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The Island: Post-Show with Ken Berry

thinkTank programming features dramatic works with a focus on provoking timely conversation about a social, political or economic issue in which Chicago citizens have a stake. For the production of The Island, thinkTank discussions focus on the broadest subject of Fugard's play: civil disobedience. Exploring many permutations of civil disobedience through focused discussions after every performance, each discussion is led by a member of the Chicago community.

The Island runs from January 27 – March 6, 2010.  Click here for details...

Ken Berry is a senior litigation paralegal in Winston and Strawn's Chicago office. Mr. Berry conducts legal research, case review and analysis, and assists attorneys with case strategy, preparation, and trials. Mr. Berry was acquitted in 2000 after spending eight years in prison due to a wrongful conviction. During that time he taught GED classes, continued his own education, studied the law, and assisted other inmates in legal matters. With the pro bono assistance of Winston & Strawn, Mr. Berry's conviction was reversed, and he was granted a new trial by the United States District Court in 1999, on the grounds that his trial attorney had provided constitutionally deficient representation. He subsequently proved his innocence at a re-trial before the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Since his exoneration, Mr. Berry has participated in numerous public interest and pro bono matters. He has also been involved in non-profit activities that address correctional facilities issues and civil rights violations.

This post-show discussion immediately followed the performance of The Island, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's current mainstage show. Athol Fugard's daring drama is set in an unnamed prison based on the one where Nelson Mandela was held. John and Winston are cellmates who spend their days doing back-breaking labor, and their nights rehearsing Sophocles' Antigone to present to their fellow inmates. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men's friendship is tested. Fugard plays the parallels between Antigone's fight against political and patriarchal boundaries off of the imprisoned men's fight for their dignity. The Island is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.


Recorded Wednesday, February 03, 2010 at The Greenhouse Theater.

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