Thanh Tran | On Lockdown

By Thanh Tran

December 20, 2020 

To whom it may concern,

I struggle to put into words the visceral feeling I felt when I watched LOCKDOWN. It wasn’t just a play for me. This was my reality being printed in every dialogue, in every interaction. I’ve seen so many adaptations of what incarcerated life looks like, and this is the first time I can really say this is it. This is an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be an incarcerated human being. 

There are many parts of the play that hit me hard but a noteworthy part for me was when the two main characters hugged. It wasn’t the fact that they hugged that spoke to me. It was the fact that they were restricted to do so; how we incarcerated are restricted to connect with other human beings. The subliminal messaging and programming tells me, “I am too dangerous to be loved.” It says, “I am too dangerous to be touched.” Every aspect of this carceral environment is built to dehumanize me and destroy me internally.

This play honored my struggles. This play brought forth many of the internal and external demons we face as incarcerated humans. It didn’t aim to shock, or dehumanize for profit. It aimed to start a meaningful and much-needed conversation. So I am grateful for Cori and I am grateful a play like this exists. 

Sincerely,

Thanh Tran

Fonda Shen