Producers Paul Heller and Katy Haber were fortunate to bring on board the expertise and artistry of the legendary film maker Mel Stuart. Mel’s final directorial tour-de-force charts the journey of the students, under the directorship of Dr. Melanie Andrews, with the support and mentorship of British Actors and industry professionals.
Shakespeare In Watts, covered the auditions, casting, rehearsals, final preparations and actual performances, of this engaging cast of students, their teachers and mentors, as they worked together to learn the language of the Bard culminating in a public performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The Bard’s tale of inter-family warfare is a story that the youth of George Washington Prep High School were readily able to relate to.
This life changing experience for everyone, resulted in the barriers of race and culture fading away, once the mentors and students were immersed in Shakespeare’s world. They all discovered unexpected gifts within themselves and revelled in the discovery. In the process they were inspired to change their lives in positive directions. Gang ties were cut and college became a much desired vocation. Fear of failure was banished. Most of the student performers are in college now, carrying on the sense of accomplishment that they achieved by their experiences as well as discovering the joy and pride that came with their participation in that production of Romeo and Juliet..
In 2013 Shakespeare In Watts premiered at the Pan African Film Festival