In 'Hip Hop Hamlet,' women prisoners express their humanity: 'I didn't feel like I was incarcerated'
It’s opening night for “Hip Hop Hamlet” and more than 200 women dressed in baggy, khaki-colored clothes have packed into the gymnasium at the women’s penitentiary in Vandalia, Missouri. They’re eager to watch fellow members of the prison population perform a beat-filled, rap adaptation of the Shakespeare text. Shakespeare scholars say his work offers ways to get in touch with what makes a person fully human. For the women participating in this show, that plays out at a very basic level.