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A Ballad of the Bard

19 Jan, 2006 By: Holly J. Wagner

Shout! Factory has scored the theatrical and home video rights to the award-winning documentary Shakespeare Behind Bars.

The film will be distributed theatrically through International Film Circuit beginning in March, and Shout! Factory will release the DVD this summer.

Shakespeare Behind Bars premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival and has since become a festival darling. The title follows an all-male Shakespeare company comprising convicted felons incarcerated at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in Kentucky.

Viewers watch as they rehearse and perform a full production of The Tempest under the direction of Curt Tofteland.

Marking their seventh year as an acting ensemble, the inmates cast themselves in relation to their crimes and, so murderers play murderers and thieves play thieves. The inmates delve into personal experience to bring these Shakespearean characters to life.

Ronna Wallace of Eastgate Pictures brokered the acquisition. The film was written and directed by Hank Rogerson and produced by partner Jilann Spitzmiller and by Philomath Films in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the BBC.

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