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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Shakespeare Behind Bars Documentary
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0222  Monday, 27 March 2006

From: 		Jack Heller <
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Date: 		Friday, 24 Mar 2006 14:21:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 17.0209 Shakespeare Behind Bars Documentary
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0209 Shakespeare Behind Bars Documentary

I don't think Curt Tofteland notes that the SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS 
documentary is scheduled for presentation at the SAA meeting in 
Philadelphia. A colleague in my institution's theater department has 
worked with Mr. Tofteland at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and has 
attended at least one performance at the Luther Luckett prison. Thus, 
I've been able to see my colleague's advance copy of this documentary a 
few weeks ago.

The film focuses on the year the prisoners are working on The Tempest. 
We get to see the cast argue about points of plot and performance. We 
see them negotiate how physically will they interact with one another in 
rehearsal. We see them discussing casting. We see some of the performers 
strongly confronted by the text as its issues relate to the issues of 
their own past behaviors. (I don't want to give too much away on this.) 
We see the problems that prison restrictions themselves place on the 
rehearsals and performance. If you'd know where to look, you'd briefly 
see two of my students. And we see some of The Tempest performed.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Tofteland on his 
good reviews, and I hope that everyone at SAA will make the effort to 
attend the film presentation. I was deeply moved by it. I also wish that 
such a program were available at other state prisons.

Jack Heller
Huntington University

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