UM Theater to Present DUI Project – Writings of 19 Inmates

According to a press release from the University of Montana, one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. In addition, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse states that substance misuse costs the country $700 billion a year in health care costs, crime and lost productivity. Montana ranks third in per-capita DUIs and has triple the national average in deaths and arrest rates.

“The DUI Project” will be a staged reading of scenes written by 19 inmates in the Warm Springs Addiction Treatment and Change Program (WATCh) under the auspices of Community Correctional and Counseling Services.

Artistic Director of the Montana Repertory Theater Michael Legg explained how the project began.

“This whole project started with a graduate student in the School of Theatre and Dance who had an idea,” said Legg. “She had been interning with a company called ‘No Joke Theater’ that Leah Jokey is the artistic director of, and they’ve been going into prisons in California and working with the inmates to help tell their stories. And Ellie thought, ‘Well, why don’t we do that here in Montana?’

Legg explained how the DUI project came to life in Montana.

“She worked with Leah and she approached the Dean

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