Rhodessa Jones: Creating Serious Fun–the Medea Project in South Africa

Rhodessa Jones is an actor, writer, director and founder of the internationally acclaimed Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women. After more than 30 years, the project has become a model for community-based, process-oriented theater for incarcerated women around the world. Jones has worked with women in South African prisons since 2006.

The Medea Project’s workshops are designed to encourage incarcerated women to explore their fears, desires, dreams, and the behaviors that led them to be incarcerated in hopes that they might be able to transform themselves and save their own lives.

She returns to UW-Madison in a program hosted by the 4W Initiative: For Women, For Well-Being, For Wisconsin and the World. 4W is convened by the UW-Madison Global Health Institute, School of Human Ecology and Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.

In addition to her work with incarcerated women, in recent years Jones has also expanded her work to women living with HIV. Using the same processes that have been successful with incarcerated women, Jones helps the women in her HIV-AIDS workshops learn to live with their disease and love their bodies.

A reception follows Jones’ presentation.

Rhodessa Jones warming up for "Serious Fun" in South Africa.
Rhodessa Jones warming up for “Serious Fun” in South Africa.