Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview with Project Director Jonathan Shailor

On Monday, October 22, Jonathan was interviewed by Greg Berg on The Morning Show (on NPR affiliate WGTD-FM, Kenosha, Wisconsin).

One listener comments:

Excellent program! I can't imagine anyone that wouldn't benefit from Shakespeare. Sometimes studies and administrative challenges get in the way of the reality that best serves individuals in prison and the communities to which they belong after they are released. (Pattie Katie Fuller)

Listen here

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Petition to Save the Shakespeare Prison Project

On September 4, 2012, The Shakespeare Prison Project was scheduled to begin our work on Hamlet at Racine Correctional Institution in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.  Then the State Department of Corrections cancelled the program, on the grounds that our project did not meet the criterion of "evidence-based programming."  Yet there is overwhelming evidence that arts and humanities programming in prisons has always been strongly correlated with reduced recidivism.  

As of today, 519 people have signed our online petition

To the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections:

Petition signer Meade Palidofsky comments:
 I have attended The Shakespeare Project and was incredibly impressed with the commitment of the men to producing a heart-felt and high-quality show.  Their ability to memorize and articulate the text demonstrated their acquired dedication to hard work and to each other as an ensemble.  Participating in this kind of skill-building work translates into lower recidivism as men learn to value setting and achieving goals.   To turn down a superior program such as this -- at no cost to the state -- makes no sense.

Meade Palidofsky (Chicago) is the founder and artistic director of Storycatchers Theatre, “a youth development arts organization that prepares young people to make thoughtful life choices through the process of writing, producing, and performing original musical theatre inspired by personal stories.”  Programs for incarcerated youth  are located at the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville, the Cook County Temporary Detention Center, and the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles.