Social Justice Hip-Hop Theater Company Comes to the Hudson Valley, April 1-2, 2016

The highly acclaimed, Brooklyn-based Truthworker Theater Company will be performing two of their plays in Poughkeepsie: Bar Code: A Performative Analysis of the School-to-Prison Pipeline, written by the company and directed by Samara Gaev, and In|Prism: Boxed In and Blacked Out in America, which deals with the issue of solitary confinement. All performances are free.

A fully staged production of Bar Code will be performed at the Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center on Friday, April 1, 3:00pm and 8:00pm. In/Prism will be performed on Saturday, April 2, 5:00pm, in the Sanders Classroom Building, Sptizer Auditorium (room 212). 

Admission is free, but space is limited. Reserving tickets in advance is highly recommended. To reserve, call (845)473-5046 or email

This project is made possible with generous funding from Vassar College and with funds from the Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson.


Bar Code: A Performative Analysis of the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center
12 Vassar Road, Poughkeepsie
Friday, April 1, at 3 pm and 8 pm
This original work draws connections from Willie Lynch to Trayvon Martin, sourcing interviews with formerly incarcerated youth, and citing research from New York City's key lawyers in the Stop and Frisk trials, Bar Code interrogates cycles of systemic oppression through a compelling narrative that weaves rhyme, multimedia, hip-hop theatre, dance, and personal testimony.

In|Prism: Boxed In and Blacked Out in America
Vassar College
Sanders Classroom Building, Spitzer Auditorium (room 212)
Saturday, April 2, at 5 pm
In|Prism traces one man's remarkable capacity for liberation within the walls of death row. It was developed directly with Jarvis Jay Masters, an innocent man on death row, who has been incarcerated since the age of 19 in San Quentin Prison and who was also institutionalized as a young boy.


About Truthworker
Truthworker Theatre Company is a social justice based, hip-hop theatre company for high school and college-aged youth based in Brooklyn, NY. This dynamic young company, directed by Samara Gaev, uses theater to examine contemporary issues and learn about models for creating social change.

About Samara Gaev, Founder and Artistic Director of Truthworker
Samara Gaev is a New York based activist, educator, theatre director, and performer. Her work has taken her to Zimbabwe, Senegal, Hawaii, Brasil, Peru, Cuba, Scotland, and throughout the U.S. Gaev is honored to be the Resident Artist/Scholar at Columbia University’s Teachers College: Graduate School of Education. She also serves as a teaching artist the Brooklyn Academy of Music, directing their Arts & Justice theater program for teens. She is also the National Education Coordinator for Question Bridge: Black Males, a board member of Project Rhythm, and Curriculum Writer for Hurricane Season. Gaev has had the opportunity to train with such choreographers as Bill T. Jones, Garth Fagan, and Urban Bush Women, and is a company member of Organic Magnetics, under the direction of Maija Garcia, the Creative Director and Associate Choreographer of FELA!. Gaev has also performed extensively with Universal Arts Co. in Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, co-directed by Obbie and Bessie award winner Robbie McCauley, and The Beat, which brought her to Zimbabwe’s Harare International Festival for the Arts as a performer & teacher. Samara graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a degree in Performance as a Tool for Cross-Cultural Education and Social Change. She completed advanced training in Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed from the Paul A. Kaplan Center for Educational Drama and received her Master’s Degree in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a thesis that explored trauma, advocacy, and witnessing. Gaev is a recipient of the 2009 Next Generation of Leadership Fellowship through the Center for Whole Communities, where she is now faculty. Her active involvement in progressive social change has taken her beyond the classroom and the stage, and towards actualizing the change she wishes to see.


About Vassar College
Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.


Posted by Office of Communications Friday, March 18, 2016