Synopsis by Mark Deming
Like most prisons, the Luther Luckett Correction Complex in LaGrange, KY, strives to offer inmates a chance to better themselves and explore options to a life of crime, but something they feature that most prisons don't is a theater program. Each year, the inmates stage a play for the benefit of their fellow prisoners, and in 2004 they decided to tackle William Shakespeare's The Tempest; while an outside volunteer helped to direct the play, the bulk of the crew and the entire cast came from the prison population, and filmmakers Hank Rogerson and Jilann Spitzmiller documented the long gestation of this unusual production in Shakespeare Behind Bars. Along with offering a look at the rehearsals as the often-unlikely cast members learn to find themselves in their roles, the film includes interviews with many of the show's participants as they struggle to reconcile their pasts and search for personal meaning in their portrayals. Shakespeare Behind Bars premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
acting, behind-the-scenes, change [personal], forgiveness, inmate, prison, redemption, rehearsal, theater-troupe