“To Be or Not to Be”

About the Country’s Youngest Shakespeare Troupe

The Los Angeles Drama Club has successfully built an ongoing artistic community of children/youth who, through the creative process of working with Shakespeare, have found a passion, a purpose, and a safe place to express themselves and gain self-worth from their collective accomplishments.

We are the only youth arts company in which children from across Los Angeles, and from vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds, come together for the purpose of rehearsing and performing full Shakespeare productions.

Year round, our Players tell stories, decode language, improvise, rehearse and perform plays from the Canon.  Communication skills, self-esteem, literacy and community spirit are the benefits of doing this thing that we love!

Our Young Performing Arts Troupe originally started in Hancock Park. We performed our first production at the historic Brookledge Theater, but our rambunctious troupe was too much for the fragile space, and we worked for several years at the Lost Studio on La Brea, then moved north to the Lyric Theatre, presenting thirty-two full productions of Shakespeare plays, including not only Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream and other “Greatest Hits,” but also rarely performed works like Cymbeline, King John, Pericles and Henry IV, Part ii.

Meanwhile in the West Adams/Mid-City, we began offering free and low-cost classes and summer camps, and over the course of five years, we had an ongoing troupe that presented: The Tempest, Midsummer Nights’ Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Timon of Athens, Macbeth, Merry Wives of Windsor, A Comedy of Errors, and Pericles.  Our young motivated performers are experiencing the camaraderie of an arts community and the opportunity to develop a new sense of assurance, autonomy and self-motivation.

Now, as has always been our dream, the two troupes have become one, and are working together to create theater. Our goal is to make this program available to any child who wishes to participate. We do not audition – we feel that the skills and strengths that make it possible for a child to feel successful doing this work are not necessarily revealed in an audition … and one of our greatest joys is helping a child who is frightened by this work, and perhaps doesn’t believe he/she can do it, to be successful. And over 75% of our students receive some kind of financial assistance.

This program is made possible by your support – find out how you can become a part of our mission!

The Willful Minors –  Our Troupe brings Shakespeare on site to LA Libraries, including a recent show at the Taper Auditorium in Central Library. We also perform at schools, hospitals, senior centers, public spaces…wherever there is a need for the inspiration.

Again, we depend on volunteers and donations to keep this program alive – please click here to learn more!

Shakespeare Youth Festival LA (SYFLA) –  Each year, we rehearse and perform 5-6 plays to benefit our community, our children and our city. We keep our ticket prices low, so that the Festival is accessible to as many people as possible. Special performances for school groups widen our reach. We are proud to be the introduction to Shakespeare for many Los Angeles young people … and adults, as well.

While box office revenues provide some support, your donations help build the walls of the taverns and castles, put swords and sceptres in the hands of our heroes, and place crowns on the heads of our young kings and queens – join us!

Your support will help us reach out to a wider community, through scholarships, special workshops, and more – get involved!