October 5, 2012

A number of new participants were added to the program today. We spent a good deal of time introducing ourselves, discussing what everyone wants to get out of the group and what each person brings to the group, and of course going over the group guidelines. Everyone was on board with the guidelines and very enthusiastic about the program. After discussing all of this, we warmed up and played a game. Everyone seemed to enjoy these activities – no one was overly shy, and there was a lot of smiling and laughter.

Following this, we began working on Anne’s monologue from Richard III, which was selected by a participant who has been in the group since the beginning. We read through it twice, and I asked what their first impressions were. Nearly everyone expressed insight into the piece. They identified how emotional it is, how bitter Anne is and how badly she wants revenge. One woman said that Anne wants to take her internal pain and make it external. Another said that the piece echoes something she’s seen in prison: people destroying themselves through bitterness, becoming so consumed with anger that they become the people they hate. Some of them were able to break down the language well, too.

This new group of participants came in with a lot of positive energy and focus. The women already in the group seemed energized by this, and I am very excited to see where the group goes from here.