We’re celebrating 10 years of The Phoenix Players Theatre Group!


Since 2009 PPTG has:

  • devised and performed 5 theater pieces for over 400 people

  • welcomed 28 members

  • filmed and released a documentary

  • created a Prison Theater class for Cornell students

  • been referenced in 17 articles

  • worked with 11 past and present volunteers

  • collaborated with 30 student participants and filmmakers


In honor of our anniversary, please consider contributing to help PPTG do even more in the years to come.


The PPTG Motto

Each evening’s workshop begins with the PPTG Motto, written by one of the founding members of the group, Michael Shane Hale

We are a community of transformation.

Through the power of self discovery,

We create the opportunity

To know and grow

Into ourselves.


“In 2009 Michael Rhynes and Clifford Williamson, incarcerated men in the Auburn Correctional Facility in central New York, founded the Auburn Phoenix Players. Shortly thereafter, the two renamed the company to form The Phoenix Players Theatre Group (PPTG). They did this because they both realized that, while they were “in” Auburn, they were not “of” Auburn. In the founders’ own words, “PPTG is a grassroots program developed by and forincarcerated persons and communities in a maximum security prison. It is a transformative theatre community, which utilizes theatre to reconnect incarcerated people to their full humanity” (Phoenix Players Theatre Group 2014a).” -Excerpt from “Where the Walls Contain Everything but the Sky: The Birth and Growth of the Phoenix Players Theatre Group”


From the Blog…

“The feedback - from my workshop peers, the seasoned Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) members, and outside volunteer - was very, very positive.I had just finished performing Becker’s monologue from August Wilson’s Jitney. John, an RTA member of several years, said, ‘I liked how you annunciated each word, emphasizing important syllables. Great diction.’ …” Read More