Home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art, the Folger serves a wide audience of scholars, visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater- and concert-goers.
In September 2008, Kaia Stern and Bruce Western launched the Prison Studies Project (PSP) at Harvard University to promote informed conversation about the challenges of mass incarceration. Born out of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, our mission is to awaken the broadest possible public to the ways we punish, and to reimagine justice in the United States. Since its inception, PSP has been committed to raising public awareness, teaching college courses inside prison, and injecting into the public conversation a discussion of policy alternatives. Our work has focused on research, education and policy change.
The Mission of Shakespeare Behind Bars is to offer theatrical encounters with personal and social issues to incarcerated and post-incarcerated adults and juveniles, allowing them to develop life skills that will ensure their successful reintegration into society.
The Shakespeare in Prisons Network (SPN) serves as a global forum for the prison and community arts practitioner community; promotes the production and study of the plays of William Shakespeare within prison and alternative settings; and advocates on a local, national, and international level on behalf of organizations engaged in arts programming for and by incarcerated and nontraditional populations
We devote this entire episode to one story: Over the course of six months, reporter and This American Life contributor Jack Hitt followed a group of inmates at a high-security prison as they rehearsed and staged a production of the last act—Act V—of Hamlet.