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Jean Trounstine

professor, Middlesex Community College

Jean Trounstine earned her B.A. at Beloit College and her M.F.A. in Theatre Arts at Brandeis University. She is currently a professor of humanities at Middlesex Community College in Lowell Massachusetts, specializing in writing, literature and theatre courses. With grants from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, Trounstine developed a humanities-based theatre arts program at Framingham Women's Prison, where she directed several productions. Drawing from music history, women's history, art, literature and drama, the program was offered at the prison for ten years, most recently earning college credit in collaboration with Boston University. Her work in prison with The Merchant of Venice was nominated for a prestigious Schwartz Award, considered by the Foundation as the most successful project funded in 1988. It is the basis of her book *Shakespeare behind Bars: The Power of Drama in a Women's Prison* (2001). With Robert Waxler, she co-authored *Finding a Voice: The Practice of Changing Lives Through Literature* (U Michigan, 2005). She helped to establish this program in Massachusetts, where criminals are sentenced to a literature seminar and probation instead of jail and it is now in many other states and in England. *Changing Lives* was honored in 2004 by the New England Board of Higher Education as an exemplary program in New England and received a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities. Trounstine has been the subject of over fifty news articles both locally and nationally, and at conferences for educators, probation officers, judges, legislators, theatre practitioners, and writers, she speaks about her work with offenders and is received enthusiastically.