9 user 17 critic

Shakespeare Behind Bars (2005)

Twenty male inmates in a Kentucky prison form an unlikely Shakespearean acting troupe.


Watch Now

With Prime Video

5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Twenty male inmates in a Kentucky prison form an unlikely Shakespearean acting troupe.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare Atrás das Grades  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,347 (USA) (31 March 2006)


$48,194 (USA) (20 October 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


References In Living Color (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Terrific Documentary
31 January 2005 | by (Park City, Utah) – See all my reviews

One of the best parts of Sundance is seeing movies that you would otherwise almost certainly miss. Unless you're a real art-house devotee, you probably don't catch many documentaries. Only a handful get any recognizable distribution. Fortunately, Sundance has increased its commitment to documentaries in recent years.

Shakespeare Behind Bars is a powerful documentary about a dramatic production group at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky. Every year a group of inmates present a Shakespearean play. Director Hank Rogerson and his crew follow the troupe as roles are self-selected, interpreted, rehearsed and ultimately performed.

The movie is filled with fascinating revelations for those of us that have not been exposed to prison environments. Despite the labels we know them by (convict, felon, murderer, etc.) we soon began to appreciate and respect these men as thinking feeling human beings. Serendipitously, the play chosen for the year of filming was The Tempest, with its penetrating focus on forgiveness and redemption. The actors all grapple with the relevance of the play to their lives, finding patterns and parallels with their characters and the meaning of the drama.

For a documentary film, like a book, the best that can be hoped for is that we experience something that changes our lives. Shakespeare Behind Bars was a personal revelation for me. "O brave new world, that has such creatures in it."

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page