Skip to comments.Why Shakespeare Belongs In Prison
Posted on 04/23/2014 9:37:36 AM PDT by nickcarraway
The incarcerated may be the Bard's ideal modern audience.
It's his 450th birthday, and The Bard has never appealed to a wider or more diverse audience. American higher-ed English departments may be teaching him less than they used to, but the Internet and modern film and TV interpretations have helped democratize appreciation of his works around the world. Thats only fitting: In Shakespeares era, the royalty in attendance at his productions was joined by crowds of commoners called groundlings and stinkards who paid a penny to stand in the pit, sweltering in the heat, while even more milled about outside.
'Shakespeare Must Be a Black Girl' Theres one commoner population to whom Shakespeare can hold special significance: convicts. Recent decades have seen a proliferation of programs in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers meant to introduce the accused to works found in the Folios and Quartos. While arts outreach efforts in correctional environments are nothing new, any diehard Shakespearean might recognize how his works appeal uniquely to the criminally accused, one of societys most marginalized populations.
Laura Bates, author of Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary With the Bard, described teaching the plays in a super-max facility housing the most violent criminals in the system in an interview last year with NPR. The books title comes from the words of one inmate, convicted of murder as a teenager and placed in solitary confinement for years.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
Folks read their parts, they don't have to memorize lines.
But costumes are acceptable, especially when Bottom becomes an Ass.
Serve some wine, or better, mead and be prepared for much hilarity.
Shakespeare is poetry.
I would suggest to anyone starting in Shakespeare - first watch ANY of Kenneth Branagh’s film productions - Hamlet, Othello, Henry V. Absolutely fabulous.
I wish Branagh would return to this instead of BBC crime shows and secondary parts in Hollywood films
Twelfth Night is my absolute favorite.
But I loved him as Professor Lockhart!
Have you seen the Trevor Nunn film version? The intro’s a bit contrived, but once they’re on the beach it comes more fully back into the original script. It’s actually one of my favorite films.
“My Shakespeare, rise....”
I wish he’d do “Macbeth” with a Patrick Doyle score.
I've read a ton, but none since about 1980.
I'm having fun with it - probably spill over well into next year, too.
Oh, yes indeedy! I do like that one very much. One of my favorite film productions of TN was a BBC production done in 1980 - with Felicity Kendal, Alec McCowan and Robert Hardy.
Suggest skipping Much Ado About Nothing by Joss Whedon.
I actually knew Joss Whedon once. He gave me a review of a script I’d written for a different show, same production company. He told me, “I can be cruel.”
“Be cruel,” I said.
He gave it back to me with just a few notes, but wrote on the back page how impressed with it he actually was, and signed it. The other show never used it, but I still have it today. Some sense of “certification” I suppose, that I can be a “structured” writer at least.
But you’re right. I think I’ll skip that one.
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