The mission of the Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe is to Tell Stories of Importance Through Theatre
The group seeks to share stories, build empathy, and foster understanding and communication through theatre.
Since 2015, Marin Shakespeare Company’s Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe has given actors who have survived incarceration opportunities to continue their study of theatre and acting, to form a support group, and to tell stories of importance through theatre, generating deep community dialogue about some of the most pressing issues of our time. Under the leadership of Suraya Keating, Marin Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare for Social Justice Director, the group shares their stories with public in order to explore important issues that affect us all, and have a positive impact on our world. We also perform at facilities that serve system-impacted youth.
We invite you to join us free of cost for these heartfelt, thought-provoking and inspirational performances as Returned Citizens share true stories of hope, change, and courage from their lives.
Access for All: We are committed to providing access for all to participate in this program. At least one zoom viewing will be available for every production. Print materials will be available in alternative, large font, formats upon request; requests should be made two months prior to the scheduled performance. Sign language interpretation and/or captioning of video is available upon request; requests should be made two months prior to the scheduled performance. To request accommodations, please contact Business Manager Fran Astorga, MSC’s Accessibility Coordinator, for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIDEOS of Previous Productions:
“STORY OF BIG BEN: A JOURNEY FROM ADDICTION TO HEALING” An Original Play directed by Suraya Keating. Featuring: Pamela Ann Keane, Losdini Meza, John Neblett, William Palmer, Robert Currier and Krissy Weston. This original play, co-created by Tony Cyprien, Pamela Ann Keane, William Palmer, Markelle Taylor and Suraya Keating, invites the audience to step into the shoes of three different men, all of whom have experienced trauma and addiction in their past, and all of whom have survived incarceration, as they move into a place of inner and outer freedom. It is a poignant, heartwarming and inspiring story that speaks to the resilience of the human spirit to rise from conditions of oppression, despair and the intergenerational chain of pain that affects the lives of so many.
“FIRESTARTER STORIES” Directed by Suraya Keating Assistant Director: Losdini Meza Featuring: Losdini Meza John Neblett Oscar Pandion Joseph Phaboriboune *And other supporting cast members FIRESTARTER STORIES is a collection of life-story inspired theater, storytelling and video performance pieces that embrace the notion that the ancient practice of sharing stories is part of our birthright, and one which nourishes and supports us on this human journey. Elements of Playback Theater are woven into the performance, creating an inclusive experience for the audience.
Creative Writing from Inside #1 Actors who have survived incarceration giving dramatic readings of poems and letters we received from people who were enduring incarceration during the pandemic. Following the performances, there was a discussion with Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe actors Carlos Meza and Tony Cyprien. July, 2021.
Creative Writing from Inside #2 – More dramatic readings of writing received from people enduring incarceration during the pandemic, performed by Returned Artists. November, 2021.
Funding has been provided by California Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
“Stories of Healing: Voices from the Inside Out” with Tony Cyprien, Gary Hollis, Pamela Anne Keane, Joey Mason
Juan Carlos Meza, John Neblett, William Palmer, Markelle Taylor, John Windham, supported by Alice O’Connor and Zi ZhengMay 22 & 23, 2021
Plus a tour by zoom to O. H. Close Youth Correctional Facility
“Nobody Told Us We Were Diamonds: The Story of How I Found Me”
May 20 and 21, 2016
The inaugural production of autobiographical stories by the Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe.
To see videos of Shakespeare in prison performances, “Stories from San Quentin” performances, inmate writing, and photographs, and to hear inmate actors discuss how Shakespeare has changed their lives, click here.
To read articles about Shakespeare for Social Justice on our Blog, click here.
To make a donation in support of Shakespeare for Social Justice, click here.