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The 4th International Shakespeare in Prisons Conference (SiPC4)

November 2020-April 2021

Why Shakespeare Now?
Building on three previous conferences (2013, 2016, and 2018), SiPC4 gathers theatre arts practitioners, researchers, and scholars who are currently engaged with or interested in programs for incarcerated (and post-incarcerated) populations. From November 2020 through April 2021, SiPC4 will stimulate discussion through speakers, performances, and workshop sessions offering case studies and best practices within the prisons arts movement. 

November 2020 Events December 2020 Events


November 2020 Events:

Opening Ceremony/The Future is Now: A Social Justice Roadmap (Nov. 9, 2020)
Barry Edelstein (The Old Globe Theatre's Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director) and Freedome Bradley-Ballentine (Director of Arts Engagement and Associate Artistic Director) have "embarked on a series of reforms to intensify and accelerate necessary change at all levels" of their institution. In codifying anti-racist practices and principals into their organizational processes, they've begun to answer the call for "long overdue change" made by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) theatremakers ( The conversation and audience Q&A was moderated by Karen Ann Daniels (The Public Theater's Director of Mobile Unit and Co-Producer of the Shakespeare in Prisons Conference). 

Nia Wilson: I Am Worthy of Yes (Nov. 13, 2020)
Beginning with a guided meditation to ground community during an unprecedented time, Mama Nia Wilson of SpiritHouse Inc. offers conference participants a moment to center themselves. The session continues with a discussion between Praycious Wilson-Gay and Mama Nia around the work of SpiritHouse Inc. and their choreopoem community intervention and ritual performance Collective Sun: Reshape the Mo(u)rning. They will also be discussing community care and what it looks like to use art as a healing mechanism in community. The session finishes with a video about SpiritHouse Inc. and the impact of their work in the Durham, NC community.

Ashley Lucas: Prison Theatre and the Global Crisis of Incarceration (Nov. 20, 2020)
In celebration of the publication of Ashley's new book, Prison Theatre and the Global Crisis of Incarceration, we have three sessions involving practitioners and participants that played a pivotal role in the development of this work. 

Session 1: 
Scholar Karen Hamer Interviews Author Ashley Lucas

Session 2: 
Author Ashley Lucas Interviews a Panel of Actors

Session 3: 
Author Ashley Lucas Interviews a Panel of Prison Theatre Program Directors

December 2020 Events:

COMING SOON: The Actors' Gang and Avenal State Prison: A Collaborative Approach to Arts in Corrections (Dec. 4, 2020)
Three leaders and pioneers of the Alumni Network - Richard Loya, John Dich, and Major Bunton - will be sharing a conversation with the visionary warden of Avenal State Prison, Rosemary Ndoh, and her nontraditional team. Richard, John, and Major will discuss their first-hand experience of establishing a class at Avenal State Prison and what it has meant to return as teaching artists.