8 x 10: A Free Evening of Short Plays at Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

ICS logoInner City Shakespeare Ensemble will present a free evening of short works at Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles on Nov. 14 & 15. The five-year-old not-for-profit ensemble partners veteran theatre professionals with young artists of all ethnicities, usually to perform Shakespeare, however this event will feature new works. This evening of plays is produced by Paul Heller. ISCE’s artistic director is Melanie Andrews. Among the plays are:

Romeo and Juliet- Sped Up!
Written by Hannah Thomas. Directed by Emma Yang. Based on Shakespeare’s tragedy, this version in Modern English transpires in a compact eight minutes. Featuring Izabella Paz, Owen Yang, Thomas Carlton, Jazmin Pollinger, Paul Heller, Juvanie Hildreth, Erin McLaughlin, Stephanie Huerta, and David Mosseri.

The Far Away Daughter of Athens
Written by August Schulenberg. Directed by Thomas Carlton. This is a conversation between two of Shakespeare’s Athenian characters, Egeus and Demetrius, who have been captured by the Amazons and taken as prisoners during the Athenian War. Alone on stage, they reminisce about who they miss back home. For Egeus, it is his daughter, Hermia. Demetrius is interrupted too soon by a harsh sound, but as A Midsummer Night’s Dream would have it, we understand a little more why Egeus would have Demetrius marry his daughter when they’re back home in Athens. Featuring Thomas Carlton and Milton Lazaro.  More


Shakespeare’s Legacy Lives on in Inner City Youth – Part II

In Part II of my feature honoring William Shakespeare on his 450th birthday, I ask the young actors of Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble what they think of Shakespeare’s plays. Some of their answers may surprise you. They are a wonderful group of young professionals who will be presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream throughout L.A. in the coming weeks in locations like Ladera Park, Grand Park, Third Street Promenade, Monteith Park and Athens Park. Bring your family and catch a free performance near you.

ICSE Oberon and Titania
I spoke to two alumni who are returning for Midsummer and asked about their first impressions of Shakespeare and why they keep coming back. Juvanie Hildreth, a football player from South Central, says that studying Shakespeare has been “a great learning experience” for him.  More

Shakespeare’s Legacy Lives on in Inner City Youth – Part I

I recently spent a day with the youth of Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble and was so impressed by their dedication and love of language that I decided this was the way I would celebrate William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday; by sharing the thoughts of the young actors, mentors and leaders that make up this unique theatre company.

I don’t know if Mr. Shakespeare ever dreamed that his writing would live on to the extent that it has, but I do think he would have been proud to see the effect his words have on young people today.

The program is led by three loyal board members: Dr. Melanie Andrews, Paul Heller, and Katy Haber, who are the heart and soul of Inner City Shakespeare and they are in the spotlight in Part I of  Shakespeare’s Legacy. You can read what the kids had to say in Part II. Happy Birthday W.S.

Dr. AndrewsSLA: Dr. Andrews, as the director and deputy chair, it pretty much all starts with you. Why do you love this program?

Dr. Andrews: Well, first of all, I love Shakespeare. I grew up in Compton and I was sick a lot as a child so I had a lot of home schooling. My mom was brilliant and my grandma sent me all the great books. That was their way to keep me on track. My mom used to read Shakespeare to me and that’s how I became a really good reader. I loved the stories. I loved the universality of it.  More

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