On The Row: A Staged Reading of Stories From Arkansas’ Death Row

On The Row: A Staged Reading of Stories From Arkansas’ Death Row
June 15

Lynn C. Woodward
Local Host Coordinator
Kathy McGregor, Project Director
The Prison Story Project       

 On The Row: A Staged Reading of Stories From Arkansas’ Death Row

Christ Church Episcopal
10901 S. Yale Avenue
Tulsa, OK
Saturday, June 15, 2019 
7:30 pm

Christ Church Episcopal is hosting this presentation now because it is very timely here in Oklahoma.

Currently, Oklahoma holds 48 inmates on death row.  Twenty inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting for DOC to establish a new execution protocol.  On May 15, DOC Director Joe Allbaugh told The Frontier that DOC was “getting closer every day” to acquiring a device to resume executions.  Executions have been on a 4-year hiatus because of botched executions that gained national attention.

SQ 776 is often cited as proof of majority support of the death penalty.  In fact, less than half of all registered voters in Oklahoma voted in favor of SQ 776.  Currently, 11 states have Republican-sponsored death penalty repeal bills under consideration.

Governor Stitt and the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board may be making clemency decisions soon.  Christ Church Episcopal is offering this opportunity to widen the conversation and help people see the humanity also present on death rows.  

The Prison Story Project is a storytelling project that benefits the incarcerated.  Inmates explore their truths through poetry, storytelling, and creative writing.

From May through October of 2016 The Prison Story Project was given unprecedented access to the men on Arkansas’ Death Row at Varner Prison. There were 34 men on the row at the time and 11 of those men chose to participate in the project.

The inmates met with the volunteer team once a month in person on death row to explore writing and storytelling concepts, and followed up by US Mail in between visits.

A staged reading of their work – On The Row – was developed and performed for the men on death row on October 8, 2016 and has been touring the US since.

In February, 2017, the Governor of Arkansas announced that the state would execute eight men over ten days just after Easter. Four of the men that the Prison Story Project served were on that list. Two of the men were given last minutes stays and two were executed.

On The Row is touring to Tulsa thanks to a generous grant from Mid-America Arts Alliance, Whiting Foundation for the Humanities, and Episcopal Evangelism Society.

On Death Row Brochure


924 N. Robinson I Oklahoma City, OK 73102
(405) 232-4820

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm CST


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