Social Justice Prison Programs

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
• Acting for Veterans
• Drama for Re-Entry
• Shakespeare for At-Risk Youth

Marin Shakespeare Company currently offers programs in 13 California State Prisons and Alameda Juvenile Hall.

San Quentin State Prison, Marin
Starting in 2003, Marin Shakespeare Company has offered weekly Shakespeare classes at San Quentin Prison. From humble beginnings – 3 students in the first class – the program has become extremely popular as men reap the benefits of personal growth through Shakespeare.  We now have two Shakespeare groups, each of which performs an annual performance of a Shakespeare play. The men also write and perform autobiographical theatre pieces inspired by themes from Shakespeare, a Parallel Play which we call “Stories from San Quentin.”
Since 2014, we have also worked with incarcerated Veterans each year to create an hour-long play about issues of importance to them, in partnership with Veterans Healing Veterans from the Inside Out. Our H-unit Acting Class gives men on H unit an opportunity to explore their self-expression, creativity, and teamwork.

Solano State Prison, Vacaville
Starting in 2014, we offer Shakespeare programs on both Level II and Level III yards, as well as Drama for Re-Entry, which uses drama therapy inspired exercises to allow men to “rehearse” how they want to act when they return home.

Folsom Women’s Prison, Folsom
Starting in 2015, we have offered Shakespeare and Drama for Re-Entry for incarcerated women.

High Desert State Prison, Susanville
Starting in 2017, we offer two Shakespeare groups on D-Yard, Level IV (maximum security). The program has allowed incarcerated men to engage with Shakespeare and how it relates to their own lives. We have also led a Shakespeare group on C-Yard.

California Health Care Facility, Stockton
Starting in 2017, we offer a Shakespeare program at California’s newest state prison, which serves Level II and III with physical and mental health issues.

California Medical Facility, Vacaville
Starting in 2017, we offer a Shakespeare program at this institution, serving men on Level II and Level III.

Deuel Vocational Institution, Tracy
Starting in 2017, we offer a Shakespeare program for Level II and III at this home of the “Gladiators”.

Old Folsom State Prison, Folsom
Starting in 2017, we offer a Shakespeare program for Level II and III inmates at this iconic California State Prison.

O.H. Close and N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facilities
Starting in 2017, we began offering programming at these two youth prisons, led by Dameion Brown and Lesley Currier.

Mule Creek State Prison, Ione
Starting in 2018, we offer a Shakespeare program B and D yards.

Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, Blythe
Starting in 2019, we offer a Shakespeare program for this prison in Southern California, near the Arizzona border.

Ironwood State Prison, Blythe
Starting in 2019, we offer a Shakespeare program for this prison in Southern California, near the Arizzona border.

Sierra Conservation Center, Jamestown
Starting in 2020, we offer a Shakespeare program for this prison in Tuolumne County.

 

To see videos of Shakespeare performances, “Stories from San Quentin” performances, Veterans plays, Creative Writing from the Inside, and photographs, and to hear 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 find out about how to train to work with our programs, click here.

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