Browsing articles in "Incarcerated performers"

Kick-Ass

Dec 19, 2017   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers, Shakespeare

Years ago, when I had made it through the early rounds of elimination for a Fulbright, I was scheduled to have a telephone interview with the Director of the UK Fulbright Commission. I remember receiving very stern written instructions that I was not, under any circumstances, to prepare a statement …

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The Theme of Honour’s Tongue

Dec 10, 2017   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers, Shakespeare

Last week, in our Redeeming Time weekly update, I opined at length on the myriad joys of the prison’s multipurpose room, where I delivered an introductory workshop in August before being exiled to a room with a squat column smack in the center of the space for the fall classes.…

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Redeeming Time When Men Think Least I Will

Jul 21, 2017   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers, Shakespeare

When I arrived in the Twin Cities, I discerned that there were two fallow fields in this utterly verdant theatrical ecosystem where I judged that I could make an impact: I could start a classical theatre company or I could start a new prison performing arts program. But I didn’t …

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Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

May 29, 2017   //   by Kate Powers   //   Incarcerated performers, Productions, Shakespeare

Feste in Twelfth Night at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, 2016

 

In 2016, as our contribution to the celebration of Shakespeare’s 400 year legacy, the men of RTA and I staged Twelfth Night at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. It was my fifth time directing this play; it was my fifth …

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Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Jun 29, 2014   //   by Kate Powers   //   Incarcerated performers, Productions

Brother Ben exhorts Willy Loman.

In the first half of 2014, I directed Death of a Salesman at Fishkill Correctional Facility, under the auspices of Rehabilitation Through the Arts.

Mid-curtain call for director and cast.

With my incarcerated assistant director, Johnny Hincapie, I wrote the following for the playbill:

Willy …

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Every Town is Our Town

Jun 11, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

I just directed Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison.

(If you’ve visited this site before, followed me on Twitter or possibly stumbled across my path on the subway, no doubt you already know this.)

Even though the play was selected by their peers, …

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They went and died about it: Staging an incarcerated cemetery

Jun 6, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

You can’t take an intermission at Sing Sing, and you cannot have a blackout.

Well, this year, a blackout was not available to us because the lights never go out in the room where we presented the play and because the circuits in that space couldn’t handle the wattage of …

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Talking to George Gibbs about Grief

Apr 12, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

I recently found myself lying on the prison floor, talking to George Gibbs about grief.

[If you are new to my blog, you need to know that I am directing Our Town at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.]

Thornton Wilder’s stage direction reads, “George sinks to his knees then falls full

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It’s clearing up. The stars are coming out.

Mar 4, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

The individuals on the play selection committee all said that they wanted a comedy, or at least a story with some lighter moments in it.  Over the course of several months, my colleagues and I made almost three dozen suggestions that fit the committee’s criteria, which include having a dozen …

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Listen In

Jul 7, 2012   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers


In Acting II at Sing Sing this summer, we’ve been working on developing points of concentration, physical awareness and sense memory, discovering the dramatic action and building a character.  In this regard, our class is much like Acting 201 just about anywhere.  But we’re also looking for life skills, for …

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Humanity 101

Jan 5, 2012   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

Last night, we had the first session of an Intro to Acting workshop at Sing Sing. It was supposed to be for the men new to our program, but in the event, we had a nice mix of veterans and newbies, 15 men in total.

I was leading a Patsy …

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Law & Order: Denmark

Nov 16, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers, Shakespeare

Last night, we put Claudius on trial.

Miching mallecho

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Twitter, you probably know that I’m teaching a Shakespeare workshop at Sing Sing Correctional Facility this autumn, that the men were curious but deeply skeptical about Shakespeare when we began.  A …

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Nay, answer me

Nov 9, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers, Shakespeare

I’m sitting in a run-down classroom as the sun slowly sets on the other side of the Hudson River.  The windows are threaded with metal, and there are metal grates on the outside of the glass.  Every so often, a corrections officer walks past the door.  Twelve men sit with …

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Behind the scenes, behind bars

Apr 1, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

I used to imagine that incarcerated actors would have no schedule conflicts.  That they would be available to rehearse at any time.  That they don’t have anything else to do.  I was as wrong as I could be.  I marvel at how busy the men who participate in Rehabilitation Through …

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Friday night fights

Mar 17, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

Two weeks ago, I started a fight at Sing Sing.

If you don’t know Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, there is a sprawling, protracted, chock-full-o-storytelling unarmed fight between two characters late in the second act.  I was apprehensive about staging the fight because, in the playwright’s stage direction, “It goes …

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Listen to a silenced voice

Feb 9, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

I have tasked my assistant director on Superior Donuts at Sing Sing with keeping a rehearsal journal; if we were working at a theatre outside the prison’s walls, he might be writing blog posts for the company’s website regarding the progress of rehearsals.  He has started to find a nifty

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Maximum security casting

Feb 7, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

I was surprised, schooled and humbled by casting Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, which I am directing under the auspices of Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.  It was not unlike casting a grad school production in the sense that it wasn’t about casting the best man …

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Starting Over at Sing Sing Correctional Facility

Nov 26, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Incarcerated performers, Productions

In early 2010, Jeff Glaser directed a production of Starting Over, written by a group of incarcerated men at Woodbourne Correctional Facility, at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison just north of New York City.  I partnered with Jeff as something more than an acting coach, something very …

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Theatre behind the walls

Oct 23, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

[This post originally appeared on www.2amtheatre.com, which is a very cool place to appear.]

“Theatre inspires me.”

“Theatre teaches me about myself, and helps me to understand why other people do what they do.”

“Theatre relaxes me.”

“Theatre teaches me empathy.”

“Everyone in my life was a backstabber or …

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