Romania's drama festival to rehabilitate prison inmates

A social reintegration initiative in Romania, offers inmates a chance to perform and audiences a chance to accept them.

| | Arts & Culture, Europe, Romania

Bucharest, Romania - Men and women from six prisons in Romania condemned for crimes such as drug-dealing, theft, attempted murder and tax evasion, took to the stage of one of Bucharest's leading theatres as part of the MultiArt Festival for Inmates.

In its seventh year, the festival tries to help the process of reintegration into society as prisoners approach their release date.

The main goal of the festival is for the public to meet the inmates and overcome their prejudices.

Before her death, Dana Cenusa, the project's founder, famously said: "The inmates don't belong to the prison, the society is the one that gives birth to crime, it's the one that maintains it and is the only one that can fix this … there are a lot of people in the penitentiary who are young, who are very poor, who are condemned for theft, who are uneducated. There should be more attention, energy and money spent on education, and then people would have the tools to give them the opportunity to make better choices." 

For the past two months, inmates have worked together with directors, actors and teachers to prepare plays such as Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Follow Andreea Campeanu on Twitter: @andreeac

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