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Drama Therapy with Incarcerated, Criminalized and Justice-Impacted Populations
  • ISSN: 2054-7668
  • E-ISSN: 2054-7676


This article analyses a structured approach to facilitating Shakespeare groups in prison that interweaves a trauma-informed lens with four critical principles developed by Marin Shakespeare Company. The CREW principles are (1) Connection, (2) Reflection, (3) Expression and (4) Witnessing. We describe the work we have been doing for sixteen years with Marin Shakespeare Company facilitating Shakespeare classes and performances in various California prisons with incarcerated men, women and trans-women. Throughout the article, a blend of theory, guiding quotes and case examples from participants is used to demonstrate how the study and performance of Shakespeare in prison, when rooted in a trauma-informed lens and supported by the four principles mentioned above, is helpful in healing trauma and fostering social and emotional well-being amongst individuals who are incarcerated.


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