Hope from adversity | Shakespeare at San Quentin | TEDxSanQuentin

Translator: Denise RQ
Reviewer: Robert Deliman JGP: Good afternoon. My name is Julian Glenn Padgett;
people call me Luke. I’ve been fortunate enough
to be involved in Shakespeare since its inception here in 2006,
when Suraya Keating and Lesley Currier from Marin Shakespeare Company
came in, and they said, “We want Shakespeare,
to be accessible to everybody.” (Applause) It is wonderful to have you
here today at San Quentin to experience the honesty,
the love, the trust, and the family of this community. We of San Quentin Shakespeare
take these times upon ourselves to work on ourselves through Shakespeare. I can’t imagine that he wrote
this stuff years ago saying, “Hey, they’re going
to perform this at San Quentin.” (Laughter) But we do. So thank you. (Applause) AF: “Oh, sweet are the uses of adversity. And this, our life,
exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees,
books in the running brooks, sermons in stones,
and good in everything.” Hello, ladies and gentlemen,
my name is Azraal “·Big Az” Ford, otherwise known as the ugly ducking
with the heart of a swan. (Laughter) I grew up in a world of adversity,
where drugs and crime ruled the day. And this young boy… I taught myself
how to shield myself from hurt using anger and rage. I was blinded by pessimism, and instead of seeing
the good in the world, I only looked at it with contempt. This is how I lived my life
for many years; fueled by hatred. And then, I ended up
at San Quentin State Prison, and I tried the acting
in the Shakespeare class. I was amazed when I remembered
that I could laugh, I could have fun. And then, in drama therapy
I found a community of men that were using life’s adversity
to inspire hope. And I also learned
that the whole world is a stage, and if we would all just take
the time to stop and play together, like we did
when we were children, we could create a show
of beautiful love and peace. Thank you. (Audience) That’s right! (Applause) (Cheers) NC: “I have done nothing
but in care of thee, Of thee, my dear one; thee my daughter, who art ignorant of what thou art, naught knowing of whence I am, nor that I am more better than Prospero, the master of a full poor cell.” Hi, my name is Nate Collins, and those lines were from
“The Tempest” by William Shakespeare. I joined Shakespeare many years ago
for many different reasons. However, I never thought that this class
would teach me how to be vulnerable; connected me with my feelings
and deep emotions. Character development is important
to acting and adulthood, so as I continued to develop as an actor, and as a person of integrity,
accountability, and responsibility – traits I’ll be defined by
long after the show was over – is through drama therapy
and Shakespeare that I find healing. Thank you. (Audience) All right! (Applause) (Cheers) LH: “O, pardon me,
thou bleeding piece of earth that I am meek and gentle
with these butchers!” “Friends, Romans, countrymen,
lend me your ears;” “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar.” Hello, America. (Laughter) My name is LeMar Harrison, but on stage, y’all known me as Maverick. What you just witnessed
was an abbreviated adaptation of Mark Anthony’s soliloquy from Shakespeare’s “The Life
and Death of Julius Caesar.” To the vision of my instructors, the incomparable Suraya Keating
and Miss Leslie Courier (Applause) I was chosen to take on the role
of Mark Anthony. In this role, I experienced the pains of pure pressure,
bullying, and betrayal. Can you imagine,
at an early age, mind you, being forced by societal influences
to be someone you didn’t want to be? I can. I walked miles in those shoes. That’s probably why I was able
to feel Mark Anthony’s pain with both hands. This role? No! This program has allowed me to explore and address
all these traumatic issues; the very traumatic issues
that led me here; the very traumatic issues
that made me realize that if I can transform myself, maybe, just maybe, I can help
transform the world and earn a shot at redemption. Thank you. (Applause) (Cheers) RM: “To do I do not know what: but it suffices me
that Brutus leads me on.” Hello, my name is Richard Morris. I was privileged to participate in the San Quentin production of “The Life and Death of Julius Casar.” In that play, I played
Senator Caius Ligarius. Caius Ligarius,
in his blind following of Brutus, participated in the murder
of Julius Caesar. In doing this, he brought down
the very Republic he professed to love. I looked at this, and I can’t help but see
a parallel in my own life. And then, this made me understand that at 54 years old, it’s now my responsibility
to be careful, to be wise in the choices I make, the people that I am willing to follow,
and into what causes. And to also consider the effect my actions have
upon my community. For that, I thank you. (Applause) CM: “You! You cram these words into mine ears against the stomach of my sense. Would I had never married
my daughter there! For, coming thence, my son is lost, and, [in my rate, ] she too,
who is so far from Italy removed I ne’er again shall see her. O thou mine heir of Naples and of Milan, what strange fish
hath made his meal on thee?” Those are a few lines
from William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” I joined Shakespeare at San Quentin,
presented by Marin Shakespeare [Company], on a dare. (Laughter) It’s true! For years, my buddies said,
“Hey, Chris! Come to Shakespeare, man!” I said, “Shakespeare’s a clown.” Now I am, too. And I love it! (Laughter) (Applause) (Cheers) JCM: “Why do I have to see you? Makes me yearn for more; Here I am, stuck in blue. Feelings I needed nor… You caught my eye, you stole my heart. By meeting your eyes, my soul did start.” “Were I hard-favored,
foul, or wrinkled-old, ill-nurtured, crooked,
churlish, harsh in voice. O’erworn, despised, rheumatic, and cold. Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee; but having no defects, why dost abhor me?” (Applause) AW: “I myself shall have all the others! I will drain him dry as hay. Sleep shall neither night nor day. Hang upon his penthouse lid. He shall live a man forbid. Weary sev’n nights nine times nine. Shall he dwindle, peak and pine. Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.” My name is Antwan Williams. (Cheers) (Applause) In joining the Marin Shakespeare Company
here at San Quentin, I realized that I’ve always been an actor. How I acted with my family wasn’t how I acted with my friends; how I acted with my friends wasn’t how I acted with my teachers. And how I acted with teachers wasn’t how I acted in the streets; yet, how I acted in the streets
wasn’t who I truly was. William Shakespeare revealed to me that with one face comes many characters, and it’s just how we chose
to use those characters what ultimately shape us
and the world around us. (Audience) Amen! Bravo! (Applause) RD: “Ay, that I will. And I’ll be wise hereafter, and seek for grace. What a thrice-double ass was I to take this drunkard for a god and worship this dull fool!” My name is Ronell Draper,
and I go by “Rauch.” That was one of Caliban’s lines
from “The Tempest.” I joined Shakespeare
because I was interested, intrigued, that it was been done in a prison. In the process of being in here, I found out that I had a lot of issues
that I needed to work on: interpersonal skills, trust issues,
and anger problems. (Applause) JGP: “I have done the deed.” SK: “I heard the owl scream
and the crickets cry. Did not you speak?” JGP: “When?”
SK: “Now.” JGP: “As I descended?”
SK: “Ay.” – “Hark! Who lies i’ th’ second chamber?”
– “Donalbain.” – “This is a sorry sight.”
-“A foolish thought to say a sorry sight.” “There’s one did laugh
in ‘s sleep, and one cried, ‘Murder!'” SK: “Consider it not so deeply.” JGP: “Methought I heard a voice cry,
‘Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep’ – the innocent sleep; sleep that knits up
the ravelled sleave of care, the death of each day’s life,
sore labor’s bath, balm of hurt minds,
great nature’s second course, chief nourisher in life’s feast.” SK: “What do you mean?” JGP: “Glamis hath murdered sleep,
and therefore, Cawdor shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.” (Applause)


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