Shakespeare has been the epitome of snobbery for me. Whenever someone of a low class environment, like me, wanted to sound rich we lift our heads and begin talking as if we are still speaking old English with the thy’s and thoughest’s.

I cannot pinpoint why that was exactly. Nobody told me that, nobody said rich people know Shakespeare and most poor people do not. I do not even believe that to be true. Yet, as a teen my perception drove me far away from classic literature so I would not be a yuppie. (God, what a mistake! Teenagers should be legally ‘mentally challenged’ until they are around 25)

I have not been to a play or live performance in my life. As a child I seen a magic show once, in which I was sawed in half! I also vaguely remember seeing a children’s play in Omaha, I could not have been very old, maybe 5 or 6.

So when Freehold Theater came into this little prison and performed Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale,” I was excited. One, these folks are professionals. Two, I have met some of the people who believe in that program, like Ms. Robyn and Mr. Carter, both of which run a residency program for inmates to learn acting and put on performances once a year. A program I now love.

They performed it with stage props and with poise and professionalism. I cried and my mouth hung open the entire performance. I was absolutely captivated. We got to see a real play, and many of us have never seen one, ever. We laughed, our hearts raced, we nearly shouted out loud.

It was an experience that is so rare, so beautiful, it was something we will never forget.

I think I found a new addiction!

With Love
Jeff Jeffebelle Utnage