04 February 2008

I Recommend GOOD RADIO

It keeps snowing and snowing. It won't stop snowing. I blame that groundhog, who I'm going to have to hunt down and barbecue. That's not today's topic, though.

In graduate school I worked in a jail library. I believe in jail libraries. Working at the jail felt like the fulfillment of public librarianship idealism--providing information and services without bias, serving the disenfranchised, putting something into the hands of a population that was underserved in society in so many ways. While I worked there, I was doing a project on libraries, literature, and arts programs in prisons, so I'm surprised that I never heard Act V, an episode of This American Life that originally aired in 2002. It's about a prison production of Hamlet that looks closely at what's brought to a play about a character considering murder, when it's performed by actors who have murdered. I listened to it this weekend and it's one of the most moving things I've ever heard. At one point, an inmate who plays Laertes is being interviewed about how he relates to his character, and he responds, "I am Laertes." It gave me chills. I can't recommend it highly enough.

3 comments:

CK Rock said...

"Act V" is one of our favorite This American Life episodes. Alyssa and I just purchased the DVD of first season of the TAL TV series. It was really good and we highly recommend it.

Alyssa said...

Whoa... scooped by my own husband. That's exactly what I was going to say. Awesome episode.

MBC said...

Oooh, I want to see the TV series.

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