[csaa-forum] UQ CCCS Public Lecture 8th March @ 5.30pm. Qld Shakespeare Ensemble's Prison Project: Dr Rob Pensalfini

Rebecca Ralph r.ralph at uq.edu.au
Wed Feb 1 12:56:55 CST 2012

 university of queensland presents a lECTURE:

Inside Shakespeare Inside - the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble's Prison Project

Dr Rob Pensalfini

Since 2006, Rob Pensalfini has been leading Australia's only prison Shakespeare program, indeed Australia's only ongoing prison theatre program of any sort, the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble's Prison Project. Each year, about twenty high security inmates of Borallon Correctional Centre have embarked on a three month journey exploring dramatic form, Shakespeare's text, and personal story-telling through acting, a project which culminates in the performance of a Shakespeare play to an invited audience.

[cid:image003.jpg at 01CCE0E5.2AED7740]While not intended as therapy, participants consistently report feeling more in touch with their own feelings and the consequences of their actions, having a sense of accomplishment that exceeded their expectations, and feeling respected and valued as members of a team, both by other inmates and by the facilitators. According to prisoners who have participated in the project, the emotional authenticity and volubility required of Shakespeare, functions as an antidote to the pervasive de-humanising prison culture, the rehearsal process is a constant journey of self-exploration and evaluation of competing strategies, and the performance an opportunity to be seen as something other than their crimes.

In this lecture Rob will discuss the history of the project and what inspired its creation, the project's philosophy, and its impact on everyone involved in it: the prisoners who participate, the facilitators that lead, the prison in which it takes place, and the members of the public who see the performance. He will also locate the Queensland project in the context of other prison Shakespeare programs, and talk about collaborations with international artist/practitioners.

About the lecturer

Rob is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics (School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies) and Drama (School of English, Media Studies and Art History) at the University of Queensland, and is Artistic Director of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, which he founded in 2001.

Rob completed his doctorate in theoretical linguistics and Australian Aboriginal languages at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997. He has published two books and about a dozen articles on aboriginal languages, and half a dozen articles on theatre and actor training. He is one of only seven people in Australia certified by Kristin Linklater to teach the world-renowned Linklater voice method. Rob has worked professionally as an actor, director, musician, and teacher in both the USA and Australia. He has worked with Pilgrim Theatre, Mixed Company and Shakespeare & Company (in the USA), and Zen Zen Zo, Power of Will, LaBoite and the Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane. His professional directing credits include As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Comedy of Errors.  Roles he has played include Richard III, Shylock, Prospero, Sir Toby Belch, Truffaldino (Servant of Two Masters), and Benedick
Rob is a proud member of both the NTEU and the MEAA (Actor's Equity)

Thursday 8th March, 5.30-6.30pm
University of Queensland Art Museum, St Lucia Campus,  Building 11 [see map<http://www.uq.edu.au/maps/index.html?menu=1&x=g.56&y=localY&z=0&xc%5b%5d=&yc%5b%5d=&id=&facilityType=&backURL=&mx=0&my=0&mapcoord=?167,128>]

Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.

Getting here: We encourage people to use public transport to reach the University where possible - for more details on this please follow the link: http://www.translink.com.au/uq.  Parking is available on the campus using the pay and display system. Further information: Rebecca Ralph- ph. 3346 7407 or email on admin.cccs at uq.edu.au<mailto:admin.cccs at uq.edu.au>

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