Shakespeare's Hamlet Performed by Prisoners - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Shakespeare's Hamlet Performed by Prisoners

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UMATILLA, Or.-- Actors put on a special rendition of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The play was performed in a place not a lot of people have access to.

Hamlet explores the themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption different things these actors can relate to because their lives are played out behind closed doors.

They are all inmates at Two Rivers Correctional Institution.

"I play the murderer in the play within the play, Rosencrantz and the captain," said William Margarido, Inmate TRCI.

Hamlet requires an understanding of the message in order to act the lines.

"The part I like best is Ophelia because I can relate to her in some of the situational problems that she tends to have and dealing with emotions and controlling them," said Joey Brewis, Inmate TRCI.

As fellow inmates watched, the actors performed 22 scenes from the play. They were all memorized and in costume.

"It's been a great challenge, it's been a lot of hard work. It has forced me to stretch myself a long long way," said one inmate.

95 percent of all people incarcerated will eventually be released. Hamlet is not only a morale booster, but is helping each inmate grow as a person.

"Part of our commitment to the public and public safety is we are trying to turn out a better person than we receive," said Garrett Laney, TRCI Assistant Superintendent.

For an inmate the opportunity to do this play helps them connect with themselves and to understand what they did in relation to Hamlet.