In April, we’ll be presenting Shakespeare Youth Festival LA 2021, live on Vimeo! Our Virtual Box Office will open in March … join our mailing list to be notified of the Festival performances.


A mysterious forest, ruled over by a Fairy King and Queen, and inhabited by all sorts of magical creatures. A bunch of “civilians” who sneak into the forest to rehearse a play. And four young runaways who are fed up with life in The Court, and get caught up in it all. There’s a reason this is considered one of Shakespeare’s classics – come escape with us!!

Friday, April 16 at 7 pm
Saturday, April 17 at 2 pm
Sunday, April 18 at 2 pm


The Shakespeare Canon is about to be privatized. A group of minor Shakespeare Actor-Characters are held in a Greenroom while the new “Funders” vote on permanent cuts to the Canon. The actor/characters must stand before the Funders and prove their relevance in their respective plays. A bittersweet comedy, its noteworthy theme embraces all marginalized people and groups having to claim their right to exist in a rapidly intolerant society. It also addresses is the life of an actor, asking the question – are all the sacrifices made for a life in the theatre really worth it?

This bittersweet comedy is a SYF original, and was a smash hit at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe!!

Friday, April 23 at 7 pm
Saturday, April 24 at 2 pm
Sunday, April 25 at 2 pm


Remember That Guy We Love to Loathe? Yes, exactly! Who else?! The Boar … aka Crookback … aka KING RICHARD III!!

With 2020 behind us, we will now freely flash a 2-ton klieg light on what makes a dysfunctional dynasty.  In our Web of Dysfunction, we weave together the best of characters in the play – from the Boar’s right hand, Buckingham, who manipulates him, to his wife Lady Ann who loathes him, to his sister in law, Queen Consort, Elizabeth, who threatens him, to his enemy (Queen) Margaret of Anjou who curses him ….and finally, his Mother, Cecily Neville, who rejects him. 

Friday, April 30 at 7 pm
Saturday, May 1 at 2 pm
Sunday, May 2 at 2 pm

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

There are compelling examples of who “to be” and who “not to be” all around us.

As teaching artists, we strive to point our children’s eyes to hope while acknowledging suffering as part of the human experience, and we renew our commitment to creating theater that reflects the cultures and life experiences of our diverse community.

As Angelenos, the answer we offer is compassion, courage, and service.

What can we do right now?

Patronize Black-Owned Businesses

We personally recommend these businesses that keep us fueled during rehearsals, workshops, cast parties, and performances.

Black Owned Businesses
Gus’ Chicken
My Two Cents
We Jammin
Watts Coffee House
Sky’s Gourmet Tacos

Brown-Owned Businesses
Las Ranas
Con Sabor
Mateo’s Ice Cream
Vee’s Cafe

More businesses

Know the Past; Change the Future

As theatre-makers, we we know the power of sharing our stories. But too many stories of Black America have been buried or forgotten.

1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Seneca Village

History of Black Cowboys

1923 Rosewood Massacre

Onesimus and Innoculation

The Reconstruction Era

The Struggle for Voting Rights

Red Summer

We learn from each other. Do you have a resource, organization, business, etc that you would like to recommend for this page? Email us.

We believe that …

the Performing Arts have the power to change a child’s life, and because we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience that power, we are committed to creating theater that reflects the cultures and life experiences of our diverse community.

We are dedicated to making our programs accessible to all children and to actively nurture participation by those who have been historically underrepresented, based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, citizenship status, religion or socioeconomic status.

We strive to ensure that our children are guided by a diverse collective of teaching artists, and that our policies are set by a Board of Directors that is representative of our community.

While we focus on the works of William Shakespeare, a prominent figure in the Western literary canon, we are committed to exploring Shakespeare’s themes as they apply to all humanity.

Summer with SYF moves online!!

Summer with SYF moves online!!

Registration is now open for Summer with Shakespeare Youth Festival ONLINE – a fantastic way to introduce kids to Theatre and to Shakespeare!



We’ll explore the characters and language of Shakespeare, improvisation, storytelling, voice and movement, stage combat, mask work, and more!

The week culminates with a live online presentation, where Players will share the work with parents and friends.

It’s all about the fairies, sprites, wizards and other magical elements found in the Canon. And we’ll use this crazy new medium to create some magical special effects!!
Session One – July 6 – 10

Shakespeare’s History plays are not only chock full of all sorts of fascinating characters, but they bring to life the struggle between power and justice. Shakespeare truly wrote into the future!
Session Two – July 13 – 17

Shakespeare set many of his plays in Greece and Rome, and his references to mythology and Greek and Roman Gods show up throughout – let’s explore!!
Session Three – July 20 – 24

What would Shakespeare be without its troublemakers? Whether they are making us laugh like Falstaff and Feste, or making trouble like Iago and Iachimo, or making history like Hotspur and Hal, the rulebreakers have a lot to teach us!
Session Four – July 27 – 31

Monday through Friday, 10 am to 3 pm
TUITION: $125 per week *



The program consists of rigorous, exciting storytelling and playwriting sessions, creating short plays out of improvisations with prompts, autobiographical moments, and stories the group creates together.

In the mornings, writers will join our actors in improvisation, story-telling and other modules that will support their work as writers. In the afternoon, they will focus on the writing aspect, as they are joined by professional actors and SYF actors, who will support them in development, and who will perform the plays at the end of the week.

July 13 – 17

Monday through Friday, 10 am to 3 pm


* 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 for the application form and guidelines. Please do not hesitate to apply!

Shakespeare Youth Festival: LA 2020

Shakespeare Youth Festival: LA 2020

Join us March 7 through March 29

We are heartbroken to announce that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, our 2020 season was cut short …

All performances will take place at the Lounge Theatres
6201 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Comedy of Errors

What would you see if you really looked?
A broken family involving identical twins seeks each other out two decades later and takes a roller coaster ride from hell before hitting the jackpot.
Shipwreck. Twins. More Twins. Witches, gold and angry wives.

Saturday, March 7 at 2 pm
Sunday, March 8 at 2 pm
Saturday, March 14 at 2 pm
Sunday, March 15 at 2 pm

Twelfth Night (or What You Will)

If only love were under your control.
The Bard Normalizes Dysfunction while having a few laughs.

Saturday, March 7 at 6 pm
Sunday, March 8 at 6 pm
Saturday, March 14 at 6 pm
Sunday, March 15 at 6 pm

Troilus & Cressida

The tangled web that happen when love and war are intertwined.
Greeks and Trojans in Love. Oh My. Love.
Fight. Love. Lose. Grieve. Rest. Repeat.

Saturday, March 21 at 2 pm
Sunday, March 22 at 6 pm
Friday, March 27 at 7 pm
Saturday, March 28 at 2 pm

Measure for Measure

Never delegate.

Friday, March 20 at 7 pm*
Saturday, March 21 at 7 pm°
Sunday, March 22 at 2 pm*
Saturday, March 28 at 7 pm°
Sunday, March 29 at 2 pm* & 6 pm°
* the Justice Cast ° the Mercy Cast

This program is supported in part by a grant from:

Looking back … and looking forward!

Looking back … and looking forward!

What Los Angeles Drama Club has achieved in 2019 boggles the imagination!

So much so that we have changed our name to Shakespeare Youth Festival so that we can better reflect our wider inclusion and expansion as a global youth arts movement.

This year alone, Shakespeare Youth Festival has reached over 1,000 children and youth locally and around the globe.

Because of your support and that of many others, Hamlet has been spoken in English, Spanish, Setswana, and Luo! Prospero has worked his magic in Watts, Botswana, Kenya and in Guanajuato, Mexico! And our own Shakespeare Youth Festival LA – now in its 15th year (and featured in the LA Times) – continues to change lives.

More importantly, Shakespeare Youth Festival has provided and continues to provide the support for young people to develop self-empowerment, grow their strengths and participate in creating an ever-expanding community of inclusiveness, acceptance and love. We invite you to read testimonials from young people who have grown up with us.

But … Shakespeare Youth Festival cannot thrive without your financial support.

Please put us on the top of your end-of-year giving list, so that we can continue to make a profound and lasting impact on our children in our immediate community and around the globe.

Thank you,

Blaire Baron
Artistic Director

Julia Wyson
Executive Director
Shakespeare Youth Festival

Shakespeare Youth Festival: Kenya

Sauti Kuu Foundation, Kogelo, Kenya

Our mantra: Say YES first.

GO Campaign called us last January. The Founder was in Africa sitting with Dr. Auma Obama. He asked if we could to come to West Kenya in August to run a theater program while the local children were out of school.

When it comes to children and theater, historically, SYF says “YES!” first, and then figures out the “HOW?” … and we always do. Eight months later, eleven of us raised the funds to travel to the rural village of Alego/Kogelo and put on a show at the extraordinary center, created by Dr. Obama – The Sauti Kuu Foundation. If you haven’t heard of Sauti Kuu, take a moment to to treat yourself to what Dr. Obama has created in her village.

Founder & Artistic Director Blaire Baron said “yes,” then Executive Director Julia Wyson said “yes,” then a parent said double yes by offering to underwrite our flights. Then our staff of Teaching Artists – one by one – said yes, and agreed to raise funds to cover their flights. We added four of the teens who had grown up with SYF, and Celina, the godmother to one of the teens, offered to come along as Stage Manager/Logistics, and suddenly we were eleven. Eleven asked, eleven on board. We’d figure it out. And we did!

We came to Kenya with our professional backgrounds, our training, our lesson plans and eleven open minds – we left forever transformed and enlightened. Eighty-eight children camping together – the bonds that happened while gathering to tell stories, to sing, to dance, to share – to create theater. Our task here was to put on a piece of theater with all eighty-eight children at the end of 7 days.

We not only did that, but we are quite sure the Sauti Kuu children made history – they performed passages from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and other pieces (7 Ages of Man, Troilus and Cressida) in three languages: English, Kiswahili, and (the first language for many of the children) Luo.

Photo Credit: Kila Packett

Los Angeles Drama Club is now …

Shakespeare Youth Festival

We are proud and excited to announce that, henceforth, Los Angeles Drama Club is changing its operating name to Shakespeare Youth Festival to more accurately reflect our wider inclusion and expansion as a global youth arts movement. Fifteen years ago, we presented our first performance in our city of Los Angeles and our name reflected our close-knit ensemble, and our policy of inclusiveness. Now, we work with more than 1,000 children annually, and in 2018, with Ms. Blaire’s trip to Botswana, we became global, and have now shared our work in four countries.

To continue to operate as Los Angeles Drama Club is akin to trying to fit into a suit that is two sizes too small! As we continue to bring our mission to new places, our name now reflects our passion – creating and celebrating communities of belonging and self-empowerment with children and youth locally and across the globe through the works of William Shakespeare!

Shakespeare Youth Festival: New West – Fall 2019

Shakespeare Youth Festival: New West – Fall 2019

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 September 9th
Performances: Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19
Tuition: $225

LOCATION: 11625 West Pico Boulevard

Full rehearsal schedule:
September 9, 16, 23
October 2 *, 7, 14, 21, 28
November 4, 13 *, 18
December 2, 9, 16

* Rehearsal held on Wednesday from 2 to 4 pm to make up for Monday holidays

Dress Tech: Tuesday, December 17
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 prior to registering.




Summer with LADC 2019

Summer with LADC 2019

Registration is now open for Summer with LADC 2019 – a fantastic way to introduce kids to Shakespeare!

Each session meets from 9 to 3, Monday through Friday, and culminates with a recital, sharing the work with parents, friends and the community.

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 for the application form and guidelines. Please do not hesitate to apply!

Thanks to our generous sponsors

Thanks to our generous sponsors

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.