The Box

A Play About Solitary Confinement

Jul 6 - Jul 30

Directed by Michael John Garcés
Written by Sarah Shourd

In 2009, journalist and playwright Sarah Shourd was living in the Middle East when she went on a hike with her fiancée and a friend. Little did she know it, but her life would never be the same. While pursuing what they were told were fantastic views over a nearby ridge, they suddenly found themselves surrounded by Iranian soldiers. After being accused of spying for the U.S., she would spend the next 410 days in solitary confinement as a political prisoner.

The Box is Shourd’s new play ignited by that experience. Based on a deeply researched journalistic investigation, it is a piece of transformational theater that asks us to re-examine long-held notions of punishment as it reveals the tragic—and sometimes painfully comic and absurd—realities that dictate life “inside the box.” With a plot that illuminates the innate resilience of the human spirit, The Box tracks its characters as they make their journeys against all odds: from racist to revolutionary, from tough-guy to suicide victim, from guru/teacher to frightened, lost soul, and from father to friend.

By turns entertaining and unsettling, The Box is a rare glimpse into the deep end of our prison system, the intimate bonds forged between modern-day heroes the ripple effects of systematic torture, and what it means to be human.

It is a play that asks: What happens when you have nothing left to lose? 


Tickets available at: 



Journalist and playwright Sarah Shourd survived 410 days of solitary confinement while imprisoned as a political hostage by the Iranian government from 2009 to 2010. Since then she has become a nationally known critic of the overuse of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. After being freed—driven by a need to understand what happened to her own mind—she has crisscrossed the U.S. in order to collect stories from dozens of people in the isolation units of our country’s most remote and forbidding prisons.


The necessity for me was to find artistic expression for experiences that threatened my sanity, my dignity, and my future. The result is a play about why we need each other.
–Sarah Shourd



EORO is the fiscal agent for this project, and I warmly  encourage everyone to make a tax deductible donation to support the production of this play scheduled to premier t the Z Space in June, 2016! No contribution is too small.  You can mail a check  payable to EORO to our offices at 146 So. Spruce Ave. South San Francisco, CA 94080. Please make a note on your check of “Opening of the Box’, or  you can go online and make a donation at


Thank you so much in advance for your generous support.  


Robin Sohnen, EORO Executive Director


Donations Warmly Accepted