Shakespeare Inside: The Bard Behind Bars

Overview

Shakespeare Inside goes behind the scenes to reveal Shakespeare at work in the most decisive institutional context of our time - in prisons. Based upon the author's experience of watching prison yard rehearsals and performances, and interviewing inmates, program directors, and wardens, Shakespeare Inside is not an objective, dispassionate account of how Shakespeare is bastardized by repressive institutions but offers a record of fiercely personal experiences. We hear ex-offender Mike Smith detail how playing ...

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Overview

Shakespeare Inside goes behind the scenes to reveal Shakespeare at work in the most decisive institutional context of our time - in prisons. Based upon the author's experience of watching prison yard rehearsals and performances, and interviewing inmates, program directors, and wardens, Shakespeare Inside is not an objective, dispassionate account of how Shakespeare is bastardized by repressive institutions but offers a record of fiercely personal experiences. We hear ex-offender Mike Smith detail how playing Desdemona was vital to his rehabilitation; we sit in the audience of women inmates as they respond to the all-male Shakespeare Behind Bars touring production of Julius Caesar; and we listen to a chorus of unnamed voices explain how rewriting Hamlet helps them to survive solitary confinement. Shakespeare Inside probes any assumptions we might have about Shakespeare's performative function and asks what - if anything - is the proper place of Shakespeare in today's society.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826486998
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 5/29/2007
  • Series: Shakespeare Now Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Scott-Douglass is Assistant Professor at Denison University, USA. She has held fellowships at Cornell University and the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, and as editor in charge of recent stage adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, she wrote more than two hundred entries in Shakespeare's After Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of the Bard in Mass Media and Popular Culture (Greenwood, 2006).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Act One
Shakespeare Behind Bars: Julius Caesar at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex Spiritual Shakespeare: Criminality and the Discourse of Conversion

Act Two
"Words Before Blows": Sammie Byron, Brutus
"Most Noble Brother, You Have Done Me Wrong": DeMond Bush, Mark Antony
"Have You Not Love Enough to Bear with Me?": Ron Brown, Cassius

Intermission: Othello: Unplugged at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex

Act Three
The Luckett Symposium on Shakespeare and Race: Titus Andronicus, Merchant of Venice, and Othello
"George Bush Doesn't Care about Black People": Agnes Wilcox's Julius Caesar at Northeast Correctional Center

Act Four
"Romans, Countrymen, Lovers!": The Shakespeare Behind Bars Tour at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women
"Unsex Me Here": Playing the Lady at Luckett Rapshrew: Jean Trounstine and the Framingham Women's Prison

Act Five
A Visit with Warden Larry Chandler Desdemona Speaks: Mike Smith on the Outside Shakespeare in Solitary: "To Revenge or to Forgive?": Laura Bates' Hamlet and Othello at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility

Epilogue

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