All Hands on Stage

AHOS project puts a sensitive and not widely-known issue in the focus of attention, the one dealing with the social utility that Theatre inside prisons can create, as a real rehabilitative act for the people involved. AHOS wants to build and apply good practices in the prison environment for vocational training and job placement in the theatrical field, i.e. to create training paths for actors, technicians, costume designers, stagehands, etc. for the benefit of inmates and to support their reintegration into civil society.

The project was created to address the situation in which most inmates find themselves once their sentence is over, i.e. the difficulty in applying the knowledge they learnt in prison and in finding work. The lack of tools to reintegrate into society, and thus to build stability, is a very fertile ground for recidivism. We want to act on this fragility, supporting the delicate transition from inside to outside.

This project is not about therapeutic methods. It has nothing in common with the pietistic approach to which Prison Theatre activities are often compared, that unfairly sees creative and social action as opponents. This project brings together professional artists who approach human beings inside prisons in a professional way. This project aims to rebuild dignity through learning a job. It is based on the assumption that everyone has the right to have a job, one that dignifies them and for which they can be responsible. It is about seeing theatre as an opportunity to learn, act and apply truly useful knowledge.

AHOS link the worlds of theatre and prison, establishing a profoundly collaborative connection between their directions, both working towards making prisons an increasingly re-educational institution.


The overall objective of the AHOS project is to:
– develop and pilot a training and support path for the professionalization of inmates in the theatrical field (technical, scenography, costume, lighting);
– strengthen and enhance the skills of professional operators who already carry out theatrical activities in prison, through a comparison at European level;
– develop and pilot a training course for cultural operators who intend to work in prison, aimed at spreading and increasing the good practices of prison theatre throughout the country;
– raise awareness among the theatre audience and main stakeholders on the importance of this new career path not only for the individual prisoner, but for society as a whole.
To general objective will be obtained by addressing the following specific objectives:
– To develop a transnational training path to further strengthen the capacity and professionalize cultural operators working in prison with theatre, building on the past experience of the FREEWAY Creative Europe project.
– To jointly develop a support scheme for facilitating prisoners’ path towards rehabilitation through training, professionalizing and facilitating their job placement in theatre professions (acting, directing, scenographer, lights technician, sound technician, etc.).
– To pilot the support scheme in n. 5 Countries, both in theatre acting and technical professions.
– To pilot awareness raising actions in n. 5 Countries, targeted at the theatre audience but also to key stakeholders (policy makers), promoting the key messages of the project and making prisoners supported the protagonists.
Our project consortium is composed by six organisations from 5 Countries, four from the European Union (Italy, Germany, Poland and Greece) and one from the Western Balkans (Serbia). We involved both partners with past experience in prison theatre and partners that are programming to start this activity