Hope College Theatre is sponsoring a screening of the documentary “Shakespeare Behind Bars” on Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, with Shakespeare Behind Bars founder Curt Tofteland facilitating a talkback after the screening.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The documentary celebrates not only the work of Shakespeare but the redemptive power of forgiveness.  The screening of “Shakespeare Behind Bars,” which centers on the production of Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” in a prison, precedes the opening of Hope College Theatre’s production of “The Tempest” the following week.

The 90-minute film follows facilitator Curt Tofteland and the inmate group through the nine-month process of bringing “The Tempest” to life. The individual stories of the inmates are interwoven into the plot and create a powerful message of confronting personal demons. The documentary by Philomath Films has received award-winning recognition since its premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

The mission of Shakespeare Behind Bars is to offer theatrical encounters with personal and social issues to incarcerated and post-incarcerated adults and juveniles, allowing them to develop life skills that will ensure their successful reintegration into society. Now within its 21st year, it is the oldest program of its kind and strives to serve the incarcerated through the words of William Shakespeare.

Hope College Theatre’s production of “The Tempest” will run on Friday and Saturday, April 15-16; Wednesday-Friday, April 20-22, at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, April 23, at 2 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.  Tickets for “The Tempest” are $10 for regular admission, $7 for senior citizens, Hope faculty and staff, and free for Hope College students and children 18 and under. Tickets are available at the ticket office in the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. Tickets are also available online at hope.edu/tickets.

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue between 10th and 13th streets.  The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.