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‘Prison Dancer: The Musical,’ inspired by a viral video, is in development

Producer Ana Serrano talks exclusively to Broadway News about the Broadway-aimed musical.

The company of “Prison Dancer” at NAC’s English Theatre, 2023 (Credit: Dahlia Katz)

“Prison Dancer: The Musical,” a new musical co-created by Romeo Candido and Carmen De Jesus, is in development. The musical recently completed a run at National Arts Centre’s (NAC) English Theatre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on Dec. 2. The production hopes to land on Broadway. Ana Serrano, president and vice-chancellor of Ontario College of Art and Design University, is producing.

“Prison Dancer” is inspired by a 2007 viral video of 1,500 Filipino inmates dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at a prison in Cebu, Philippines. The prison uses dance as part of a daily regimen for exercise and expression. “Prison Dancer” follows fictionalized Lola, who uses dance and song to bring joy and purpose to fellow inmates.

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