The mission of the Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble is to bring our students into the world of “Theatre” using Shakespeare’s ageless language and eloquent dramatic insight into people and events. With the support of professional mentors they are able to realise their own special talents and perform with style and substance. Barriers of ethnicities are erased as our Ensemble explores the 17th Century world of the Bard.
The Inner City Shakespeare Project was founded in 2011. This innovative and unique program brought together students from George Washington High School under the Artistic Direction and tutelage of Dr. Melanie Andrews, Producers Paul Heller and Katy Haber and mentors from the British theater community and industry professionals.In collaboration with LA County Parks and Recreation and Bafta LA, this partnership culminated in a public performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Ladera Heights Amphitheater.
The groundbreaking journey of this unusual group of players was documented in Mel Stuart’s “SHAKESPEARE IN WATTS”, highlighting an engaging cast of students, teachers and mentors as they worked together to learn the language of the Bard, to create an exciting and moving production.In 2012 George Washington High School presented a subsequent production of A Midsummer Nights Dream.
In 2013 The Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble was incorporated, and because of the phenomenal success of those past productions, and the impact they had on the lives of the students, the LAUSD asked The Ensemble to expand the programme to other schools. This culminated in two separate productions of Twelfth Night At George Washington High School and LA High School and two performances at the FigAt7th Downtown Festival on July 27th 2013, sponsored by Arts Brookfield.
In 2014 the Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble is proud to present A Midsummer Nights Dream at Grand Park on May 4th.