The Peculiar Patriot, a solo performance by a Georgetown University grad Liza Jessie Peterson that is about how mass incarceration affects prisoners and their loved ones, will take place at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company from April 1-20.
Written and performed by Peterson, the show draws from the artist’s decades of work with the prison populations, including on the notorious Rikers Island Prison Complex.
The performance directed by Talvin Wilks follows Betsy LaQuanda Ross, who is a self-proclaimed “Peculiar Patriot, a frequent visitor of prisons in order to boost the morale of her loved ones.
“When she is not sharing neighborhood updates and gossip, Betsy illuminates our country’s cruel and unjust criminal justice system and its impact not only on the 2.3 million people behind bars, but also their family and friends,” says the performance brief.
Describing it as “a fierce, funny, and shrewd indictment of the systemic inequity within America’s fastest growing industry,” the brief adds that the show was tracing the inequity’s roots from the plantation to the prison yard.
According to a review by The New York Times, “THE PECULIAR PATRIOT excels at visceral moments… even as it builds a strong case against the mass incarceration of African Americans and the effects of a racially skewed justice system.”
Broadway World called the performance “a blistering critique of the American criminal justice system,” while The Boston Globe defined it as “a richly layered, all-out performance of the sort you tend to remember.”
Tickets can be bought here.