Kings of Baxter follows two Bell Shakespeare teaching artists as they work with a group of teenagers in the Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre on the ambitious task of putting on a live performance of Macbeth.
Bell Shakespeare has worked with the Frank Baxter Juvenile Detention Centre on the NSW central coast since the inception of its juvenile justice program, which uses Shakespeare as a vehicle for self-reflection, self-confidence and skills development with young offenders.
In 2015, production company Grumpy Sailor was granted unprecedented access to follow Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Director James Evans and Resident Artist in Education Huw McKinnon along with several young men at Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre over three months, as they rehearsed and workshopped Macbeth, culminating in a performance for their fellow detainees, friends and family.
The filmmakers document life on the inside for these young men, as well as the effects of the program and the emotional toll it takes as they work towards their performance.
Kings of Baxter was awarded Best Australian Documentary in 2017 at the Antenna Film Festival and Best Film 2018 at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival.
The screening will take place on Thursday 11 June 7.30pm AEST on Facebook, Youtube and Bell Shakespeare’s website and will be followed by a live Q&A hosted by actor Mandy Bishop and featuring James Evans, Huw McKinnon and Director Jack Yabsley.
Image: Kings of Baxter (film still) – courtesy of Bell Shakespeare