The Young Shakespeareans
"If I can do Shakespeare, I can do anything!"
The Young Shakespeareans program empowers underserved neighborhoods in South Los Angeles through partnerships with its public elementary schools. We throw down the gauntlet and set the bar high, inspiring each school’s 4th and 5th graders to reach beyond their own perceived limits in an experience that is demanding and magical.
In meeting the challenge of understanding a Shakespearean work, the students explore their literacy skills and expand their self-confidence. Through exercises in self-awareness and presentation, they learn to reliably access and express their abilities. By mounting a theatrical production, they experience the demands of mutual respect and teamwork. The fusion of these elements creates an opportunity for “academics in action” that is powerful, exciting, and formative.
The Young Shakespeareans program establishes a foundational trifecta of self-esteem, cooperation, and possibility that endures long after the students have taken their final bows. Siblings and younger students strive to become eligible to participate when they come of age. And because our workshops, rehearsals, and performances take place in the local school auditorium, the principals, teachers, administrators, parents, and neighbors in our audiences consistently thank us for helping to foster the sense of the school as a vibrant, relevant home for its students, families, and the surrounding community.
Thus, our motto, “If I can do Shakespeare, I can do anything!”