Rikers Island has quite a rap sheet these days, but for many of its female inmates, it’s a whole other song and dance—especially when Kate Mulgrew, who stars in the popular Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” comes by.

New York’s Stella Adler Studio of Acting has been coaching women there to act, dance and write and read poetry. So far, 300 women have completed the six-month program since it launched in December. The first round of classes culminated with a moving performance called, “Our Circle,” which played to an audience of fellow prisoners, guards and guests who gave them a standing ovation.Feast of Crispian actor-veterans

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Mulgrew was in that first audience, and was so moved by the performance she met with prisoners individually afterwards.

rikers theater performers two women Stella Adler Studio of Acting facebookRikers womens’ uniforms are grey, but they were permitted to don pink t-shirts for the show.

The women say the opportunity to express themselves through theater definitely helps with their rehabilitation.

“I can honestly say this program has given me my human back,” inmate Latanya Jones told the Oneida Daily Dispatch. “It’s made me remember that this is not forever. It’s just for right now.”

(READ more in the New York Daily News) – Photos from Stella Adler Studio of Acting, FB

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