Chin to the Sky : The Life Sentence of Avis Lee
Starting production in the summer of 2013, Chin to the Sky is a multi-media creative story telling of the circumstances surrounding the Life Sentence of Avis Lee. When Avis was 18 she was the look out in a robbery that ended in death. Avis is now 54 years old and has spent 34 years in prison. She has no chance of getting out unless her sentence is commuted. She never pulled the trigger. We believe she deserves a second chance. [ Update: Avis Lee came home in Februrary 2021 after 41 years in prison ]
This play brings Avis Lee’s story outside of the prison walls and raise awareness of the injustice surrounding Life Without Parole sentences in Pennsylvania.
Co-written by Avis Lee, etta cetera, Jasmine Hearn, Ben Crause, Zoe Mizuho, and Amanda Johnson with script advice from Paul Kruse. We performed the first 3 acts at Rhinestone Steel and got great audience feedback. Julia Steele Allen and Suzanne South also gave great input.
Cast – Blakk Rapp Madusa starring as Avis Lee, etta cetera, Ben Crause, Amanda Johnson, Jason Clearfield, KT Tierney, Cierra Young and Suzanne South
Beautiful Bird Costume by Leslie Stem, Shadow Suitcase Slides by Alec Dunn, The Avis Song by Suzanne South and words by Amanda Johnson and Suzanne South
Additional props and staging crew – Devon Cohen, Zoe Mizuho, KT Tierney, Amanda Johnson, and Ben Crause
Video of Avis by Mary Dewitt edited for our purposes by Chris Mason and transcription by Lauren Stuparitz