Manship Theatre has brought world-renowned musicians to the East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Detention Center (JDC). Artists such as Grammy winner blues legend Bobby Rush, Preservation Hall, and Jon Batiste and Stay Human Band have performed and talked with the youth residing in detention. They were elated to hear that Batiste and Stay Human was selected as the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The artists talk about their troubled pasts and how music helped them find their way and out of trouble. Tap dancing legend Savion Glover performed a few tap steps and explained to the youth that tap dancing is a way to express feelings. Savion explained that he turned to dance to stay out of trouble, and if he was mad or happy he would just dance the way he felt.
One of the greatest gifts Manship Theatre provided JDC was its creation of The Shakespeare Project. It provided the youth the opportunity to read and understand Shakespeare, discuss its application in their personal lives, and perform a scene from memory before a live audience. Specifically, the youth were able to perform in the Division “A” Courtroom, where Judge Adam Haney, staff from Juvenile Services Probation, Juvenile Court and Juvenile Detention were their audience.
Jeanette Plourde, an accomplished actor and Yale graduate, conducted a 4-day workshop consisting of physical exercises that require teamwork, reading and understanding a scene from Macbeth. Plourde grasped and maintained the youths’ attention and respect from the first day of the workshop and far beyond performance. Manship Theatre hopes to revive this program in 2018.