Rikers Island

Stella Adler Studio of Acting at Rikers Island

“You’ve helped me regain my voice.”

The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is the leading arts partner at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. Every week of the year a cadre of highly trained artists – including teachers, writers, voice and speech experts, movement coaches and directors – visit multiple facilities to reach hundreds of inmates annually. Free theater programs are offered to several populations. A minimum of two teams are deployed each week with as many as five teams simultaneously offering programs to as many different groups of students. The goal of this program is to empower students through the study of theater craft. In this setting, this means our aim is to connect or re-connect students with the fullness of their own humanity.

Participants speak eloquently about the program and its affect:

This acting class means more to me than words can say. This whole legal process has left me feeling disenfranchised and mute, but the rehearsal process allows me to move and express myself to be free and recapture my voice. For all of it, the laughter, joy, camaraderie and confidence, I am, and always will be, grateful. Karen

This project has created new self-esteem, a new outlook on life and a sense of self-worth. Thank you for all the support on such an important project as this one. Yolanda

To me, this program means FREEDOM, in a world filled with oppression. Kelly

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