Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Michigan Prison performs "A Day in the Life of Junebug Jenkins"

A Day in the Life of Junebug Jenkins
Commentary by guest writer Dave Murray

A man, Junebug, thinks of himself as a victim. The "powers and principalities" (in the form of a movie director and cast) converge to help him live out his role. They bring him dirty sinks first thing in the morning; no hot water for coffeee; a stolen shower bag and shower line jumper. When he's ready to blow his stack, the director and cast show themselves for the first time. A "Twilight Zone" moment occurs and the man demands to know who the people are. The director tells him that by our thoughts we choose our role in the play of lilfe each day. If we don't like that role, we can change any time we want.

Junebug finds this exciting and begins to think about what role he wants to play. After reviewing several possibilities--healer, tough guy, teacher, dreamer, villain--he ultimately chooses to be a victim.

Following the play, the actors engage the audience to discuss what they saw and what it means. Keep in mind, the actors and audience members are all real prisoners.

Troy Chapman, who authors the play, works with three other inmates with their Ethics Project, an eight to 10 week seminar on ethical living. They wrote the course and train others within the facility. The course itself has been approved by the Michigan Department of Corrections as an approved program to be used within the prisons. Troy is serving a life sentence, and has been in prison for almost 27 years.

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