Ron Jenkins, professor of theater, is featured in the Feb. 24 issue of The Boston Globe for teaching a class at York Correctional Facility. Jenkins and his Wesleyan students teach the “Activism and Outreach Through Theater” course to inmates.
While behind bars at York, students take workshops with Jenkins, learning plays by Shakespeare and Dante.
According to the article, Jenkins has focused his career on theater as a catalyst for social change. That has meant working in Italy with Nobel laureate Dario Fo (whose play “Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas’’ Jenkins directed at the American Repertory Theater in 2001) and running drama workshops in New York’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility and Indonesia’s Kerobokan prison. About five years ago, he started working with inmates in Connecticut.
“People in prison feel like they get erased from society, like they’re forgotten, and they’re in an environment that’s very dehumanizing,’’ Jenkins says in the article. “Theater can be a great way to help humanize that environment and help people who are in the process of rehabilitating themselves and trying to transform themselves.’’
The full Boston Globe article is online here.