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After experiencing our Globe for All Tour production in their facilities, our prison administration partners and the people being incarcerated asked us how we could serve more deeply. In 2016, we created Reflecting Shakespeare.
In the transformative Reflecting Shakespeare program, people who are currently experiencing incarceration build connection, nurture empathy, and gain tools for self-expression through theatre-based activities, self-reflection, personal writing, and exploration of Shakespeare’s text and characters.
Reflecting Shakespeare participant
California State Prison, Centinela
How the Program Works:
Over the span of 12–20 weeks, participants come together in a respectful circle, leaving the yard behind and creating a safe environment to share and explore as artists. For the first half of the program, participants engage in team-building exercises; read and discuss a work of Shakespeare; and create original poetry, prose, and dialogue that relate moments in the play to moments in the participants’ own lives. The second half of the program is a rehearsal process in which all participants operate as an ensemble, coming together to produce a performance that includes Shakespeare’s play side by side with their own original works.
Reflecting Shakespeare runs at Las Colinas Women’s Detention and Reentry Facility, on four yards at California State Prison, Centinela, and on one yard at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.
Our playwriting program, Community Voices, runs a Summer Workshop at Las Colinas.
Our Globe For All Tour performs at Las Colinas Women’s Detention and Reentry Facility, California State Prison, Centinela, and Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.
Reflecting Shakespeare Reentry
Reflecting Shakespeare runs year-round with formerly incarcerated adults returning to the San Diego community.
Reflecting Shakespeare Youth
Reflecting Shakespeare works with San Diego County's justice-involved youth in community schools, juvenile hall, and community centers.
Reflecting Shakespeare Remote
Video and Booklet courses are available to access online for all, harnessing the diverse perspectives of multiple artists, including formerly incarcertated artists, to dive into the relevance of Shakespeare's text and offer self-reflective activities.
For more information about Reflecting Shakespeare, contact ReflectingShakespeare@TheOldGlobe.org.