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OFF THE RECORD: Acts of Restorative Justice

OFF THE RECORD: Acts of Restorative Justice is a theatrical intervention that actually changes lives. Due to the over-policing of BIPOC people in the US, Black people are five times more likely to be convicted of a crime. What would an honest attempt to restore justice look like, one person at a time? Artist James Scruggs will work with lawyers, activists, and community participants who have a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony in their past to legally expunge or seal their criminal records, while telling their stories, onstage and off.

JAMES SCRUGGS is a writer, performer, producer, screenwriter, who creates large-scale topical, theatrical, multi-media and virtual work focused on inequity or gender politics. In 2018, he created a site-specific immersive, interactive, satirical work commissioned by The High Line, …” MELT!”. He was awarded a 2015 MAP Grant and a 2016 Creative Capital Grant, to create 3/Fifths. Performed in May 2017, it was a fully immersive, interactive ethno-theme park, exploring race and racism called SupremacyLand. His November 2017, “3/Fifths Trapped in a Traveling Minstrel Show” was about how unarmed black men are still feared and legally killed. It received an Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Fringe Production in Boston. He recently produced and performed a virtual piece exploring the limited choices that people trapped in the World Trade Center were faced with, called Severe Clear. James Scruggs is an active member of The Filmshop Writers Den and the Harlem TV Writers Group. He was selected as one of 18 writers to bring an original theatrical work to The Apollo in the Spring of 2022. He is currently working on a theatrical/social justice piece, Off The Record, (recently funded by NPN) where effects of mass incarceration are confronted head-on. In 3 cities, NYC, Boston, and Tampa, Fl. 3-5 BIPOC with criminal records will be identified, paired with a lawyer and have their records expunged, and their stories will be shared theatrically. James Scruggs has a BFA in Film from the School of Visual Arts.

OFF THE RECORD: ACTS OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by ART2ACTION INC, CENTER AT WEST PARK INC, EMERSON COLLEGE, and NPN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information:

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