Seeking volunteers!

Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company seeks volunteers for Shakespeare in Prison program at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility. Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company of Detroit is seeking volunteers for its Shakespeare in Prison program, which will be conducted at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, beginning in September 2013 and running for nine months. This program, which is in its third session, is modeled on other successful programs of its kind. Shakespeare in Prison empowers inmates through theatre exercises and Shakespearean text to think creatively, re-examine decisions they’ve made, become more in touch with their emotions, and develop crucial life skills to beused both in and out of prison.

Inmates who volunteer for the Shakespeare in Prison program will work with Shakespearean monologues and scenes, experiencing the empowerment and satisfaction derived from working with this material. There is an idea that only “great actors” can do Shakespeare “right,” and that is absolutely false. Anyone can perform Shakespeare, and everyone has the right to create art as part of being a self-aware and individual human being. Participants will also be given the option of staging a full play by Shakespeare.

Magenta Giraffe is looking for 3-4 volunteers to co-facilitate group meetings. Each volunteer would be expected to attend at least one of two meetings each week. Meeting times and the start date of this session are to be determined.

Required qualifications:

  • Experience with theatrical performance, specifically Shakespeare (although volunteers do not need to be “experts”)
  • At least one year of teaching experience
  • Reliable transportation to and from the facility
  • A positive, open-minded attitude and willingness to be flexible
  • Regular access to e-mail/internet
  • No criminal record
  • No family members incarcerated at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience/training in conflict resolution
  • Experience working with “high risk” individuals

To apply for a volunteer position with Shakespeare in Prison, please e-mail a cover letter, resume and three professional references to facilitator Frannie Shepherd-Bates at The cover letter should detail why the applicant is interested in the position,what makes him/her a good fit for the program, and scheduling availability from September 2013-July 2014. The deadline for this round of applications is August 21, 2013, although interested parties are welcome to contact Frannie at any time. Applicants will be contacted within one week regarding a possible interview for the position.

Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, serves as the only prison in Michigan which houses females. The facility provides all reception center processing which includes fourteen housing units for general population prisoners in level I, II, and IV, Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT), Residential Treatment Program (RTP), Acute Care, Infirmary and Detention. The Shakespeare in Prison program will be an addition to the many other programs the facility offers. Adult Basic Education and General Education Development preparation classes are offered, as well as special education services and pre-release classes.. Vocational training is offered in Auto Mechanics, Building Trades, Business Education Technology, Horticulture, and Custodial Maintenance. Prisoners have access to religious services, faith-based programs, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, family preservation programming, twelve step support meetings,and general library and law library services. Prisoners are provided on-site routine medical and dental care. Pregnant prisoners receive counseling, parenting classes, and child care options.

Shakespeare in Prison has the potential for real change in the community, helping women achieve a sense of self that can help them with their families, their community, and their personal future.

For more information about Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company, please visit or call313-408-7269. For more information about Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, please visit