The Philomath Films documentary about the Kentucky Shakespeare's program Shakespeare Behind Bars has been selected as one of 16 documentaries (out of 624 entries) for the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
The 90 minute documentary follows the nine month long process of bringing William Shakespeare's play, The Tempest, to performance.
Shakespeare Behind Bars is the only North American Shakespeare Company contained within the walls of a medium security adult male prison. Shakespeare Behind Bars uses an original practices approach to producing full length productions using the First Folio Text with the male inmates playing all the roles.
Below is the blurb from the Sundance Festival site:
Shakespeare Behind Bars
U.S.A., 2004, 92 Minutes, color
Take Shakespeare's final play The Tempest, with its violent seas, windswept island, crucial connection to nature, and underlying theme of forgiveness, and bring it into a prison, the ultimate venue of confinement. The result is an extraordinary story about the creative process and the power of art to heal and redeem--in a place where the very act of participation in theatre is a human triumph and a means of personal liberation.
In Hank Rogerson's revelatory trip into and around this prison production, we embark on a year-long journey with the Shakespeare Behind Bars theatre troupe. Led by Shakespearean volunteer director Curt Tofteland, whose innovative work with Luther Luckett inmates began in the mid-1990s, the prisoners cast themselves in roles reflecting their personal history and fate. Their individual stories, including information about their heinous crimes, are interwoven with the plot of The Tempest as the inmates delve deeply into the characters they portray while confronting their personal demons.
Shakespeare Behind Bars is a tremendously moving film, where the protagonists are not merely defined by their crimes but are afforded dignity and a fresh chance to look truth in the eye, and embrace it.— Diane Weyermann
Producer : Jilann Spitzmiller
Cinematographer : Shana Hagan
Editor : Victor Livingston
Music : James Wesley Stemple
Friday , Jan 21 11:30 AM Prospector Square Theatre SHKBR21PD
Saturday , Jan 22 1:00 PM Screening Room, Sundance Village SHKBR22SD
Sunday , Jan 23 12:45 PM Broadway Centre Cinemas V, SLC SHKBR23BD
Sunday , Jan 23 11:30 PM Holiday Village Cinema II SHKBR232L
Wednesday , Jan 26 10:00 PM Holiday Village Cinema IV SHKBR264N
Friday , Jan 28 8:30 PM Holiday Village Cinema II SHKBR282N