wrongly imprisoned in NYC jails while studying at Harvard. The show ran in Culver City this past February.
Weaving together the voices of over 40 characters into a one-man tour de force, this Sankofa.org multimedia production saw Bain fusing hip hop, theater, spoken word and live instrumentation to tell a provocative story exposing racial profiling and wrongful incarceration in a nation imprisoning more people than any other in the world.
The performances were followed by an audience talk back and community engagement, which included actor/producer/activist Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), director Ryan Coogler (Creed), actor/activist Hill Harper (CSI:NY), artist/activist Aloe Blacc, and gang interventionist Skipp Townsend.
Bryonn is currently a professor at UCLA who also works with activists and artists in California to advocate for a more just prison system.