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.


Saturday, April 6 at 7 pm

Join us for an inspiring evening of true-life stories of artists who have endured grief, gang wars, depression, domestic violence, incarceration and more as they courageously share some vulnerable and devastating aspects of their life journeys, as well as the incredible growth and resilience that has come along the way. Featuring Tony Cyprien, Preston (Zoe) Gardner, Anthony Jefferson (AJ), Pamela Ann Keane, John Neblett, and Antoinette Troupe-Gardner.

Attend for free, or choose your price.

RCTT History: 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. 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:

VIDEOS / LIST of Previous Productions:

With support from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Larson Legacy Foundation, and the California Arts Council.

Sunday, November 12 at 2 pm and Saturday, November 18 at 7 pm

FIRESIDE GATHERING, a collection of stories told by artists Juan Carlos Meza, Joey Pagaduan, and guests, including Anthony Jefferson (AJ). Gather around our imaginary fire to share the ancient art of storytelling.


“STORIES OF BIG BEN: JOURNEY FROM ADDICTION TO HEALING” – Finally, live and in person at 514 Fourth Street, San Rafael.


Long-time Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe members Pamela Ann Keane and Tony Cyprien present their one-person shows.


Relative Shakespeare, written and performed by Losdini Meza

Ancestry Relationships, written and performed by Ray Ray Wooden

William, written and performed by Richie Morris

With music by Quentin Blue with Billy Harwood, Dwight Krizman & Richie Morris

How have our relations moved us in our lives?  How have our family members, ancestors (both known and unknown) and others in our life shaped who we are? In what ways have our relationships helped or hindered us? How can we choose to move forward into our futures with a sense of freedom and empowerment, given whatever we have experienced in the past?  These are some questions we will be exploring in this performance through theater pieces crafted by our ensemble based on their life experiences.


“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

“Stories from the Deep” with Tony Cyprien , Pamela Ann Keane, William Palmer, Trung Tong, and John Windham
June 7, 13, & 14, 2020

“Playback Theatre” with Tony Cyprien , Jamal Duckworth, Suryaya Keating, Pamela Ann Keane, Zoe Gardner, Mitzi,
Joey Mason, and John Neblett
January 25, 2020

“Breaking Through”

May 31, June 1, June 15, 2019
Plus tour performances to Hana School for Boys and Marin’s Community School

Members of the 2019 Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe discuss their performance, Breaking Through

“Seeds of Time”
June 9 and 10, 2018

“Changes: Stories of Struggle, Hope & Growth”

June 2 and 3, 2017
Changes Flyer 2017

“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.
Diamonds Flyer

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 request to attend a Shakespeare in Prison performance, click here.

To make a donation in support of Shakespeare for Social Justice, click here.