Originated by BAFTA Los Angeles as an expansion of our ongoing outreach efforts in Los Angeles, the Inner City Shakespeare program has recently caught the attention of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Pan African Film Festival.
It began in 2005 with the BAFTA Los Angeles Inner City Cinema program at Helen Keller Park in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and the South County Community Services Agency.
As the program developed, it expanded to Washington Prep High School with a screening of Why Shakespeare, the Lawrence Bridges documentary short that discusses how learning about Shakespeare and performing live theatre changes lives.
Inspired by the film, the program evolved from a one day acting workshop with BAFTA Los Angeles actors coaching Washington Prep students reading scenes from Romeo and Juliet, to a full production of the romantic tragedy.
Since 2011, two public performances, funded by BAFTA LA, in collaboration with Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, have been staged in Ladera Park.