Watch: Black, gay male plays Dorothy in prison production of “Wizard of Oz”

“Being who I am, I’ve had to deal with these sort of [negative perceptions] my whole life. So, it just makes my skin tougher. I have a lot of guys ask me, ‘Do you like being in a dress?’ Or ‘I guess it isn’t hard for you considering who you are.’ Well, I’m an openly gay man, and it’s — it’s hard at times…. I hope to get out of here and actually work in theater, to take something away from here that won’t bring me back to this situation again.”

Joseph Sims of Green County, OH, who is serving 8 years for forgery,  according to Cincinnati.com. Here, he reflects on his role as Dorothy in a fully costumed production of “Wizard of Oz” being held at Ross Correctional Institution. The production is said to include some elements of “The Wiz” and a live dog as Toto. Sims also happens to have a terrific singing voice that you can hear in the video below. Read more about Sims and the other inmates who see their theatrical participation as a positive challenge in both communication skills and being able to step outside of the mindsets that led them to criminal behavior:

JD Uy has been a Metro Weekly webmaster, distribution manager, blogger and videographer since 2002.

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