The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble and the women of Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC) present A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Three worlds collide in this story of magic and mischief, where feuding fairies and fleeing lovers grapple with jealously and chase love. Meanwhile, in the ensuing mayhem, a little band of actors desperately try to put on a play!

The Shakespeare Prison Project was established in 2006 and has been running ever since with men and women in facilitates, including the Borallon Training and Correctional Centre and the Southern Queensland Corrections Centre.

The project works with up to 20 prisoners at a time, utilising a combination of Shakespeare text and drama games, in particular Theatre of the Oppressed techniques developed by Brazilian Theatre-maker and activist Augusto Boal. These techniques are designed to create an atmosphere of trust and emotional safety for the participants, to invite actors to connect their personal experiences to their acting, and to tease out themes that the prisoners want to explore. A Shakespeare play is then chosen to rehearse and perform based on these themes.

Each project culminates with the performance of this Shakespeare play for families, fellow inmates, and guests. The skills required to produce and perform a Shakespeare play are valuable life skills that are generally not fostered in the prison environment: communication, collaboration, emotional bravery and transparency, mutual support, and above all, empathy. The project also challenges commonly held notions about prisoners and their capabilities.

This year’s Shakespeare Prison Project began in March with an enthusiastic ensemble of women who selected A Midsummer Night’s Dream for their 2020 production. But much like the play, the path to performance was not smooth, with the project suspended twice due to COVID-19.

“After the sad departure of some cast, and the jubilant introduction of others, our energetic band of players, are set to bring you a collage of music, movement and memorable scenes from this terribly tangled web…,” Project Director Liliana Macarone said.

The current cast is especially appreciating the escapism of playing in a fantasy world of love-potions and transformation after such a challenging year.

Audiences members are invited to learn more about the project through a Q&A with the cast and morning/afternoon tea after the performance.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS:

Date: Saturday 12th of December 2020
Times: 10am and 2pm
Tickets: $35
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
Venue: Southern Queensland Correctional Centre, Spring Creek QLD
Bookings close: Saturday 28th of November
More info: Visit qldshakespeare.org

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