By Harrison Held.
I recently attended a great new one woman show called Prison Boxing making it's world premiere at The Skylight Theatre Skylab on Vermont. It's a very good biographical show starring and written by the gifted and likable Leah Joki who started her professional career as an actress after her prestigious Juilliard training in New York City. She felt she didn't fit in although she did love acting. After hitting the boards in New York off off off off Broadway, she jokes, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue roles in film and television. She did land parts but feeling she didn't fit in in cookie cutter lalaland, Ms. Joki found her calling by going on to spend 18 years as a teacher in the California prison system which gave her the inspiration for this story.
Ms. Joki plays several different colorful and gritty characters in this well directed and well produced show playing playing through April 26th. The production is directed by Linda Grinde and produced by Rachel Berney Needleman and Skylight Theatre Company and was originally developed in a workshop at the Downtown Dance Collective in Missoula, MT, under the direction of Joshua Kelly and subsequently developed through Skylight's INKubator program.
Prison Boxing is the first of three one-woman shows Skylight is presenting as part of their
From Where She Stands series of work by women writers. The production team on
Prison Boxing is first rate with set design by Roland Rosenkranz, lighting by Derrick McDaniel and sound design by Christopher Moscatiello.
In 2013 Ms. Joki published her memoir "Juilliard To Jail" and the film rights to her book have been optioned by True Blood and Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello and his production company 359inc. I loved Ms. Joki's one woman show and it will be interesting to see how it is adapted on film.
The Sylight Theatre Skylab is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont in Los Angeles. For more information visit about this and other Skylight productions visit www.skylighttheatrecompany.com .
Prison Boxing runs on Saturdays and Sundays at 5pm through April 26th. Ms. Joki is a terrific actress and I highly recommend her show.
PHOTOS by Terry Cyr