The Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble (ICSE) brings at-risk students into the world of theatre, using Shakespeare’s ageless language and eloquent dramatic insight into people and events. Founded in 2010, this innovative and unique program has brought together hundreds of diverse students from South Central Los Angeles: one of the nation’s most economically challenged areas. Barriers of ethnicities are erased as our Ensemble explores the 17th Century world of the Bard, resulting in a life-changing impact that can be measured far beyond the scope of production and theatrical performance. Under Artistic Director, Dr. Melanie Andrews, with mentors and industry professionals, hundreds of talented young people joyfully discover their special talents and perform with style before audiences reaching more than 5000 people. In a community blighted by violence, through ICSE, lives are changed, gang ties are cut. More than 85% of the student performers are in college, carrying their accomplishment far beyond the 4th wall of the theatre into a lasting impact for the future.
Programs begin with casting audition dates around LA, reaching out to disadvantaged students from Elementary Schools, High Schools and the youth acting community within the LAUSD school district. Once cast, rehearsals and theatrical education will begin.
“Taming of the Shrew” in Culver City Comedia Style / In The Round – for advanced students
April 24th in the Rotunda Room in the Veteran’s Memorial Building
May 2nd Grand Park Gala
May 10th Monteith Park
May 17th Celebrity Centre
May 24th Ted Watkins Park
“8 by 10” ~ Eight One Act Plays directed by Ensemble Members November 14 and 15 at the Los Angeles Shakespeare Center. 7:30 PM. Free!
“Shakespeare for Kids” ~ The Children’s Shakespeare Festival at Two Elementary Schools Annalee Public School in Carson and 93rd Street Elementary School in Los Angeles. ~ SEE a documentary film about this program : “Shakespeare at Full S.T.E.A.M.”
How You Can Help
This year we are expanding the number of productions which will be enable us to engage even more students from the entire city. We are seeking financial contributions as well as volunteers and mentors for our programs. By supporting ICSE you can sustain this program to change young lives and breathe renewed life into Shakespeare’s legacy.
Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble
Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble was recently featured on County of Los Angeles Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ website:
What Actors are Saying About Shakespeare
Chiwetel Ejiofor from “WHY SHAKESPEARE?” by Larry Bridges
Michael York from “WHY SHAKESPEARE?” by Larry Bridges