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Criminal Acts: Inside Prison Theatre

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In an environment where emotions are closely guarded, the decision to act on stage is a tough one. But members of the William Head on Stage (WHoS), an inmate-owned and operated theatre society, have successfully braved the public spotlight, performing for thousands of theatre fans over the past 21 years.

Criminal Acts: Inside Prison Theatre takes us inside William Head penitentiary, near Victoria, British Columbia, where preparations are underway for WhoS' annual spring production. Juxtaposed with scenes of rehearsals, stagecraft and creative collaboration are the daily lock-downs, bed-checks, and other jarring realities of prison life. These two worlds intersect in the life of Paul, an inmate who is called to make an impassioned appeal at a parole hearing, while preparing for a challenging, leading role in Mario Fratti's The Cage.

Filled with dramatic moments both real and staged, Criminal Acts: Inside Prison Theatre challenges us to rethink the purpose of prison and the transformative power of theatre.

2002, 47 min 13 s

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Bronze Plaque Award - Category: Arts
International Film and Video Festival
November 1 2003, Columbus - USA

Award for Best Documentary
Film Festival
February 7 to 16 2003, Victoria - Canada

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