Ashely Lucas on “Prisoners, Family and Performance” March 26

2012 Merle Kling Honors Fellowship Faculty Lecture will address the arts and civic engagement

Playwright, actor and theater scholar Ashley Lucas, PhD, assistant professor of dramatic art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), will speak on “Prisoners, Families and Performance: Community Engagement Through the Arts” at 4 p.m. Monday, March 26, in Eliot Hall on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

Lucas is the 2012 Merle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship Speaker. She developed an interview-based play, Doin’ Time: Through the Visiting Glass, about the families of prisoners, which she has toured as a one-woman performance since 2004.

Her talk will blend moments of performance with scholarly analysis of the effects of the prison industrial complex on women and families — and will argue that the arts can enable types of civic engagement and community dialogue which neither activism nor scholarship alone can engender.

“Prisoners, Families and Performance” is free and open to the public and will take place in Eliot, Room 300. A reception will immediately follow. For more information, call (314) 935-5576 or e-mail

Lucas’ research and teaching interests include U.S. Latino theater, prison-related theater, theater for social change and related topics in acting, playwriting and comparative ethnic studies.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in theater studies and English from Yale University. as well as a joint doctorate in Ethnic Studies and Theatre and Drama from UC San Diego.

She is a fellow of both the UNC Faculty Engaged Scholars Program and UNC’s Institute for Arts and Humanities.

The Merle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship is housed within the Center for the Humanities at Washington University and supports undergraduate students as they undertake independent research projects based in the humanities or humanistic social sciences under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Support for the Kling Fellowship is also provided by the College of Arts and Sciences.