Jean Trounstine

"I think that is the value of drama, of literature--being able to step into the shoes of someone else, you get a chance to learn something about yourself.”

NEW! Improvisation in the classroom --
Get Yo' Groove On!

  Almost Home Free

-a collection of poetry-  the cancer journey

published by Pecan Grove Press, 2003
--art by Harry Barnard

Readings and Talks

Contact info:   

Jean Trounstine 
 Professor of Humanities
address: Middlesex Community College
33 Kearney Square
Lowell, MA 0185
office:  City Campus, #30  
phone:  978-656-3121
fax:  978-656-3150



Jan. 2006  from Hudson Street Press, (Penguin) -- for Reading Events

  - BUY NOW !-

wism                                               SBBpaperbackcover

                               new in paperback, Feb. 2004,
                              published by U. Michigan Press

Changing Lives through Literature


edited by Jean Trounstine and Robert Waxler
Notre Dame Press, 1999


     Shakespeare Behind Bars:
      The Power of
Drama in a
Women's Prison

            by Jean Trounstine 
         St. Martin's Press, 2001


         Real Player--Jean on SBB
 Real Player--Jean on

Finding a Voice



Finding a Voice
Co-authors: Jean Trounstine
and Robert Waxler

University of Michigan Press
October, 2005

an important contribution to art and literature in
the criminal justice system
Current Teaching


In the summer of 2006 I am teaching Introduction to Literature (Comp. II).  In the fall, English Comp. (Honors), Improvisation, Voices Behind Bars:  The Literature of Prison, and the online course, The Autobiographical Adventure. I run a Changing Lives Through Literature course each semester and  Matter of Fact, MCC's improvisation troupe, is available for performances in schools.  See below.
Links to Courses and Sample Syllabi
















EN 1103 English Composition -Honors (sample syllabus)
Introduction to college essay writing. Emphasizes pre-writing, writing, and rewriting with attention to rhetorical models, organization, and development of writing techniques. Includes writing a position paper involving formal research and documentation. Entrance into regular comp. course through placement examination or completion of EN 1101 with a C- or better.
Prerequisite: C- in EN 1101 or placement by exam /placement for Honors

EN 1105 Introduction to Literature (sample syllabus)
A continuation of EN 1103, this course is an introduction to literature with an emphasis on learning to write analytical essays through a close reading of  fiction, poetry, and drama.
Prerequisite: EN 1103

HU 6151 The Autobiographical Adventure: Our Lives as Stories  *REPEAT PERFORMANCE web course in fall 2006*
The study of autobiography and memoir is designed to help us make meaning of our lives.  In this course, we will be reading great texts that both tell compelling stories and make meaning of those stories, taking ideas and techniques from those texts to inspire our own memoirs.  We will be reading Shakespeare Behind Bars and selections from works such as Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, Mary Karr's The Liars' Club and Luis J. Rodriguez's La Vida Loca:  Gang Days in LA.  The fun will also be in shaping our own life stories and researching our family histories.
Placement into EN 1103.

HU 6149 Voices Behind Bars: The Literature of Prison (sample syllabus)
Explores the world of prisons, both as a reality and as a metaphor in our lives, utilizing literature from prisons around the globe. This course asks students to consider issues of incarceration while reading passages from classics such as The Falconer, The Merchant of Venice and the Bible, as well as more modern texts as Short Eyes and Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number.
Prerequisite: EN 1101 or placement into EN 1103
This course satisfies the Values/Ethics/Social Policy, Written Communication Intensive Values. Course usually offered in the Fall.

HU 4111 Introduction to Acting (sample syllabus)
Introduces the student to the art of acting. Improvisational exercises as well as rehearsal scenes from monologues are used. Emphasis is placed on the use of body and voice as expressive instruments. Some out-of-class rehearsals are required.

HU 4112 Scene Study
Explores interpretation, characterization, and the physical, vocal, and mental aspect of performing. The course includes acting exercises, improvisations, and workshopping scenes. Course usually offered in the Spring semester.

HU 4118 Improvisation
An introductory course in improvisational acting that strives to free the voice, body, emotions and intellect as tools for acting. The students will perform exercises that strive to overcome those inhibitions that keep them from presenting in public in the way they choose. The exercises will develop the student's sense of theatricality and their credibility as well as develop their ability to do scenework..

Outreach    Changing Lives Through Literature

 Matter of Fact Improvisational Theatre


see brief vitae

see book description SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS

Paperback info of Shakespeare Behind Bars at--

ALMOST HOME FREE, poetry from Pecan Grove Press

Biographical Information


see brief vitae