Based in Santa Maria, Poetic Justice Project engages formerly incarcerated cast and crew members from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, aiming to unlock hearts and minds with bold, original theatre.

“We are extremely grateful to the Fund for Santa Barbara,” said founding artistic director Deborah Tobola. “These funds will allow us to pay key staff members who have been volunteering for three years, since we began.” In addition to producing theatre that examines crime, punishment and redemption, Poetic Justice Project offers workshops to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.

Past productions include Blue Train, Off The Hook and Women Behind the Walls. Poetic Justice Project also performed Of Mice and Men last year at the 31st International Steinbeck Festival in Salinas. The company is currently in production of Planet of Love, which will be performed in March in San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria and Lompoc.

On February 11, 2012 Poetic Justice Project will present the second Art of Justice public forum on Saturday, February 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 313 W. Tunnell Street in Santa Maria. This year’s theme is Inside/Out: Looking at Prisoner Realignment and features a keynote address by Santa Barbara County Chief Probation Officer Beverly Taylor. Later that evening is Bleeding Hearts Valentine Bash, a fundraising event for Poetic Justice Project, also at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Poetic Justice Project, based in Santa Maria, is a program of the award-winning William James Association, based in Santa Cruz, which provides arts instruction to people on parole and probation, prisoners, and youth at risk of incarceration. For more information, visit or on Poetic Justice Project on Facebook.


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