• Jon Sawyer and Harry Corpening

    Jon Sawyer (on the left) and Harry Corpening (RJR Alumni President)

    RJR Alumni President Harry Corpening recently interviewed (via Zoom) Jon Sawyer (who attended RJR in his sophomore year in 1967-68, and then transferred to a private school in New Hampshire....where he graduated). He presently is the Executive Director (and founder) of the Pulitzer Center (whose mission is to support accurate, responsible journalism and to do everything we can to engage all people across the political spectrum and the divides of class, race and religion).

    We discussed how this organization came to be, and what types of topics it is supplying news stories for.  To view this informative video, click here ( * ) .

    We also discussed a play entitled "The Box" that the Pulitzer Center will be staging in Winston-Salem on August 25, 26 and 27 at The Ramkat (at 170 W. 9th Street). This play will be touring, and will stage performances in 10 different cities across the country. "The End of Isolation Tour" will bring immersive, transformative theater to communities on the front lines of imagining a world without prisons and the torture of solitary confinement.​

    view from "The Box"

    The play is about, and was written by someone who for over a year experienced, solitary confinement.  

    Below is an August 13th email from Jon concerning the play.

    Dear all,

    Following up on our save the date from earlier this summer, as to our production of the play on solitary confinement The BOX that we're bringing to Winston-Salem as part of a 10-city national tour -- and thank you so much to those of you who have already made plans to come!
    Kem and I saw the play in St. Louis a few weeks ago and found it extraordinarily moving, as have audiences in Austin, Arkansas, Chicago and Detroit. You'll get a good sense of the tour thus far from the End of Isolation Tour site and its Instagram feed. By the time the cast gets to Winston-Salem, after performances in Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC, they are going to be in stellar form. 
    We'll be at the Friday evening 8/26 performance. Our Pulitzer education colleagues, Ann Peters and Fareed Mostoufi, will be there on Thursday as well. We're working with Mike Wakeford from UNCSA and Muse, one of our local partners, to organize a conversation on the morning of August 25 at UNCSA with playwright Sarah Shourd, cast members, and Wake's Phoebe Zerwick, author of 'Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt." We'll post details at pulitzercenter.org as soon as confirmed.
    We're happy to provide free tickets for educators, formerly incarcerated individuals, theater students, church groups, etc. If you have ideas please let us know--and meanwhile thanks again for helping us spread the word.
    All best,

    To learn more about this play, and to purchase tickets: click here ( * ). (It is assumed that this play will generate a lot of interest. That being the case, you may want to go ahead and order your tickets now to make sure you are able to see it).

    Click here ( * ) to return to the Alumni homepage.