Chris Herbie Holland in rehearsal for "The Box" Photo by Carla Hernández Ramírez

After a horrific stint in solitary confinement in Iran, Sara Shourd now has her debut play, “The Box,” at Z Space. It’s playing until July 30, and promises to be an extraordinary, if rattling, experience. Here is a video summary from  AJ+

Shourd was held in an Iranian prison for 410 days after accidentally crossing the border on a hike with two others, one of whom is now her husband, Shane Bauer. Bauer, incidentally, writes investigative pieces on the prison system for Mother Jones, one of which is this incredible exposé of his experiences working as a correctional officer in a for-profit prison for four months.

The world of American prisons is harrowing on many levels, but according to the Chronicle, Shourd’s play is ultimately about finding human connection in a system designed to suppress just that.

“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,” Shourd wrote.

“The Box” plays through July 30 at Z Space. Though some nights have sold out, others are offering two-for-one ticket pricing – details here.

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  1. interested in a concrete way to support someone in solitary confinement? consider becoming a human rights pen pal Human Rights Pen Pals is a grassroots, racial justice community organization, in solidarity with people in California’s solitary confinement cells. Through letter writing and community organizing, we promote principled, mutually educational relationships between people in solitary confinement and human rights supporters outside the prison walls