Liza Jessie Peterson


Peterson is an "artivist": an actress, playwright, poet, author, and youth advocate who has been steadfast in her commitment to incarcerated populations both professionally and artistically for over two decades. Her critically acclaimed one-woman show, The Peculiar Patriot, premiered at the National Black Theater in Harlem, followed by ArtsEmerson (Boston), and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (D.C.), and was nominated for a Drama Desk award in 2019. During the early years of this play's uncanny trajectory and true to her "artivist" nature, Peterson performed The Peculiar Patriot in over 35 penitentiaries across the country in a self-funded prison tour spanning the course of four years.

Peterson is author of ALL DAY: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island (Hachette publishing). She was featured in Ava DuVernay's Emmy Award-winning documentary, The 13th, and was a consultant on Bill Moyers' documentary Rikers (PBS).

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