Can you imagine this scenario – actors in a theater show who are murders and rapists? A new theater show named Sliding Doors which has been running lately as part of a local theater festival is performed solely by a group of young prisoners. These young men, all of whom have been sentenced for long periods of time for committing serious crimes, have been issued a special permission to act and sing in a show composed by them and inspired by their life stories.

Every time the prisoners leave the prison premises for the theater they are escorted by a special unit of prison guards, one guard per each prisoner. They are led handcuffed by their hands and feet until they reach the theater.

Being a sap for the victim’s side, the woman who was attacked or the boy who was beaten, I am usually appalled to hear about rapists and abusers who often do hardly two years in prison. Nevertheless, one must consider the negative effects of prison as well: this cruel institution creates monsters that have nothing to lose when they get out. These guys are only 17. Statistics show that most of the youth that serves time in prison are likely to return. This theater show gives these youngsters a chance to face their inner demons and develop a sense of value for themselves and the outside world. A groundbreaking initiative, the show has won a first place already and may be heading for more awards as it continues to touch audiences and stir conversations.