Jess Thorpe

Jess Thorpe

Co-Artistic Director of Glas(s) Performance, Lecturer in Arts in Social Justice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland




What is your experience in the arts and criminal justice field?

I work part-time as the Lecturer in the Arts in Social Justice at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow. In this role I am involved in the design and delivery of creative projects with Scottish Prisons and with communities affected by crime.

I work in lots of the prisons across Scotland although for the last five years I have spent the most time as the Drama Tutor in HMP Perth. During this time I have made over 8 pieces of theatre and worked alongside the Fife College team to build a thriving culture of drama and arts practice as part of the activity in the Learning Centre.

In 2011 I went on placement with the University of Michigan and their Prison Creative Arts Programme during which I worked in prisons in and around Detroit.

My own particular interest is in devised theatre and autobiography and in 2013 I published my first paper called ‘Tightrope’. This attempts to outline the creative process used by the drama group in HMP Perth to create an original piece of theatre work.

What are your aims for the Scottish Prison Arts Network SCIO?

I am proud to be one of the founding members of SPAN and really believe in it’s potential as a place to bring artists working in the field of criminal justice to come together, offer support, share best practice and learn from each other.

We have grown so much in the last two years and have received  a huge amount of support in the development of the organisation from an idea to a reality.

I am looking forward to continuing to explore how we can best serve our members and build opportunities for growth across the sector.

What is your role aside from being a trustee for SPAN?

Outside of my work for RCS I am the Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed performance company Glas(s) Performance and co-founder and facilitator of the award winning radical collective of young people; Junction 25.

I am also a trustee and staff member for the International Schools Theatre Association.

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