Co-Facilitators and Designers
Keith McGill, Co-Facilitator - SBB|Kentucky
Kathi E.B. Ellis, Co-Facilitator - SBB|Kentucky
Kate Thomsen, Co-Facilitator- SBB|Michigan
Joseph Byrd, Co-Facilitator - SBB|Michigan
Edward Hartline, Co-Facilitator - SBB|Michigan
Bridgit McCarthy, Co-Facilitator - SBB|Michigan
Laura Peach, Co-Facilitator - SBB|Michigan
Donna Lawrence Downs, Costume Designer - SBB|Kentucky
CURT L. TOFTELAND
Founder & Producing Director
CURT L. TOFTELAND brings thirty-nine years of professional theatre experience to his current role as a freelance theatre artist - director, actor, producer, playwright, writer, teacher, program developer, prison arts practitioner, and consultant.
Curt is the Founder of the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Behind Bars (SBB) program, now in its 21st year of continuous operation. From 1995-2008, Curt facilitated the SBB/KY program at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky. During his thirteen year tenure, Curt produced and directed fourteen Shakespeare productions. Several participants in the SBB/KY program have garnered multiple Pen Literary Prison Writing Awards.
During the 2003 SBB production of The Tempest, Philomath Films chronicled the process in a documentary that premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and forty+ film festivals around the world winning a total of eleven film awards.
Additionally, Curt has worked as a prison arts practitioner in the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women - where he taught college classes for the Jefferson Community and Technical College and created a Ten Minute Playwriting Program, and the Kentucky State Reformatory - where he taught Jefferson County Technical College theatre classes.
In the summer of 2010, Curt partnered with filmmaker/director/producer Robby Henson and playwright Elizabeth Orndorf to create Voices Inside - a 10-minute playwriting program - funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, at the Northpoint Training Center in Burgin, Kentucky. Now in its eighth year of funding by National Endowment for the Arts, the program has generated inmate-authored plays that have gone on to be professionally produced at Theatrelab, an Off-Off-Broadway theatre, and the T-Shrieber Play Festival, both in New York City, and given readings at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Participants in the Voices Inside program has garnered one publication, four Pen Literary Prison Writing Awards, and one participant’s play was a finalist in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 2015 National 10 Minute Playwriting Contest. In 2017 I Come From: A Voices Inside Anthology was published by JW Books. Curt is an Associate Producer of I Come From: Imagination is Free, a documentary by filmmaker Robby Henson. The documentary features spoken word poets in prisons in Kentucky.
In 2011, Curt created the Shakespeare Behind Bars program at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility (Level II & IV security) in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. In 2012, Curt launched the first Michigan co-gender juvenile Shakespeare Behind Bars (Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center) / Shakespeare Beyond Bars (Ottawa County Juvenile Justice Institute) program. Additional Shakespeare Behind Bars programs created at E.C. Brooks include: the Journeymen (for offenders under the age of 25) and Shakespeare in Housing Units. In 2014, Curt created three Shakespeare Behind Bars programs at the first Level I minimum security prison (West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights, Michigan).
Curt has been invited to share his Shakespeare Behind Bars experience through screening the documentary, facilitating a post-screening audience talk-back, teaching master classes, and visiting classrooms at 55+ colleges and universities (Eighty-five visits) across the United States; he has been a key presenter at the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the Shakespeare Association of America (SAA); he has thrice been a key presenter at the Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA) Annual conference; he has been a ten time key presenter at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region III, and once each at KCACTF Region IV, VI (twice), VII and VIII; he has been a VIP guest and presenter at thirteen professional Shakespeare Festivals in North America including: twice at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Stratford, Ontario); Old Globe Playhouse (San Diego, CA); Utah Shakespearean Festival (Cedar City, UT); American Players Theatre (Spring Green, WI); Chicago Shakespeare (Chicago, IL); Actors’ Shakespeare Project (Boston, MA); Chesapeake Shakespeare (Ellicott City, MD); Great River Shakespeare Festival (Winona, MN); three times at the Southwest Shakespeare Company (Mesa, AZ); Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival (Grand Valley, MI); Independent Shakespeare Company of LA (Los Angeles, CA); Kentucky Shakespeare Festival (Louisville, KY); Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park (Oklahoma City, OK - in association with Oklahoma City Museum of Art); Shakespeare Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA - in association with the William James Association); and he has taught the SBB process internationally, in Switzerland, at the International School of Lausanne and the College du Leman in Geneva.
Curt is a founding member, a keynote presenter, and the head of content for the inaugural Shakespeare in Prison Conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame in November, 2013 and repeated in January, 2016, as well as at the Old Globe Theatre in March, 2018. He was a master teacher at the Arts in Corrections: Building Bridges to the Future in Los Angeles in June, 2017 and a featured presenter the Marking Time: A Prison Arts and Activism Conference at Rutgers University in October, 2014. He is a founding member of the Justice Arts Coalition.
Curt is an oft invited keynote speaker and panelist at national and international theatre conference including: Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed (Detroit, Michigan); Theatre Communications Group (Portland, OR); Shakespeare Theatre Conference (Stratford, ONT); and 401 years after Shakespeare: Shifting Paradigms from the Shakespearean Human to the Post-Human (Heritage College, Kolkata, India).
Curt has been the keynote speaker at the Tzedek Lecture at University of Oregon; Jepson Leadership Forum at University of Richmond; Distinguished Lecture at University of Wisconsin-Waukesha; Gates-Ferry Distinguished Visiting Lectureship at Centenary College; Personal Effectiveness and Employability Through the Arts (PEETA) International Symposium, Rotterdam, Netherlands; the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) Joint International Symposium with Columbia College, Chicago, IL; National Arts Club in New York City; Utah Shakespearean Festival’s Wooden O Symposium; Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law panel discussion about the First Amendment in Prison: Marking the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail; and the Shakespeare Connection Conference at the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival.
Curt has delivered four TEDx Talks. In 2016, at TEDx Muskegon (Muskegon, MI) on the subject of living in the rub between light and darkness; in 2013, at TEDx Berkeley, on the subject of building circles-of-trust; in 2012, at TEDx Macatawa (Holland, MI) on the subject of revenge and mercy; and in 2010, at TEDx East (New York City), on the subject of shame. Additionally, Curt was a speaker at the 2012 IDEA Festival in Louisville, KY; at the Vibe Wire Youth, Inc. FastBREAK Breakfast Speaker Series in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Curt is the recipient of three distinctive fellowships, two from the Fulbright Foundation and one from the Petra Foundation, for his work as a prison arts practitioner using Shakespeare in corrections. Curt’s 2011 Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship took him to Australia to share his SBB experience as a co-facilitator with Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble’s prison program at the Borallon Correctional Centre in Queensland. Curt’s 2015 Fulbright Alumni Initiative Grant took him back to Australia to direct plays written by prisoners from the Voices Inside program, produced by Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, and performed for prisoners in the Southern Queensland Correction Centre in Gatton and Wolston Correctional Centre in Wacol.
In 2015, Curt was named a Creative Fellow at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The Fellowship took him on a two week tour of New Zealand visiting Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, where he toured prisons, gave public addresses, served on prison arts practitioner panels, and taught master classes.
Curt is the Executive Producer of Prospero’s Prison, a film by Tom Magill, an award-winning Northern Ireland filmmaker and founder of Educational Shakespeare Company.
Curt is a published poet and essayist who writes about the transformative power of art, theatre, and the works of William Shakespeare. He is a columnist for Prison Life. He has five published essays - “My Better Angels Versus My Lesser Demons” in Paso de Gato: Revista Mexicana de Teatro; “I was Built for Runnin’ but I Dream of Flyin’ in The Possibilities of Creativity, University Auckland Press 2016; “The Keeper of the Keys: Building a Successful Relationship with the Warden” in Performing New Lives: Reflections on Prison Theatre, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2010; “As Performed: By Shakespeare Behind Bars at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, KY, 2003” in The Tempest, Chicago: Sourcebooks Shakespeare 2008; and an essay, published in the 2012 edition of the Shakespeare Survey, that is co-written with SBB/KY founding member Hal Cobb - “Prospero Behind Bars”. Curt’s essay - “Shakespeare Goes to Prison: Holding the Transformative Mirror up to Nature: Responsibility, Forgiveness, and Redemption” won the University of Wyoming 2010 National Amy and Eric Burger Essays on Theatre Competition. Additionally, Curt continues to write his own book, Behind the Bard-Wire: Reflection, Responsibility, Redemption, & Forgiveness . . . The Transformational Power of Art, Theatre, and Shakespeare.
From 1989 to 2008, he was the Producing Artistic Director of Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. During his twenty year tenure, Curt produced fifty Shakespeare productions, directed twenty-five Shakespeare productions, and acted in eight Shakespeare Productions. As a professional director and an Equity actor, he has 200+ professional productions to his credit. Additionally, he has presented 400+ performances of his one man show Shakespeare’s Clownes: A Foole’s Guide to Shakespeare.
Curt is a founding member and past president of the Shakespeare Theatre Association, an international service organization for theaters which produce the works of William Shakespeare. He received the 2016 Sidney Berger Award.
Curt has professionally guest directed at Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble (Brisbane, Queensland AUS), Chesapeake Shakespeare (Baltimore, MD), Illinois Shakespeare Festival (Bloomington/Normal, IL), Theatre at Monmouth (Monmouth, ME), American Shakespeare Center - Blackfriars Playhouse (Stanton, VA), Actors Shakespeare Project (Boston, MA), Oklahoma Shakespeare (Oklahoma City, OK), Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival (Allendale, MI), Foothills Theatre Company (Worcester, MA), Hope Summer Repertory Theatre (Holland, MI), Kalamazoo Civic Theatre (Kalamazoo, MI), Fort Harrod Drama Productions (Harrodsburg, KY), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Louisville, KY), Stage One (Louisville, KY), Bunbury Theatre (Louisville, KY), Farmington Lunch Time Theatre (Louisville, KY), Kentucky Contemporary Theatre (Louisville, KY), and New Composer Residency (Louisville, KY).
In 1989, Curt designed, wrote, and hosted the award-winning creative thinking series, Imagine That for Kentucky Educational Television.
Curt is the recipient of a number of prestigious honors and awards, including a Doctor of Humanities from Oakland University, Doctor of Humane Letters from Bellarmine University, an Al Smith Fellowship in playwriting from the Kentucky Arts Council, the Sidney Berger Award from the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the Fleur-de-lis Award from the Louisville Forum, the Mildred A. Dougherty Award from the Greater Louisville English Council, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota.
For information on booking Curt to speak at your event, conference, or in the classroom, contact him directly at email@example.com.
The 2016 Creative Activism Virtual Summit - Rae Luskin Interview with Curt L. Tofteland
The University of Oregon continued their exploration of the theme of Justice during the 2016 winter term, beginning with the visit of Curt L. Tofteland, founder and prison arts practitioner of the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Behind Bars (SBB) program, who was selected as the Tzedek Lecturer in the Humanities.
Tofteland gave an interview with the Oregon Humanities Center’s television program UO Today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRqR0bXSKx8&feature=youtu.be
Tofteland gave two public talks about his work as a prison arts practitioner:
On the Eugene campus, his lecture was: “We Know Who We Are But Not Who We May Be” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyepvuO0sAA
On the Portland campus, his lecture was: “The Villainy You Teach Me: Mercy Seasoned with Justice or Mercy Seasoned with Revenge?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt0GfC0hKsE&feature=youtu.be
State of Shakespeare
Interview with James Elliott & Gerritt Vandermeer. Is there a message of hope in the words that King Richard II speaks to us from his prison cell in the Tower of London? Our guest, Curt L. Tofteland, is the Founder of the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Behind Bars program. In 22 years at the helm of SBB, Curt has discovered three noble truths: Humans need a Tribe, Humans need a Story and Humans need to Reflect. Using Shakespeare, Curt teaches the prisoners these truths and the question arises: did Shakespeare do any time?
WFDU 89.1 The Global Voices of Fairleigh Dickinson University
Interview with Host James Rana about the Genius of Shakespeare Behind Bars.
Director of SBB|KY Programs
Matt has been Director/Facilitator of the Shakespeare Behind Bars program at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex since 2008, directing SBB seasons of Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, Pericles, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s Tale, and Macbeth. He served as Program Director and Facilitator of the SBB Multidisciplinary Juvenile Arts Program at the Audubon Youth Development Center for several years and created the Shakespeare Beyond Bars programs at Louisville Day Treatment Center, Home of the Innocents, and Uspiritus. He also created and facilitated the Journeymen Programs for 18-21 year olds at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex and Luther Luckett Correctional Complex, a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education and VSA Kentucky, the state organization on arts and disability. For this work with SBB he received the 2010 Kentucky Council on Crime and Delinquency Volunteer of the Year Award for Outstanding Service and Commitment to the Kentucky Criminal Justice System.
Matt has served as Producing Artistic Director of Kentucky Shakespeare since August 2013 where he has directed productions of Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, and Shakespeare in the Parks Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet. Under his leadership, Kentucky Shakespeare received the 2015 Center for Nonprofit Excellence Pyramid of Excellence Art of Vision Award, and the 2017 Louisville Awards in the Arts Bobby Petrino Family Foundation Arts Impact Award. Recent awards include the 2015 Fund for the Arts Allan Cowen Innovation Award, 2014 Alden Fellowship from the Community Foundation of Louisville, and 2014 and 2015 Broadway World Louisville Regional Awards for Best Director. He was previously an Artistic Associate with the company for nine years from 2001-2010, performed in main stage productions in the park, toured throughout the state, and directed in Central Park.
He was Director of Children’s Theatre and Audience Development at Derby Dinner Playhouse for several years where he acted, directed, and created the Performing Arts Academy. Matt has also directed and performed professionally at Chicago theaters, across the Midwest, and throughout the region for over twenty years. Film and TV credits include roles in The Perfect Gift, 1 Message, Pieces of Easter, and Forrest Gump.
He holds a BFA in Regional Theatre from the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis.
Director of Technology & Communications
Holly is a freelance artist, graphic/website designer, and photographer who works primarily with local arts organizations and small businesses, including SBB and Looking for Lilith Theatre Company. She has been working with the Shakespeare Behind Bars team for over 15 years, doing marketing, graphic design, photography, web design and IT. She has served on the Board of Directors since 2010. Holly’s poster design for SBB’s RICHARD III at Luther Luckett was included in Presenting Shakespeare (Mirko Ilić and Steven Heller), a collection of 1,100 posters for Shakespeare’s plays, designed by an international roster of artists representing 55 countries, from Japan to Colombia, India, Russia, Australia, and beyond.
Holly grew up on free Shakespeare and began volunteering and apprenticing with Kentucky Shakespeare Festival as a teenager. From 1999-2010, she worked with Kentucky Shakespeare as the Director of Technology & Design/Communications, performing many roles, including marketing, graphic & web design, photography, server and network administration, database design and general administration.
As a Company Member of Looking For Lilith Theatre Company, Holly is the Creative Director of the Marketing & Communications Department and participates in the research and devising of original works, uplifting underheard voices and stories of women. Recent LFL credits include The Patron Saint of Losing Sleep (Projections Designer), Crossing Mountains (2017 Scenic Designer), Legacy of Light (Set & Props Co-Designer), Prevailing Winds (Projections Designer/Research Co-Director) and Molly in the staged reading of Molly Driven.
Holly has been working in and around the theatre community for over 20 years as an administrator, stage manager, scenic artist, house manager, production manager and actor. She has worked and volunteered with many other Louisville theatres over the years, including Stage One Family Theatre, Bunbury Theatre, Actors Theatre and UofL. She also served on the Board of Directors and was the resident Stage Manager for Dayton Theatre Guild in Dayton, OH.
Holly studied art and theatre at the Youth Performing Arts School/duPont Manual, Louisville Visual Art Association, Young Actor’s Institute and Wright State University’s Theatre Design and Technology Program. She and her husband Pete are also proprietors of The Salvage Emporium, which specializes in jewelry, yard art and other curiosities handcrafted from salvaged items and materials.
Keith McGill has been a free-lance theater teacher and workshop leader for over a decade for organizations including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, ArtsReach, and Walden Theatre and Actors’ Theatre’s New Voices playwriting program. He has also appeared in productions with various theatre organizations, such as Actors Theatre, The Necessary Theatre, Pleaides Theatre, Louisville Repertory Theatre, Looking for Lilith Theatre Company and the Royal Palm Players. Keith is very excited and proud to be part of Shakespeare Behind Bars.
Kathi is a professional theatre director, a member of the Lincoln Center and Chicago Director’s Labs, and an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She directs professionally across the country, and has been nominated for the South Florida Regional Theatre Carbonell Award. Shakespearean directing credits include The Winter’s Tale and Cymbeline (New Theatre, FL); Much Ado About Nothing, Women of Will (Looking for Lilith, Louisville); Macbeth, The Tempest, and As You Like It (Josephine Summerstage, Frankfort, KY); and she had the honor of being assistant director to Dennis Krausnick of Shakespeare and Company for The Winter’s Tale and Titus Andronicus. She has also been assistant to Livui Cuilei (Ghosts, Arena Stage), Susan Booth (As If Body Loop, Humana Festival of New American Plays, Actors Theatre of Louisville) and Seret Scott (Spunk, Actors Theatre of Louisville). She received her MFA in Directing from the University of Louisville.
Kathi is a company member of Looking for Lilith Theatre Company where she is Resident Director. Highlights include the originally-devised Fabric, Flames, and Fervor: Girls of the Triangle, which toured to the 2011 centennial remembrances of the Triangle Factory Fire, and the world premiere of Robin Rice Lichtig’s Alice in Black and White. She has also served on the boards of Pleiades Theatre, the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre, Louisville’s only African-American theatre, and the Kentucky Theatre Association. She is director and co-producer of Josephine Summerstage at Josephine Sculpture Park, and created ShoeString Productions, an ad-hoc collective of artists with whom she has directed The Zoo Story, Art, The Glass Menagerie and Stones in his Pockets.
As a teaching artist Kathi conducts residencies, workshops, and teacher professional development sessions at schools throughout the Commonwealth. Her residency and workshop experience is as an independent teaching artist as well as with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Looking for Lilith Theatre Company, Blue Apple Players, and the Kentucky Arts Council’s Directory of Teaching Artists. Her professional development work has been for Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky Alliance for Arts Education, Kentucky Art Educators Association, the Kentucky Center Arts Academies and Arts Institute, and the Kentucky Theatre Association for which she coordinated the annual teacher PD Day for a decade. As an adjunct faculty member she has taught at the University of Louisville, Spalding University, Centre College, Bellarmine University and through, Jefferson Community and Technical College, she has taught at both Luther Luckett Correctional Complex and Kentucky State Reformatory.
Kathi worked with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in an administrative capacity for four years during Curt Tofteland’s tenure.
Kate joined the Shakespeare Behind Bars|Michigan circle as a facilitator-in-training in 2011. She brings with her a passion for both Shakespeare and outreach theatre and is thrilled to be able to combine her theatrical loves as she learns the SBB process. Kate first learned of SBB when she saw Curt L. Tofteland give a presentation at a 2005 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region III event; the experience inspired her to keep using theatre as a tool for social and individual evolution. Her work has taken her to North Miami to establish free theatre camps for ‘gang-risk’ youth and to nursing homes in Southern California to create life-story performances. Kate received her BA in Writing and Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University and her MFA in Acting from University of California, Irvine.
Joseph joined Shakespeare Behind Bars|Michigan as a facilitator-in-training in 2012. His love of the interior process, and of how the arts and social justice collide, has happily led him toward working with Shakespeare Behind Bars|Michigan.
While living in Berlin, Germany, Joseph was a member of Open Forum, a traveling discussion group which engaged former East Berlin high-school students in conversations including Euthanasia, Religiosity in America, Sex, Love, and Prayer. As an intern at Fr. Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation, Joseph worked with the women and children of the Centro Santa Catalina in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Joseph holds Masters degrees from the Eastman School of Music in both voice and conducting, as well as the Performer’s Certificate in voice. His original music compositions are published by earthsongs and his poetry has appeared in Prism, The West Wind Review, Foxfire Books, Thorny Locust, The Penwood Review, and NewVerseNews.com
In 2011, Joseph received the Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana and was awarded the Charles Wesley Prize in Sacred Music and Liturgy for his work with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Morning Prayer, a contemplative worship liturgy taken from the posthumously published Letters and Papers from Prison, written while Bonhoeffer was incarcerated under the Nazi regime during WWII for participating in the resistance movement against Hitler.
Joseph is co-facilitator of the Center for Mission and Ministry’s Spiritual Direction Practicum in DeWitt, MI, and is the animator of The School for Contemplatives in Action in Holland, MI, partnering with those interested in learning, and living, the riches of the inner life.
Since 1998, Joseph has served as Minister of Music and Spiritual Life at Zion Lutheran Church in Holland, MI. He is chaplain for the Order of Lutheran Franciscans, a religious community of vowed Lutheran brothers and sisters committed to living in the simple ways of Francis of Assisi.
Since 2009, Joseph has worked with the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre as a member of the Acting Company, as Music Director for the Children’s Performance Troupe, and as the theatre’s Assistant Music Director.
Edward joined Shakespeare Behind Bars|Michigan as a facilitator-in-training in 2013. He began his career as a Systems Design and Analysis analyst for the US Air Force. Following his Honorable Discharge, Edward worked for Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (Operations Management Company for the Nevada Nuclear Test Site) in Las Vegas Nevada. While in Las Vegas, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis on Personnel Management, from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas; he taught Systems Design and Analysis and Introduction to Computers at the Clark County Community College; and he began his consulting business, Hartline and Associates, LLC.
Edward’s career took a major shift when he moved to the Los Angeles, CA area to become a salesman of high-end scientific super computers to the Aerospace Industry performing weapons and aircraft design and research and to universities doing high end scientific research. After 16 years of success, the federal government significantly reduced funding for weapons research and the industry was rocked with massive layoffs. At this time Edward re-imagined himself and became a Career and Life Success Coach to people laid off from the Aerospace sector and wanted to pursue something different with their life. In 2000, after a rewarding and successful 10 years as a coach, a series of life events brought him to Holland, Michigan where he has worked for The Dispute Resolution Center as Executive Director; The American Red Cross of West Michigan as Blood Services Coordinator; and Integration by Design as Computer Specialist-Office Manager.
Edward’s current passion began in 2006 when he provided Life Success Coaching to men and women upon their release from prison, jail, and or drug rehab facilities. To date, Edward has worked with more than 30 men and women. Additionally, he has provided administrative support for the nationally recognized Michigan Prisoner Reentry and 2nd Chance programming in Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties.
Bridgit joined the Shakespeare Behind Bars/Michigan circle as a facilitator-in-training in 2015. Bridget's journey with SBB|MI began in 2011, when she visited periodically during her time at Hope College. Those visits changed Bridget's own performance philosophy, as well as her mission statement as an artist. She began to see theatre as a tool for social justice. Bridget is a graduate of Hope College. She could not be more thrilled or humbled to journey with the circles this year and learn from those around her.
Laura holds a Diploma of Musical Theater, a Bachelor of Performing Arts and is currently completing her Masters degree in Applied Theater at the University of New England, Australia. Her passion for theater as a vehicle for individual and social catharsis has led her on this path with her most recent work being in performance with both women and migrants in the Middle East as part of the Revolution Project. She is overjoyed to be part of the SBB program.
Donna joined the SBB team in 2010. She has designed costumes for SBB at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex productions of Twelfth Night, Pericles, Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet and Richard III.
Donna has been part of the Louisville Theatre family for over 18 years. She was costume shop manager, draper and resident designer for StageOne for 18 seasons. She has also been costume shop manager and resident designer for Music Theatre Louisville for 15 seasons. She has been lucky enough to work with many theatres in town, including Pandora Productions, CenterStage, Walden Theatre, Louisville Ballet, Kentucky Opera, Assumption High School, Bunbury, Actor’s Theatre and Derby Dinner Playhouse.
Included among the over 300 shows that Donna has designed are: Alice in Wonderland, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, The Jackie Robinson Story, The Diary of Anne Frank, A Year With Frog And Toad, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hello Dolly, Schoolhouse Rocks Live, Oedipus Rex, Take Me Out, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Cabaret, The Full Monty and The Secret Garden. Donna’s designs for The Great Gilly Hopkins were seen on the Broadway stage at the New Victory Theatre. Donna has also had the chance to work with award-winning costume designers Jane Greenwood, Martin Pakladinez, Marie Ann Chimet and Andre Barber as a draper for Opera Theatre St. Louis. Donna has also designed and built several local school mascots and done several commercials for Kentucky Lottery and Caesar’s (now Horseshoe) Casino.
Donna has opened her own costume shop and is a professional baker for local outlets in Louisville.