Canadian Consulate visits Playwrights Project at RJD

Men and women stand in front of a large mural depicting agriculture and a lake.
Representatives of the Canadian Consulate visited RJ Donovan's rehabilitative programs.

By Lt. Edgar Garcia

At Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, what seemed like a typical Monday evening turned into a production of teamwork, entertainment and connections between inmates, staff, volunteers, and special guests from the Canadian Consulate as the Playwrights Project’s Out of the Yard performed readings of plays developed through a 16-week play-writing series. 

The performances were a result of a collaboration between the California Arts Council and CDCR. This partnership continues to demonstrate the value of the arts as a form of rehabilitation for the inmate population, while growing through experiences or observations and tapping into their unique imagination. 

The creativity of participants in the Out of the Yard program on Facility E developed short plays focused on religion, hardships, family matters, and even a software virus, demonstrating the imaginations of the individuals invested in the program. Visitors witnessed dramatic scenes full of emotion and listened to some rap songs.   

“We would like to give special thanks the individuals involved in the support and implementation of the program: Warden Marcus Pollard, AW Benyard, PIO Lt. Garcia, and the Community Resource team,” said organizers.

Prison inmates perform on instruments.
RJD Facility E inmates perform music for the visitors as part of the Playwrights Project.