The Program

The Program

“I learned that language is sacred.”
Participant, DYS Eliot Boys Facility 

ASP believes that the themes of Shakespeare's plays – justice and revenge, the quest for power and position, family loyalties and betrayals, the relationship of grief to violence, and the power of love and redemption in society and individuals – are revealed in Shakespeare's deeply human characters, their soaring language and their intimate, dramatic stories.  In his work we find a resonant means to witness young people's insights, imagination, self-reflection and self-expression, learning to speak and respond in relationship to other people and to the world around them.

ASP's Incarcerated Youth at Play (IYAP) participants are court involved youth aged 12 – 17 under the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS), and sometimes in treatment centers connected to the Department of Social Services (DSS). Over a period of 3-16 weeks, ASP teaching artists work in residence in treatment and assessment centers creating an ensemble with youth who explore Shakespeare’s plays and write, sing, dance, rehearse and perform. ASP also runs teacher-training programs with English Language Arts, Theater, and Social Studies teachers working within DYS facilities.

ASP also works with youth in transition out of DYS facilities through our after-school and summer programming. 

For more information about IYAP contact Michael Forden Walker (617) 776-2200 X228 or 

IYAP was the recent recipient of the Margaret Stewart Lindsay Inspiration Award in 2010.

Photo: 'Portraits without Faces': a collaboration with Liz Linder Photography © 2011 Liz Linder Photography