All Articles: Arts

Shakespeare Play a Hit with Prison Audience

By Rahsaan Thomas Staff Writer A Court Jester’s comical version of the Harlem Shake dance and audience participation revamped Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It,” making it a hit with the San Quentin State Prison audience. “I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a Shakespeare play, and I’ve been to a lot of […]

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San Quentin Inmates Perform The Tempest

By Juan Haines Senior Editor Inmate Nythell “Nate” Collins, 40, said acting lessons from Marin Shakespeare Company have helped him understand the human condition of oppression. “How did he come up with all this stuff?” Collins asked about Shakespeare. “What was his thought process so his work stayed with us all these years, especially with […]

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Naturally Talented Artist Began While Incarcerated

By Wesley Eisiminger Staff Writer Bruce Fowler turns his natural talent in drawing and painting into magnificent works of art. Fowler said he started drawing 16 years ago doing pencil drawings of seascapes when he was in a county jail. He never went to any class on drawing or paintings. “When I came to San […]

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Marin Shakespeare Program Expands to CSP-Solano

By Harry C. Goodall Jr. Journalism Guild Writer In the gymnasium of California State Prison-Solano, inmates donned costumes and recited lines of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in April. The presentation was produced by Lesley Currier, managing director of Marin Shakespeare Company, a company that also arranges productions of Shakespeare at San Quentin prison once […]

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Donovan Inmates Write Shakespeare Play for San Diego University

Students at San Diego State University performed a play, “I’M GOOD,” written by inmates at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD). “In my career, this is some of the best writing I’ve been involved with,” said James Pillar, a teaching artist with the Playwrights Project, reported San Diego Union- Tribune. Experience in theater isn’t new to […]

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Merle Haggard: San Quentin Parolee, Music Icon

By Thomas Winfrey Art Editor “I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole,” music legend Merle Haggard sang in his famous 1968 hit “Mama Tried.” The song was Haggard’s public apology to a religious mother, Flossie Mae, and his acknowledgement that “she tried to raise (him) right.” Merle Ronald Haggard passed away on his […]

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Blues Quartet Sings Classics to Prisoners

By Juan Haines Staff Writer On a Sunday night more than 100 men, most slightly older than your average prisoner, gathered in a chapel to hear a Blues Quartet brought into San Quentin State Prison by Lisa Starbird of Bread & Roses Presents. “We’re on to a great start,” said guitarist and singer Kurt Huget […]

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Renown Photographer Shares Life Stories at SQ

By Eddie Herena San Quentin News Photographer Pictures help people to understand and appreciate others, a noted Black photographer said in a recent visit to San Quentin State Prison. David Johnson said his black and white photos of San Francisco kids playing hop-scotch or young people dancing the night away not only portray the beauty […]

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TEDx Displays Prisoners’ Extraordinary Artistic Skills

By Juan Haines Managing Editor As a way to display the artistic talent inside prison, a miniature city based on the collective memories of more than a dozen incarcerated artists was exhibited at a Jan. 22 TEDx event, Life Revealed. The technology, entertainment and design event at San Quentin State Prison showcased “many incarcerated human […]

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Art Program Helps Prisoners Transform Their Viewpoints

By Juan Haines Managing Editor Emile DeWeaver once defined himself as “the dangerous one,” and in 1998, it became apparent after he committed a senseless murder that earned him a life sentence. Fast forward to 2016, now 36 years old, DeWeaver said that focusing on artistic expression empowered him to endure his 18 years of […]

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