As Macbeth, Dario Peña was frightening. Being at once lovable and stern, we watched as ambition ate at his soul.Mitch Horn, The Record Review
Shakespeare’s plays have powerful universal themes that resonate in prison, particularly about the consequences of deception, betrayal and violence.
They abound with the disastrous combination of misunderstandings and hot-headed characters, who rationalize their choices and struggle with their consciences, coping with loss, longing, jealousy and anger.
We explore these themes, analyze dramatic structure and discover Shakespeare’s rich language, texture and rhythms.
In the fourteenth century, faced with the bitterness of exile, Dante used writing to redefine himself, so that he would not be remembered as a condemned criminal, but as a transcendent poet.
The men of Sing Sing understood that Dante’s Inferno is much more than a story about the tortures and horrors of hell. They immediately perceived it as a story of rehabilitation, in which the trials of hell are transcended with the help of self-reflection, collaborative effort, perseverance and faith.Ronald Jenkins, RTA Facililtator, Wesleyan University Theater Professor
Dante writes ‘Halfway through the course of my pathetic life I woke up and I found myself in a stupor.’ I read that part and it jumped out to me, because when he says ‘woke up’ I didn’t take that in a literal sense, I took that in the sense of him becoming conscious. I wrote a poem that was inspired by that, called ‘Once I Awoke’ – it’s me coming to the realization that I’m better than this. I don’t belong here. I’m coming out of that darkness, that sleeping state, that mental death.RTA prisoner-participant, Sing Sing