'The Tempest' to come to Daum Theatre Wednesday

“Murderer, criminal, sex offender. The words themselves stir emotions in everyone. The people that commit these acts are often thought of as senseless, and are looked at as objects that take up space. Some people, however, see something else. They look for ways to rehabilitate.”

Murderer, criminal, sex offender. The words themselves stir emotions in everyone. The people that commit these acts are often thought of as senseless, and are looked at as objects that take up space. Some people, however, see something else. They look for ways to rehabilitate. Curt Tofteland does this with Shakespeare in his theater program for criminals, Shakespeare Behind Bars.
Shakespeare Behind Bars is a program stationed at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky which has produced over a dozen plays. The program aims to transform criminals, who are dehumanized to the fullest extent by society, into the people they once were by showing them the power of the arts.Through a particular play,
The Tempest, which deals with violence, anger and forgiveness, it reaches out to the prisoners who are consumed in the roles. They apply it to their own lives, and through it find forgiveness for themselves. The inmates have been inspired by the play and the program has been a success. There have been a total of 35 inmates released, according to Tofteland, and they have all been successful, having no recidivism.
Tofteland is the founder of the program and has served as its president. He is well known in the theatre community in many positions like playwright, actor, director and is currently the Artistic Director. A documentary was created about the program, Tofteland hopes that the documentary will continue to educate people about prisoners and the potential they have.
Tofteland will be at the University of Akron on Wednesday, April 22, at 7 p.m., room 194 of Guzzetta Hall, speaking as a part of the Paul A. Daum Lecture Series in Theatre. His topic is Behind Bard-Wire: Reflection, Responsibility, Forgiveness, and Redemption…The Transformative Power of Art, Theatre, and Shakespeare.
The documentary about inmates performing The Tempest be shown after follow the lecture, starting at 8 p.m. The event is free to students and the public, and there will be a reception with Tofteland at 6:30 p.m.

Call arts writer Ian Zainea:
330-972-8449.

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