For years, Patrick Keating was afraid to tell people about his three stints in prison, but the former Montreal resident is now telling his story in a one-man show in Vancouver.
Keating spent 12 years serving three sentences for fraud and armed robbery. Partway through a sentence, he was transferred from a Quebec prison to Abbotsford's Mastqui Penitentiary, where he took his first theatre course.
Keating obtained a theatre degree at Simon Fraser University after he was released from prison. While it's been 20 years since he was released, it took him about that long to finally decide to write about his prison experience.
"I was sort of scared to let it out because I thought maybe I'd be ostracized by the community. People will judge me on what I did and not really who I was," he told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.
"But I guess I'm getting on in years, and I figured if people take exception to what I did, then that's on them.
"I've paid for what I did and I think I've shown myself to be a stable, honest person since I've gotten out."
Inside/Out: A Prison Memoir follows Keating's journey as a child growing up in Montreal, getting into drugs and crime, entering the juvenile detention system at the age of 16, and serving a total of three sentences.
Keating says he hopes his play will humanize people in prison.
"I'm not relinquishing people of their responsibility for what they did," he said.
Inside/Out: A Prison Memoir plays at the Little Mountain Gallery in Vancouver from April. 2 to 12.
To hear the full interview with Patrick Keating, listen to the audio labelled: Actor shares prison experience in solo performance.