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Prison and Post Release


SDT has been working with women in Victorian Prisons in performance and visual arts since 1980.

SDT is the only company in Australia undertaking contemporary theatre and visual arts practice with an annual public presentation of the work within the women’s prison system.

“Having been involved in theatre for 10 plus years, I have seen a lot. I have never been so moved, inspired and completely immersed in any production (theatre or film) before. I am so grateful to have witnessed the play tonight”.  (F 34 Theatre Producer)

While the company has evolved it still operates on the same principle as it did when it began. The work has nothing to do with changing people, it is not to pathologise behaviour – it is to create. To create exceptional theatre/art/film with individuals who are in the main excluded.

“It has had a huge impact on my jail time. It is one of the few spaces where I’m free to be me – without defences and masks.”

“I think this is the first thing I have ever started and actually seen through to completion! Getting recognition for doing the work with Somebody’s Daughter means that a Criminal Record Number, name and crime is not the only label I carry…”

See ABC News article on SDTC's work in the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre

She Swallowed That Lie

She Swallowed That Lie is a play Somebody's Daughter Theatre devised between 2020 and 2022 (the Covid years) with post release women and young people from the Geelong region. It had four performances to packed audiences at Chapel Off Chapel in August 2022, accompanied by an exhibition showcasing 20 years of the art produced in the workshops in Victoria's women's prisons. We hope to tour the show, with the exhibition, throughout rural Victoria in 2023.

Poster for She Swallowed That Lie

ABC TV's Art Works featured a segment on She Swallowed That Lie which you can watch here.

Miss It Appears We've Hit Some Turbulence

Podcast - listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast platform.

MIAWHST Podcast Poster Small.jpg

Due to Covid - 19, the 2020 public performance in the prison was cancelled. But we were able to continue Covid safe drama workshops to reimagine the 2019 show, Miss, It Appears We've Hit Some Turbulence, recording it and producing a podcast. We weaved the narrative of the performance in with interviews with women from the post release group reflecting on the play and giving it some context.

Dame Phyllis Frost & Tarrengower Prisons Artworks

By Donna, Nese, Thorany, Kia, Kaz, Vicky, Sam, Toni, Trynh, Margaret, Jeanette

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