HCC Theater Event Text Size

Event takes place on April 20, 2017 at
303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke MA

Holyoke Community College putting on “Getting Out,” April 20-22
Prison play caps Theater Department’s “Year of the Woman”

“Getting Out” begins as the title suggests, with a prisoner being released from jail.

After eight years of incarceration, Arlene is escorted out by the warden. In the very first scene, she returns home and enters a new apartment.

How she copes is the story of the play, as Arlene reconciles her new life with the one she had before.

“It’s a commentary on the criminal justice system,” said director and Holyoke Community College theater professor Patricia Sandoval, ’84, “but it’s also a commentary on the will of a woman to find hope and survive in the world against incredible odds.”
The Holyoke Community College Theater Department will present “Getting Out,” by Marsha Norman, April 20-22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Leslie Phillips Theater, with a 2 p.m. matinee on April 22.

HCC student Marissa Perez, of Florence, portrays the present-day Arlene, whose early struggles and experiences in prison are relayed in flashbacks. Carina Savoie, of Agawam, plays the younger version, “Arlie,” who haunts the stage like a ghost of Christmas past.

As Arlene adjusts, we also learn the unfortunate circumstances that led to Arlie’s imprisonment and meet the central figures of her life, including her abusive father, an ex-boyfriend, prison guards, the warden, and the kind chaplain who first called her “Arlene.”

“Something will trigger a memory, and then she’ll remember what happened to her,” Sandoval said.

Norman wrote the play in 1977, but it is as relevant today as it was then, said Sandoval, particularly given the current attention to mass incarceration in the U.S. and controversies over the use of private prisons.

Recidivism rates for those like Arlene are discouraging, Sandoval notes, with something like 75 percent of formerly incarcerated individuals reoffending at some point.

“We might look at her and say, she’s never going to break that cycle,” Sandoval said, “but she has a child and she has reasons to make it on the outside.”

Sandoval chose “Getting Out” to fit in with this being the “Year of the Woman” in the HCC Theater Department. It started in September with a 24-hour-theater festival put on by HCC theater alumni as a tribute to Leslie Phillips, a beloved theater teacher who died in 1988. HCC alumna Denise Boutin, ’77, directed “American Daughter” by Wendy Wasserstein for HCC’s Fall production.

Sandoval wanted to direct “Getting Out,” she said, because it was not just written by a woman but featured a woman as the central character.

“That was our theme,” said Sandoval, “women playwrights; women directors; women’s struggles.”

The Cast: Marissa Perez, of Florence (Arlene); Carina Savoie, of Agawam (Arlie); Simeon Brown, of Springfield (Guard 1, Evan); Paul Matica, of Worthington (Bennie); Damien Crockett, of Amherst (Guard 2, Caldwell); Alora Machuca, of Holyoke (Doctor); Deborah Uller, of Northampton (Mother); Jeremy Routhier, of Southampton (School Principal); Matt Grover of Ludlow (Ronnie); Patrick Ryan of Springfield (Carl); Mary Callahan of West Brookfield (Warden); Jametta Bailey-Hailey, of Springfield (Ruby); Jessica Burgos of Chicopee (Guard 3); Daniel Alban of Springfield (Guard 4).

“Getting Out,” by Marsha Norman
April 20-22, at 7:30 p.m.
April 22, 2 p.m. matinee.
Tickets available at the door: $10 general admission; $8 students and seniors, $5 HCC students and staff.
The Thursday, April 20, performance will be ASL-interpreted.

Posted on April 10, 2017 by