“Men at some time are masters of their fates.”

– Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

“These men cannot re-do the day that sealed their fate, but they have become better men while they are serving their time.”

– SBB Audience Member

"The group dynamics have brought about a positive atmosphere and great moments of self-reflection. I was blessed to be a part of someone else’s growth and desire to want to know and be more."

– SBB Veteran/Journeymen Mentor

Shakespeare Behind Bars

Founded in 1995, Shakespeare Behind Bars is one of the longest running, continuously operating, art, theatre, Shakespeare, and original writing prison programs in the US.

For 26+ years Shakespeare Behind Bars has offered theatrical encounters with personal and social issues to incarcerated, post-incarcerated, and at-risk communities, allowing them to develop life skills that will ensure their successful integration into society. The youth and adults we serve experience a powerful personal transformation as a result, building life skills, emotional intelligence and coping strategies essential to successfully re-integrate into society.

6%
SBB participant recidivism rate
60%
National avg. recidivism rate

Donate & Support our mission

We rely on the generosity of our supporters. To help us continue our services for inmates and youth, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

Donate Now

Attend a Performance

When we resume in-person performances, public audience members have the opportunity to submit requests and required security information to attend a Shakespeare Behind Bars performance inside prison. Check back here for updates and contact us to learn more.

Contact us

Watch the Documentary

The Philomath Films documentary about Shakespeare Behind Bars premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. You can view the film online.

More Info