On February 7, 2012, Shakespeare in Prison consisted of one volunteer and a 10-woman ensemble at Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility. Since then, nearly 300 incarcerated people have been part of SIP's ensembles—including the men's program at Parnall Correctional Facility, established in July 2017. Our facilitation team now has many years of combined experience.
Your support is crucial as we continue to develop and expand this program, continuing our work with alumni post-release through Shakespeare Reclaimed and, we hope, reaching more people in Michigan's correctional facilities.
"You don’t know how many times I would’ve went to seg, could’ve went to seg—but I wouldn’t let myself... This Shakespeare group has strengthened me. You guys are my comfort zone... Thank you all for not judging me. You don’t understand the impact you have on my life.”
“[The facilitators] fostered that environment for us to be exactly who we are, exactly where we are… I get a clear lens to look at myself in a new light, and I want to thank you guys for that. You helped make me a better me.”
“It felt good to say to my people, I’m proud of myself, because I’ve never been one to commit... This here is showing me that I just completed something. Completing the play allowed me to follow through... I gave it everything I had, and I came out stronger. Better. ”
“This is about so much more than Shakespeare. We need that honesty, trust, accountability and teamwork… Not to mention the Shakespeare. I can’t tell you how much I love Shakespeare. It’s so accurate to our experience here–he uses the perfect words.”
“I never realized I could grow as a person. I never realized that I had a future. I didn’t know that I had a future before, and now I know I do. I owe so much to Shakespeare in Prison. If I was given this much in a few years, how much more could I grow?”
“After this, I have self-esteem, self-worth, accomplishment – I believe in myself on a lot of different levels… I feel like I can live a different life and be the person I want to be. It seemed like a dream before… You guys are the rock. People let you down, but Shakespeare don't."