Friday, January 9, 2009

The Shakespeare Prison Project

William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (Brutus and Portia) (May 2008)

In 1995, I began my work facilitating "the theatre of empowerment" with prison inmates at Racine Correctional Institution (a state facility for men, medium security, located in Sturtevant, Wisconsin). Through storytelling, improvisation, writing, dialogue, explorations of myth, literature and archetypes, and ultimately, performance--the men examine and recreate the roles they play as actors of everyday life. In 2004, I expanded the work by initiating The Shakespeare Prison Project, an annual nine-month process that involves prisoners in the study, exploration, rehearsal, and performance of a full-length Shakespeare play.

Jonathan Shailor
Associate Professor of Communication
University of Wisconsin-Parkside


I welcome your comments and questions--please share so we all can learn!