Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Thouartnowthespians; Acmena Boys Learn about Masculinity Via Macbeth

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Thouartnowthespians; Acmena Boys Learn about Masculinity Via Macbeth

Article excerpt

Byline: Lesley Apps lesley.apps@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE modern face of rehabilitation harked backed 400 years this week when boys at Acmena were able to take part in the ground-breaking program that brings the works of William Shakespeare into the juvenile justice system.

The acclaimed Bell Shakespeare Company spent the week at the centre using drama workshops to explore the characters and themes of Macbeth.

Using a drama-based and playful approach, the company said they used this particular work as a basis to explore and reflect upon themes of ambition, action and consequence, relationships, moral dilemmas and decision-making.

Through these sessions, participants develop in public speaking and confidence, literacy and vocabulary, working as a group, empathy, critical and creative thinking, and self-reflective skills.

Conducted by company member and actor Paul Reichstein, he said the Grafton workshops had been fantastic.

"It's always a mixed bag full of experiences with the workshops," he said.

"The first day is the ice-breaker, we have three units we work through to ascertain interest. The second day is the tester, who decides to opt in and come back. We had about 11--13 boys doing each unit from 10 up to 18 years. Really the spread of adolescence was right there."

Mr Reichstein has spent the past decade bringing Shakespeare to life, both on main stage arenas and educational tours for Bell Shakespeare.

As an actor he has performed in Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Pericles and Hamlet and has a passion for classical stories and an ongoing interest in what they bring to contemporary experiences.

He has spent time in Michigan and Kentucky prisons with the Shakespeare Behind Bars company, exploring the means in which Shakespeare becomes a medium for self-exploration and expression; a tool for healing and developing positive connections to fellow humans. …

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