a prison theatre arts program 

This program is in cooperation with a maximum-security correctional facility in New York State. Its purpose is to bring a creative opportunity for inmates to experience the performing a full-length play of Shakespeare’s cannon. The benefit of this has proven to be transforming not only for the prisoners but also for volunteers, the students and myself. This program will be starting its third year after having put on two full-length plays as well as performing a group of scenes. The first production, The Tempest, Gary entered the prison on my own. There were three performances, three for the inmates and a select public performance. There were about 8 people who came to it and were duly impressed if not shocked as to what they saw on the stage. The scenes-study performance that followed with scenes from Much Ado About Nothing and Richard III was only performed for the inmates. Our last play in April of 2012 was Macbeth with again 3 performances for the prisoners and one select public performance with 35 audience members. Also Shakespeare Under Lock & Key (SULK) has expanded to include 2 students taking a 3-credit drama course in the theatre department of Green Mountain College in Poultney VT. For those interested in becoming a volunteer feel free to contact us to see if this program is right for you. Also, being a volunteer program we would greatly appreciate any financial support you can give. There are the costs of purchasing scripts, renting of costumes, and transportation. At this point the cost for those items mentioned is around $600 to $750 per show. The schedule for SULK will be auditioning the inmates for Henry IV part I in late July, rehearsals begin end of August, rehearsing on Friday and Monday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30pm. Performances are scheduled the week of November 12th with a public performance on Friday, April 19th. The next play, Merchant of Venice, will audition in early January 2013, rehearsals begin at the end of January with performances in mid-April 2013. For more information contact Gary at Contact Us.