Shakespeare in Stony Mountain brings the Bard into the classroom at Stony Mountain, the oldest federal prison in Canada. Participants explore the themes in Shakespeare’s most famous plays through discussion and performance. It is a powerful program aimed at helping participants to build self-confidence and the capacity for self-discovery through exposure to arts education. All who complete the course receive a Grade 10 drama credit towards their high school diploma.

After a short hiatus due to the pandemic, program facilitator Claire Therese returned in 2023 for our eighth year running the program.

“I must confess, I was a little skeptical when I first started the program, but I quickly warmed up to it and started looking forward to coming to every session. This is my 3rd federal sentence, and I am currently serving an 8-year sentence, and this is the most positive productive thing I’ve been able to be a part of.” -Ian


“To the people that funded the ‘Shakespeare program’, thank you very much.  I enjoyed it, I feel more confident in myself, and I learned some pretty cool stuff.  I admire the dedication of the program facilitator, who was patient, understanding and informative. I practiced hard for my monologue that I presented for the guests that attended … And they applauded me once I was done. I didn’t feel judged or uncomfortable at all.  Please continue to inspire and educate.  Thanx again!!” – Jesse


“At first I wasn’t really interested in this program.  But the more I started showing up the more I got into it. The reason why I like this was because I got to do a part in front of a crowd, which made me nervous, but pulled through.  If there was another class like this I would participate again and recommend this Shakespeare class for others in the institution.  I also would like to thank (facilitators) Claire and Arne for doing this.  They’re the best.”  -Mason


“I am writing you to let you know how the Shakespeare class has affected and helped me.  This is the first time I have ever had a chance to do something like this in my life.  I dropped out of school at a young age. When I got to the class I realized I was going to have to remember lines and act in front of people.  I wasn’t too comfortable with this at first and wanted to drop out of the class.  Some of my peers encouraged me to stay and complete the class, and I did.  I had fun and it gave me the chance to learn something new and a chance to try something I may never had a chance to do in life again.”  -Jimmy