Southfield (CW50) – Most, if not all, of us know who William Shakespeare is, or at the very least we know something that he has written. His work has had an impact on the lives of many people throughout centuries of time. But did he ever think his work would be used to inspire, empower, and heal incarcerated people in the 21st century?

Shakespeare in Prison, a program through the Detroit Public Theatre, empowers incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people to reconnect with their humanity and that of others; to reflect on their past, present, and future; and to gain the confidence, self-esteem, and crucial skills they need to heal and positively impact their communities. 

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Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Frannie Shepherd-Bates, Director of Shakespeare in Prison

Frannie Shepherd-Bates, Director of Shakespeare in Prison, joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to discuss the program and revisit what some of the women who went through the program and were featured in CBS 62’s Eye on Detroit feature of Shakespeare in Prison are up to today

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Through a collaborative effort, the women who are a part of the program in prison put on Shakespeare’s plays, and work with one another to achieve personal and professional goals. The plays help them move forward in the world and develop their own identities and narratives.

SIP’s alumni are proving this development does not end when they are released from prison. Many are in touch with SIP staff—the same mentors who supported them while they were incarcerated—through our post-release extension, Shakespeare Reclaimed, which provides opportunities for person and professional development. 

Learn more at

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Watch Community Connect, Saturday at 7am on CW50