The following was submitted Abbot Public Library:
On Sunday, March 25th, at 3:00 pm, Middlesex Community College Professor Jean Trounstine will present, “Shakespeare Behind Bars: The Arts in the Criminal Justice System,” at the Abbot Public Library. Based on her book “Shakespeare Behind Bars: The Power of Drama in a Women’s Prison,” Professor Trounstine will share stories that come from her ten years of teaching and directing plays with women at MCI Framingham, a medium-security correctional facility for female offenders. She believes that art has the potential to transform lives and is one of the most under-utilized tools we have in the criminal justice system.
Professor Trounstine will tell about the women she met in prison and the theatre that they produced as they grew behind bars, how she came to the prison to give them skills—which she did –and her shock to find women who bared themselves, whose yearning allowed them to find hope and solace through art. She also will discuss the creative process behind bars, the kinds of transformations she witnessed in spite of the oppressive environment of prison. Finally, she will show a video clip from her prison production of “The Merchant of Venice.”
Jean Trounstine, activist, writer and Professor at Middlesex Community College, worked at MCI Framingham for ten years, where she directed eight plays with inmates. Her highly-praised book about that work, “Shakespeare Behind Bars: The Power of Drama in a Women’s Prison” has been featured on NPR, The Connection, and in numerous print publications here and abroad. In addition, she has spoken around the world on women in prison, and co-founded the women’s branch of Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) with Judge Joseph Dever, retired Chief of the Lynn District Court. CLTL, an award-winning alternative sentencing program, has been featured in “The New York Times” and on “The Today Show.” Trounstine also has co-authored two books about the program, published a book of poetry, “Almost Home Free,” and co-edited the New England best-seller, “Why I’m Still Married: Women Write Their Hearts Out On Love, Loss, Sex, and Who Does the Dishes.”
The Abbot Public Library is located at 235 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA 01945. For additional information, please call 781-631- 1481, or consult the Library’s website at www.abbotlibrary.org.