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Shakespeare Inside: The Bard Behind Bars

Shakespeare Inside: The Bard Behind Bars
Your Price: $25.95 CDN
Author: Amy Scott-Douglass
Series: Shakespeare Now!
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 144
Pub. Date: 2007
ISBN-10: 0826486991
ISBN-13: 9780826486998

About the Book:

The works of Shakespeare are rocket-boosters to the brain and better therapy than self-help books.

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.

What people say:

"Scott-Douglass's book is especially powerful because she captures these prisoners' lives in all of their complexity ... Shakespeare provides beauty; catharsis; empathy for their victims; therapy." — Studies in English Literature

"[this book] is anecdotal rather than analytical, but the scenes she [Amy Scott-Douglass] describes are richly provocative...Prison, we discover, is one of the last bastions of unapologetic bardolatry." — Times Literary Supplement, UK

"Where is Shakespeare now? This question is the brief for a new series of short books from Continuum, an enterprising publisher trying to break down the border between academic literary criticism and books for the thoughtful general reader. Amy Scott-Douglass's book Shakespeare Inside based on observations and interviews, reveals how Shakespeare really can change lives." — The Sunday Telegraph, UK

"The author faced her fears, a decision, she says, that resulted in one of 'the most important and enlightening experiences of [her] adult life.' Based on observations and interviews, Shakespeare Inside: The Bard Behind Bars offers a voyeuristic peek inside the prison theatre program at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in La Grange, Kentucky ... like an 'adventure story'." — Tidings

"Scott-Douglass's book is especially powerful because she captures these prisoners' lives in all of their complexity ... Shakespeare provides beauty; catharsis; empathy for their victims; therapy." — Studies in English Literature

About the Author:

Amy Scott-Douglass is an Assistant Professor in the English department at Marymount University, outside of Washington, DC. specializing in Renaissance and seventeenth-century literature and culture. She is the author of Shakespeare Inside: The Bard Behind Bars, a study of Shakespeare prison programs in the United States.