Student group to visit Shakespeare Behind Bars

Huntington, Ind.—On Oct. 18, Dr. Jack Heller, Prof. Carla MacDonald and Kathy Rhodes will take a group of 11 Huntington University students to Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Ky., to observe a rehearsal of the theatrical organization Shakespeare Behind Bars.

Shakespeare Behind Bars is a program of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and the only North American Shakespeare Company contained within the walls of a medium-security adult male prison. The class will talk with the prisoners for approximately 50 minutes about “Julius Caesar,” the play the organization will perform in 2008. They also will observe a rehearsal and participate as appropriate. Students will be given an opportunity to talk to the inmates about the rehearsal, prison life and how they respond to Shakespeare.

Desiring to contribute to Shakespeare Behind Bars, Heller raised money to purchase copies of the play for the prisoners.

“I was able to get a number of things to help the prisoners with their current ‘Julius Caesar’ production,” said Heller, assistant professor of English. “All totaled, I was able to order about $180 of materials for the prison library.”

The items he was able to purchase for the library included two CDs of a professional reading of the play, a DVD of the Marlon Brando movie version of the play, “Shakespeare’s Rome” by Robert Miola, “A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599” by James Shapiro, “Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans” by Plutarch (the play’s source), “Understanding Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: A Student Casebook, Freeing Shakespeare's Voice: The Actor’s Guide to Talking the Text” by Kristin Linklater, and some more general Shakespeare books and references. Each of these items will list the faculty and staff members who contributed to the collection.

For more information about Shakespeare Behind Bars, visit

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


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