Shakespeare for Social Justice the power of theatre

What We Believe

We believe that the power of theatre can benefit just about anyone, from youth to adults to people with special needs. Theatre skills are life skills – the ability to focus, to work together as a team, to communicate expressively, to be in contact with our emotions, to combine discipline with creative inspiration, to problem-solve individually and as part of a group, to celebrate our victories, and learn from our mistakes.

Theatre breaks down social barriers, creates friendships, reduces stress, and builds bridges between people who might not otherwise have had reasons to interact and learn about each other.

Theatre teaches us empathy, as we imagine other people’s lives. It teaches us to recognize what is similar and what is different between our own lives and the lives of other real and imagined people. It encourages to us reflect about our place in society and in history. The study of acting is the study of the choices we make – who we choose to be, how we choose to act in the world, how we choose to spend our time.

Particularly in an institutional setting, theatre classes can become a life-changing and life-affirming practice. Many of the people who end up in an institution have not had as many opportunities to benefit from theatre and art instruction and practice, so encounter the power of theatre as something new and perspective-shifting. For this reason, teaching in institutions can have tremendous personal rewards for students and teachers alike.

What We Offer

We offer Drama Therapy inspired programs that give participants opportunities for Shakespeare Study and Performance. Exercises foster self-reflection, self-expression, cooperation, compassion, and goal-setting. We practice being human together. Shakespeare offers many opportunities to explore human motivation, interpersonal interactions, and deep thinking about the human condition. Programs include:

• Shakespeare in Prison
• Shakespeare for At-Risk Youth
• The Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe

• Teacher Training for people interested in learning our methodology – this is recommended for anyone interested in volunteering with one of our programs. We offer Internship Opportunities to volunteer and learn – ask us how to get involved!

Shakespeare in Prison Overview

Additional Information
Biographies & Key Personnel

Articles about Shakespeare for Social Justice on our Blog

FACTS ABOUT PRISON – courtesy of Prison to Employment Connection

The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Research about the Effectiveness of Arts in Corrections:

William James Association

Prison Arts Coalition

Prison Arts Resource Project – This website includes a list of evidence-based research on the effectiveness of Arts in Corrections including groundbreaking studies by Dr. Larry Brewster based on programs in California State Prisons including Marin Shakespeare Company.

Brewster, L. (2014). California Prison Arts: A Quantitative Evaluation. Justice Policy Journal, 11(4).

To see videos of Shakespeare 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