It can be hard to imagine that someone who spent most of their youth in prison, is today an award-winning actor.

Charles S. Dutton, Tony award-winning stage actor, TV and movie actor is currently on tour to perform a narrative one-man show about his experiences growing up and being in and out of prison, titled, “From Jail to Yale: Serving Time on Stage.”

When he was a young man, Dutton, know as ‘Roc,’ was sentenced for manslaughter, and then robbery and various other crimes. While spending time in solitary confinement, he picked up a play and it changed his life forever. Once released from solitary, Dutton began a drama group in prison and learned three very important aspects of life through drama – perseverance, discipline, and endurance.

“Simply listen to good advice. Simply listen to positive people. The minute you start listening to positive people all of that negative karma goes away. If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in the penitentiary then don’t do the things that get you there. Now I know that’s easy to say. You know what. That’s the struggle you have.”

While in prison, Dutton was determined to get an education, turn his life around and help others find self-worth. He received his GED and a two-year college degree while in prison. After release, he earned his BA in theater and drama, and from there was accepted into the extremely prestigious Yale School of Drama.

Dutton is passionate about sharing his message with at-risk youth and incarcerated youth. He believes that you can turn your life around with hard-work, discipline, and a positive attitude.

Proceeds from his one-man narrative, “From Jail to Yale: Serving Time on Stage,” go to the Dream Academy. The Dream Academy helps children of incarcerated parents build skills, characters, and dreams for their future.

Charles S. Dutton is traveling the country and performing his show in various cities.

About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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