The works of Shakespeare are filled with song. As always, students will spend their days discovering Shakespeare using a variety of physical and vocal disciplines – with the ultimate purpose always to invoke the creative spirit that exists in every child. But for this special week, we will pay special emphasis to the plays where his words are accompanied with music and dancing.
Participants need not be singers/dancers – each child will have the opportunity to explore within his/her comfort zone, and encouraged to reach outside of it when ready!
March 9th through March 31st, 2019 All performances are held at the Lyric Theatre – 520 N. La Brea, Los Angeles 90036 (map)
As You Like It
Two worlds…Power-hungry Duke Frederick runs his kingdom on paranoia and mistrust – his reign is dark and oppressive. His brother, Duke Senior fled that world (to save his life), but left his daughter behind. When the two Dukes’ daughters, along with their trusty jester, escape to follow him to the Forest of Arden, it’s like they’ve landed in Oz – they discover a colorful Carnival of eccentric artists just looking to love and be loved!
Saturday, March 9 at 2 pm Sunday, March 10 at 2 pm Saturday, March 16 at 4:30 pm Sunday, March 17 at 2:00 pm
You have probably not seen Cymbeline, and if you have, you have NEVER seen our Cracked Fairy Tale Version, complete with a two-foot high Storybook and all sorts of other surprises. Mistaken identity? Of course. Girls dressed as boys? Duh. Long lost family members reuniting? Aren’t there always? Young love torn apart by class issues? Hello?! Machiavellian tricksters? Goes without saying. Epic Battles? Um, yeah …Jupiter descending from Olympus in the last act last to lay it out? Have you met Shakespeare?!
Saturday, March 16 at 1:00 pm Sunday, March 17 at 5:00 pm Saturday, March 23 at 4:00 pm Sunday, March 24 at 1:00 pm
Henry IV (One and Two) is so much more than a History Play – it’s really a Humanity Play: a day in the life of the Haves and Have Nots, a King’s regrets from his sickbed, Good Son/Errant Son/Redeemed Son, a Father’s Cowardice, a Son’s Overcompensation, Substitute Families, the funny, bittersweet antics of Pub Life… and those Spell-Casting, Tree-Hugging Welsh…come on! Our Elder Players (age 14-17) are by now, quite excellent at this stuff, as some have been at it since age six. Come witness these young masters – for some, it will be their last performance with LADC before heading off to college.
Saturday, March 23 at 12 noon Sunday, March 24 at 4:30 pm Saturday, March 30 at 2:00 pm Sunday, March 31 at 2:00 pm
Four young men decide to make a pledge to avoid young women … for the sake of becoming more intellectual and contemplative? Really? Any chance that could work? When four young women arrive on the scene, maybe, just maybe, the young women could actually inspire them to become better men. A whole pack of hilarious and crazy characters (including more females roles than pretty much any other Shakespeare play!!)
For more than 10 years, Los Angeles Drama Club has been working with Los Angeles youth ages 6-17 from all backgrounds. We use the exploration and performance of Shakespeare’s work to foster self-esteem, creativity, literacy and excellence in every aspect of our Players’ lives.
We begin rehearsals on February 7th, so don’t delay!!!!
Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting February 7th
Final Dress Rehearsal TBD (May 14 or 15)
We will also be scheduling one weekend rehearsal, and several small group/private rehearsal sessions.
Performances (tentative): May 16 & 17
(We believe that every child who is drawn to this work should be able to participate, so we offer a variety of scholarships – click here to apply for a scholarship. Please do not hesitate to apply!)
New West students, join us! No experience necessary! You’ll learn the basics of acting, vocal and movement techniques, and the ins and outs of Shakespeare’s language. Our work will culminate in a full performance of a Shakespeare play.
Mondays from 4 to 6 pm
begins February 4th
Performances: Thursday, May 30 & Friday, May 31
LOCATION: 11625 West Pico Boulevard
Full rehearsal schedule:
February 4, 11, 25 (no rehearsal President’s Day, 2/18)
March 4, 11, 18, 25
April 1, 8, 22, 29 (no rehearsal Spring Break, 4/15)
May 6, 13, 20
Dress Tech: Wednesday, May 29th
We will schedule one weekend “retreat” – an extended rehearsal that will be held one of the two weekends prior to the performance.
PLEASE NOTE: Regular attendance is critical!! If you have conflicts with any of the above dates, or if you have any other questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to registering.
THIS CLASS IS OPEN TO NEW WEST CHARTER STUDENTS ONLY …
LADC is proud to announce that the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation is an official sponsor of Shakespeare Youth Festival LA. The Foundation’s generous donation makes it possible for all children to participate in this life-changing experience, and we are grateful for their generosity.
The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation’s mission is to follow through with the late Jack Oakie’s wish, “Give the money to the kids,” by scholarships for deserving film and theater students at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country. Mrs. Oakie instructed the Trustees of the Foundation to keep her husband’s legacy alive and enhance the value of visual performing arts education. We are honored that the Foundation will be supporting our theater students – their donation will fund scholarships and financial aid for our bi-annual Shakespeare Youth Festival LA.
Both Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie were active participants in and during the famous Golden Age of Hollywood. Between them, they acted in more than 122 films over a 60-year period. Their contributions to acting and comedy can now be passed on to a new generation with the help of their Foundation scholarships.
It’s Venus 2020 and women run the show up here. Men are welcome as long as they’re supportive and kind and don’t misbehave. When one does….it makes headlines. Catalino (aka Cat) can’t help himself: he’s wild, a disruptor and he’s angry at the imbalance of power on Venus. It’s been rough. He’s outnumbered by women, including his mother. He’s her firstborn and she must marry him off before her younger son can marry one of his many rich lady fans. Enter Petruchia, an uber-aggressive, over-caffeinated Mary Poppins, and refugee from Earth looking for an equal up here – so rare these days. The men here are not what she’s used to. But she has to play a game in order to prove she can handle him.
Shakespeare in Africa #3: Becoming a Different Person.
I am still headed to a rural African village called Motopi where I will live by myself and work in a local school teaching Shakespeare (what I do at home). I’ve done many daring and rash things in my life. And a lot of very strange and difficult things have happened to me. I survived my childhood and adulthood and it was rarely easy. I don’t do things because they’re easy. Easy never interested me. Well…it’s starting to. But for now, I am programmed to do hard things and to teach others to do them too.
I am on my second Luftansa flight from Frankfurt to Johannesburg with one more German woman sitting next to me (German seat partner: mandatory for all international flights). We left off where the German seat partner was balking at my decision to book two African flights within 40 mintues of each other. I don’t have the mental bandwidth to explain — not my decision to book the two flights — yes, my decision to trust an online booking agency. I am realizing that there is no way to “check in” online to Air Botswana, but in person. Old school. I have half an hour to transfer in J-Burg and I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m stuck here for 8 more hours and can do nothing but…
Start making a list of what is emerging as The African Way for Westerners.
AW#1: You Think You “Got This.” You don’t.
“I got this.” A popular phrase. So American. Being a rugged individualist, totally self contained, on my own…gets prasied and rewarded, even though it’s an illusion. We urban dwellers are deluded. We believe we’re independent but one strike of an earthquake or hurricane would prove otherwise. I start to consider, “I don’t Got This at all.” Interdependence seems more the African Way. Tribal thinking makes more sense! I know that am going to need help over there. I don’t like the feeling. It means putting others out, being dependent, and trusting. A thought occurs to me: Not Trusting is a sign of privilege. The luxury of not trusting….
Johannesburg Airport. I am walking off the plane and am hit with a blast of hot air — “Welcome to the Land of the Protea.”
All the self help, 12-step, therapy and bone-crushing life lessons I’ve learned did not bring me the kind of catharsis as did stepping foot on African Soil and allowing that blast of hot air to hit my face. Easy and swift. A new voice. Not the Troubleshooter, not the Naysayer, not the Imposter. This is a wise voice.
You are different. You will never be the same person who fussed all the way here. You have done the work to be ready for this moment. And you get to have it.
After that sets in, I am told to go get my suitcase in baggage claim. I look around in wonder. When last suitcase tumbles onto the carousel, it isn’t mine. I show a woman who works here. She says, no. Your bag has gone to Botswana. A young airport worker looks at my ticket, then at me.
AW #2 : Sometimes things change, and you need to run.
She runs, I run…so fast and so far, I get a side-ache. J-burg is a massive airport. We finally make it to the Air Botswana gate. I could never have found this on my own. She was the only way. Now she is talking to the Check In Lady. There is a problem. A big problem. I am told….
“The flight is closed. You are too late. Come back tomorrow.”
Like making it to Oz …and having the little window open and slam. But this isn’t Oz, it’s Johannesburg. I do not know what I’m doing here. I have a man waiting, a place, a school. I can barely form words.
“There’s a man waiting …he is my only chance. There’s a school the expects me…I’ve been traveling 24 hours…I don’t know what to…”
This is not like me. I always know what to do. I’m the I Know What to Do Girl when it comes to traveling. “I got this.” The Check in Lady looks at me…I’m crying. To make it this far and then…fall apart.
AW #3: If You Fall Apart, Sometimes the Rules are Bended.
“Okay. Go. Just go.”
She just single-handedly changed the rules based on…heartstrings? The woman who ran me over there says, “Hurry! We have to run again.” And we do: down the escalator and out the doors to the outside. To a van! My face still wet from crying, I am now laughing. I’m being gaslit by the universe and it’s funny. My drops of tears, I’ll turn into sparks of fire. And I will.
I hug the airport worker who changed the fate of this journey. Years holding onto the idea that abandoment was the norm for me…she somehow erased it. Gone in one final act. I’m feeling quite alive. My first half hour in Africa included a sprinting marathon, a nervous breakdown and two serious plot twists.
Boarding Air Botswana tram, I now meet my fellow passengers on this flight to Maun. Australian and British tourists in crisp Safari costumes…er, outfits. They look like they’re playing the part of wealthy tourists on Safari for a movie shoot, when I realize…. they are wealthy toursits on Safari. We board the plane and I am next to a bickering British couple. “This is the tiniest plane on the planet.” I might not have her money, but I grin, just glad I’m not her.
AW #4: There are Bugs in this World. If you forgot, we will remind you.
When the Attendant announces that insecticide — ‘with no adverse side effects’ — will now be sprayed up and down the aisles, the women bury their heads, horrified. I grin again. My bionic ear records more conversations. They are excited they can be in Botswana versus Kenya — for the exclusivity and the Okavango Delta. They will go on game drives. I wonder will I even see an elephant? I am relieved to hear there is no hunting allowed in Botswana. I look down the entire time. Africa from the sky.
Long, needle-thin roads and a windy river….I feel peaceful. I drift to sleep.
We land on the tarmac and are guided to customs where everything goes HAYWIRE! Forms filled wrong, glasses lost, luggage missing, passport snagged…I am asked to “give an address where I’m staying”! It occurs to me, I have no idea where I’m staying. It’s all up to Brooks. The “two email” man. But they won’t let me go out to find him.
I’m in a Shakespeare comedy: epic problems — hilarious only to spectators. Then, just like at the ticket gate in J-burg, they change their minds and let me go look for Brooks.
I turn a corner and there he is, holding a sign with my name. Instantly, he is pulled into my mini drama. We get right into action. Brooks puts a search out for my lost luggage. But I still can’t put the address where I’m staying. Why? Brooks tells me:
AW #5: Sometimes there won’t be an address.
We sort of…make one up. I think to myself no addresses in Motopi but if all goes well, perhaps the address of the youngest Shakespeare troupe in Africa.
We leave the Maun airport and cross the street to an open air Indian place Tandurei. Instantly, cousins, nephews, brothers of Brooks…pass by or sit wth us. I meet “Machine” — brother of Brooks. He is a teacher and he is curious about his students learning Shakespeare. They want their kids to speak more English. It gives them an edge. Swana is only spoken in Botswana, so if they want to leave, they better know English.
AW #6: Sometimes you won’t have your clothes. And it’s actually fun.
I have no clothes because my suitcase is missing. Brooks takes me to a store and I now get to re-invent my entire African wardrobe that I so painstakingly chose before leaving. For 26$ I had plenty. Food is next. I will need food for the village. At the grocery store I notice most items are imported from South Africa. Nothing local. Granola, milk in a box, potatoes, carrots, bottled water and tea biscuits. Brooks looks skeptical. “Not enough. There is nothing where you are going.” Nothing?
AW #7: Know that you are dependent on protein bars unless you’re one of those rich Safari guests.
I remember my friend telling me to pack beef jerky and protein bars. I think, really? I packed 5 “buffalo bars” which ended up being my lunch every day. Brooks was right. There was no food unless I knew how to kill an animal and cook it.
We drive away and Brooks cuts up a small road and weaves through some sporadic homes. We check on a house Brooks is building so he can rent it out and retire as a Game Drive guide. This is where I first encounter the Botswana House Spider: the size of my hand. I really really dislike spiders. This is a challenge. He lets me know, they are in all the houses. They are part of the walls… He tells me about this American teenager whining, “OMG, Mom, I wanna go home, like right now!” I vow to face my arachnophobia and overcome it. I mean… do I have a choice?
AW #8: See AW #4 !
We pick up a woman called “Chicken” who owns the house where I will stay. She is riding along to let me in the house. Chicken explains that she is a widow and she left her home in the village and moved here to Maun after her husband died. So now I will live in her empty house in the village.
The road to Motopi is filled with potholes: cars swerve and it’s a comical sight. We stop at a Checkpoint where we get out of the car and step into a wet box of dirty water and bicarbonate of soda which — magically wards off Hoof & Mouth disease at the county border. The virus wiped out Botswana’s beef industry years back. The thing is….the water is contaminated with the bottom of everyone’s shoes. But it wasn’t my place to start pointing things out.
AW #9: If you step in a box of water and bicarbonate of soda before crossing the border, you are magically sterilized.
The trees are epic and line both sides of the road. The sky is wide and filled with animated clouds, all telling stories. Magic is not hard to find in this African sky.
It’s my first of many drives with Brooks, where we talk about many many things. I am being taken to the school of his childhood. These are the kids he wants to help. He comes to talk to them about Why We don’t Shoot Elephants.
We pull up to Chicken’s house, where I will stay. And here I am. This spot— in this village — is about everything I’ve done in my life up to this point. It all has come together for this moment. I meet my neighbor Pinky, a mother who also cleans the local school. We all visit but I am showing obvious tand the electical system. After they leave, I accidentally shut off the breakers and Pinky must come to the rescue. Silly American…. “I don’t got this. “
I will report to the school 8:30am tomorrow, meet the teachers, the principal and the kids and get to work.
12pm — Everyone gone. Just me and one misquito terrorizing in my bedroom. I’m under the sheet, totally, but he will burrow through, I know it. Brooks had taught me to Doom the Room. I really resisted the thought of spraying chemicals above my pillow….but at 1am, sleep deprived in this hot bedroom, all bets are off. I “Doom the Room” and run outside.
I stop and look at the sky. Two stars fall within 10 minutes. I haven’t seen a falling star in decades. I go back to my bedroom. The pesty misquito is apparently….doomed.
I go to sleep… a different person than who I was at LAX. At Frankfurt. At J-Burg, and drifting off, I wonder who will I be tomorrow?
Next. Shakespeare in Africa #4: If You Come, They will Build it.
*At the time this was written, Ian Khama was President. On April 1, his term ended.
We are excited to announce our 2018-2019 Shakespeare Youth Festival LA season! If you are new to Los Angeles Drama Club, then you must click here to schedule a phone interview before registering. We look forward to speaking with you.
SYFLA Fall – Taming of the Shrew Churl
What happens when Petruchia, a single-minded young woman, determined to marry well, meets Jake, otherwise known as the Shrew … er, that is, the Churl? His younger brother Bianco has all the girls in a tizzy, but thanks to the messed up social order of the land, they can’t do anything about it until Jake is married off. We’re subverted the established opinions and “schools of thought” on the already controversial “Taming of the Shrew” by reversing the genders, turning conventional concepts on their 16th century heads. 4th through 9th grade
Our young playwrights will work at the center of a creative team of professional writers, directors and actors and will receive true professional support and a glimpse into the process of play making! The young playwrights will hone their one-act plays over the course of the workshop, working from the initial isolation of writing to the collaborative process involved in making their script into a living, breathing play. The workshop will culminate in a script-in-hand public reading of their new plays. 7th grade and up
Evil Duke Frederick is not a nice guy. After a rigged wrestling match goes sour, Rosalind and friends escape the rigidity and nastiness of the cruel city, where they were the victims of arbitrary and unfair rules, for the Forest of Arden, where “Do Unto Others” is the law of the land, and where a cast of eccentric characters are all just trying to find someone to love. Our youngest Players will have a great challenge exploring one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies! 2nd through 7th grade
Whatever your favorite Shakespearean plot device may be, it probably shows up in Cymbeline! Mistaken identity? Check. Girls dressed as boys? Check. Long lost family members reuniting? Check. Young lovers torn apart by class issues? Check. Nefarious tricksters? Check. Battle scenes? Check. Gods descending from Olympus at the last minute to set things right? Yes, that, too! We can’t wait to explore all the fantastic characters in this Shakespeare Smoothie. 4th through 9th grade
Our combining of Part I and Part II, custom crafted for our teen ensemble, will not only explore King Henry IV, his renegade son and heir to the throne Hal, and Hal’s roguish friend Falstaff, but will also highlight the women in the story – Mistress Quickly, Doll Tearsheet, Lady Percy, and Lady Mortimer. 8th through 12th grade
It was a gorgeous Sunday morning, and the park behind the Hollywood Heritage Museum was filled with Shakespeare. Several dozen neighborhood residents turned out for “Shakespeare in Our Park,” sponsored by the Whitley Heights Civic Association. After a rousing opening, featuring some stirring sword fighting by Master Teacher Kila Packett as Shakespeare and Brandon Nagle as Marlowe, our troupe performed selections from several Shakespeare plays, and, in between, got the audience into the act learning Shakespeare insults, theater games and even some Stage Combat moves.
We were honored to have a representative from Councilman David Ryu’s office, who presented Blaire and Julia with Certificates of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles.
Thank you to Greg Orson and Patty Dryden for making this stellar event possible!
If you are interested in Los Angeles Drama Club performing at your school, community center, festival, etc, please email us for more information!!