My Girlfriend Was a Jailhouse Witch!

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It’s true! Yesterday afternoon, the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company brought their production of the Bard’s best and only occult-tinged Scottish tragedy, MacBeth, to the Patuxent Institution, an 800-inmate, maximum security prison in Jessup, MD. Miss Crooks plays Witch #2, barely visible in the background at left in the photo.

The Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun both ran stories today; I’ve linked to both. The Post’s coverage, in particular, looks great in today’s Metro section, with lots of big, bold photos. William Wan’s story isn’t too shabby, either.

It’s all a little reminicsent of “Act V,” Jack Hitt’s superb This American Life story from 2002 about a production of Hamlet at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, rehearsed and staged by the inmates. Though I guess this is more like Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, or even better, Johnny Cash at San Quentin.

CSC is a solid company whose productions have been growing steadily in quality and ambition for several years now. The other venues on their current mini-tour of MacBeth have been tony private schools; here’s hoping the publicity from the prison show will help them get to perform in front of kids who don’t already have plenty of opportunities to experience Shakespeare.

Tickets for performances of CSC’s MacBeth at the Howard County Arts Center are available here.

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