Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble

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The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble logo

The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble (QSE) is an Australian theatre company. It is based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and is the resident theatre company of the University of Queensland.

Artistic directors[edit]

Key productions[edit]

Other performances and readings[edit]

Training programs and workshops[edit]

QSE's training draws heavily on the work of Kristin Linklater, Shakespeare & Company (USA), and Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed, as well as incorporating yoga, mindfulness, the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais.

QSE offers regular training to the public in the Linklater voice method, Speaking Shakespeare in Your Own Voice (personalising and acting Shakespeare), and Theatre of the Oppressed. QSE's Artistic Director Rob Pensalfini is a Designated Linklater voice teacher and a faculty member at Shakespeare & Company. As of July 2012, QSE will have a second officially-designated Linklater teacher, Christina Koch, a member of the company since 2002. There are only eight designated Linklater teachers in Australia.

QSE's Prison Project[edit]

The Prison Project, started in 2006 under the name Arts in Community Enhancement is Australia's first and only Prison Shakespeare project, and Australia's only ongoing prison theatre program. It ran in Borallon Correctional Centre in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Borallon Correctional Centre is now closed, and the program is expected to move to the South-East Queensland Correctional Complex in 2012 or 2013.

The Prison Project utilises a combination of Theatre of the Oppressed and Shakespeare performance to engage a group of volunteer prisoners with dramatic form. The project, typically of three months duration, culminates in a performance of Shakespeare's work in the prison for an invited audience of family members, prisoners, correctional staff, and other community members.

The Prison Project's main objective is different from many of its therapeutic counterparts in Prison Theatre and/or Dramatherapy, which have rehabilitation as a direct goal (see for example the work of Geese Theatre). The most basic aim of QSE's Prison Project is to put on a play. In rehearsing a play for performance the rehabilitative side-effects become manifest: the project develops emotional bravery and self-awareness, social skills and self-confidence, individual dedication as well as the commitment to work as a member of a team.

QSE's Prison Project shares many similarities with Prison Shakespeare projects in the United State of America, the best known of which is Shakespeare Behind Bars, though it was not directly based on any of them. In 2011, the founder of Shakespeare Behind Bars, Curt Tofteland, visited QSE on a Fulbright Fellowship and traded skills with the facilitators of the Prison Project (as well as co-directing QSE's production of The Merchant of Venice.

External links[edit]