OnTRAC

making theatre in prisons to improve social skills, Build confidence, and engage with creativity again

OnTRAC

 
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Who are we

Ontario Theatre and Rehabilitation through Arts in Corrections

Started by Artistic Director Jill Kooymans in 2016, OnTRAC specializes in theatre work within the criminal justice system. Through programs like the Children's Theatre Project and the Beaver Creek Creators' Workshop, OnTRAC facilitators teach theatre skills and push the inmates to create and perform for their peers and families. 

 

Request a program from 

OnTRAC 

OnTRAC facilitators are available for workshops and speaking engagements. Topics include, but are not limited to: the consequence of making choices, bullying, inside the Canadian criminal justice system and alternatives to violence.

 
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Testimonials

Activities like this really help nurture that thing inside of you. I hope I can lead by example and the other men get involved.
— https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/11/05/can-a-theatre-program-help-rehabilitate-ontario-prisoners.html
I would recommend that other institutions look at developing theatre-based interventions. I believe that the performance of the theatre group for the families has a positive bonding effect that both offenders and visitors will remember for a long time.

I believe it introduces the offender to another form of positive expression that can help them become part of their community again (should their hometown not have community theatre they could actually start such projects in their respective neighbourhoods). This was a great team building exercise requiring the offenders to work together toward a common goal - a benchmark of community functioning.
— Brian Cooney (Social Programs Officer at BCI Minimum)
I never thought I would see men get up and dance in front of other men...this is the power of Jill!
— Gil (participant at BCI Minimum)
The skills I have learned will help me to move forward with helping others in the same way...my experience in this theatre workshop helped me literally come out of my shell!
— Errol (participant at BCI Minimum)
Since I am shy by nature, drama is one course I always avoided...this program has forced me to try and conquer my fears
— Pierre (participant at BCI minimum)


Working in Corrections

As facilitators working in corrections, we strive to familiarize ourselves with the security measures and management of the institution before beginning a project. First and foremost, we are guests in the facility. We will respect the rules and regulations put in place by Correctional Service Canada in all programs we provide. 

 

previous productions