Rattlestick Playwrights Theater 
In Association with ShadowCatcher Entertainment

Presents The World Premiere of:


By Cori Thomas
Directed by Kent Gash

April 17-May 19, 2019 

Presented in partnership with The Fortune Society

Lockdown was commissioned by Rattlestick with support from The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference.


ShadowCatcher is proud to announce its partnership with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater on the upcoming world premiere production of LOCKDOWN by Cori Thomas.

LOCKDOWN tells the story of a writer who agrees to help a longtime incarcerated man craft his parole statement. Their growing bond forms the heart of the play, an intimate and powerful look at the impact of long-term incarceration. Inspired by playwright Cori Thomas's work at San Quentin State Prison, LOCKDOWN explores the magical possibilities for transformation through human connection.

In addition to responding so strongly to the play's urgent topicality and uplifting message, ShadowCatcher also looks forward to partnering with The Fortune Society on LOCKDOWN. The Fortune Society's mission is to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities. During the run of the play, The Fortune Society and their advocacy team will facilitate a series of post-show conversations following each performance with former inmates sharing their personal stories and firsthand experiences within the criminal justice system.

I’m delighted to work with ShadowCatcher Entertainment on this play which means a lot to me. I feel a sense of responsibility to the incarcerated men I’ve come to know and care about. ShadowCatcher is helping to make sure the play has the widest possible reach. For that I am so grateful and excited.
- Cori Thomas, Playwright

Rattlestick is honored and privileged to work on Lockdown with ShadowCatcher, a bold, risk-taking company that shares our commitment to playwrights and launching original, authentic and dynamic new theatrical works.
- Daniella Topol, Artistic Director

CORI THOMAS (Playwright) is the daughter of former Liberian Ambassador, David Thomas and Brazilian attorney, Zuleika Thomas. Her plays include When January Feels Like Summer (NYT Critics Pick), directed in NYC by Daniella Topol, produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre with P73, and then re-mounted with Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Women’s Project, with other productions at City Theatre(Pittsburgh) and Mosaic Theatre (DC).  Her other plays include: The Liberian Legacy Trilogy: Pa’s Hat (Pillsbury House), Flight 109, and In The Beginning; Citizens Market (City Theater) and more ... her work has been developed at O’Neill Playwright’s Conference, Sundance, Goodman, Playwrights Horizons, Pillsbury House, Black Rep, New Black Theatre, among others.  She is a Resident at New Dramatists, and is currently writing an original screenplay about Nelson Mandela and Percy Yutar for HBO Films among other projects. 

KENT GASH (Director) directed the acclaimed World Premiere of Robert O’Hara’s’ Barbecue at the Public Theatre and he is co-author and director of Langston In Harlem (Four 2010 Audelco Awards including Best Musical.) New York: Miss Ever’s Boys (Premiere) for the Melting Pot Theatre Co., Call The Children Home (Premiere) for Primary Stages, Duke Ellington’s Beggar’s Holiday (MUFTI-York Theatre) and the Off-Broadway revival of Samm-Art William’s Home. Regional: The Wiz at Ford’s Theatre, August Wilson’s The Gem Of The Ocean at South Coast Rep (LA TIMES 10 Best Plays of 2017), Wig Out at Studio Theatre DC, and The Mountaintop at Trinity Rep. Future productions include The Winters Tale at Dallas Theatre Center. Former Associate Artistic Director: Alliance Theatre (2001-2009), Alabama Shakespeaere Festival (1999-2001)

RATTLESTICK PLAYWRIGHTS THEATER is an Obie-Award winning theater, founded in 1994 by Gary Bonasorte and Davis van Asselt, that has developed and produced over 100 World Premieres in the past 23 seasons. Our mission is to present diverse, challenging and provocative plays that might not otherwise be produced and to foster the future voices of the American theater. We produce theater to inspire empathy and provoke conversations in response to the complexities of our culture. It is essential that Rattlestick’s artists, audience, and core team reflect the diversity of New York City, and that a wide array of perspectives are represented on the Rattlestick stage.

THE FORTUNE SOCIETY has become one of the nation’s leading reentry service organizations since its founding in 1967, serving nearly 7,000 individuals annually. It is also a leading advocate in the fight for criminal justice reform and alternatives to incarceration. Fortune’s program models are recognized both nationally and internationally for their quality and innovation, and continues to inspire and transform a multitude of lives.