Rehabilitation

Mule Creek prison hosts first Marin Shakespeare performance

Men wear togas, while one gestures to the audience.
André Bautista, as Marcus Brutus, speaks at Caesar’s funeral during Marin Shakespeare’s production of Julius Caesar.

By Lt. F. Jacobo, Community Resources Manager

The inaugural Marin Shakespeare Performance of Julius Caesar recently took place at Mule Creek State Prison (or MCSP).

The inmates on Facility D and E participated in a 32-week learning workshop where they studied the famous work of William Shakespeare. The Marin Shakespeare Company, led by Sharon, Julianna, and Tina, conducted intensive training with the 23 inmates weekly on the facility.

With over 100 inmates signing up for the initial start-up of the Shakespeare company, the inmates were selected after participating in a series of interviews conducted by the company staff. The 23 inmates were taught insight into William Shakespeare but also insight into themselves.

Four women stand in prison yard.
Members of the Marin Shakespeare Company on Facility D before Mule Creek’s inaugural play, Julius Caesar, in May. From left are Christina Rutsch, Sharon Robinson, Julianna Hess and Lesley Currier.

Daniel Johnson, who played the role of Cassius, said the character was an echo of himself.

“I was Cassius when I was on the streets. I was a manipulator and I did not care about other’s feelings. I have always had problems expressing myself, but now it is much different. This experience opened up a whole new world for me and gave me the ability to express myself in ways I did not know I could.”

Andre Bautista, who played Brutus, admits acting is a way for him to connect to another reality.

“The stress of being in the system has caused my emotions to roller coaster way too often. This program has given me an outlet to vent and express those emotions in an artistic and positive way.”

The Marin Shakespeare Company began serving CDCR in 2003 at San Quentin State Prison. They are currently in over 13 CDCR prisons, encouraging social justice through the arts. They continue to expand and rehabilitate incarcerated individuals, at-risk youth, and have a direct theater program for those who have recently been released from incarceration.

To learn more and see videos of past Shakespeare for Social Justice Performances, visit MarinShakespeare.org (link opens new tab, may not be accessible from a CDCR computer).

Men in blue shirts stand with volunteers.
The cast of Julius Caesar. From left, standing, David Gray, Gerardo Ulloa, John McClintock, Robert Ortega, Albert Bell, Larry Irons, Franklin Lee, Dan Johnson, Marc Artieres, Martin Shelley, Steven Humphries, Rande Crissinger, Tina R., Luke Hasler, Julianna C., Tony Johnson, Alfredo Rodríguez and Richard Bernal. Kneeling are André Bautista, Donny Ivy, Mayson Meares, Frank Lanear, Darren Dennison. Not pictured are Sharon R and, Brandon Holm.