At home many of them face poverty, gangs, drugs, and a lack of role models. But in their high school drama programs, a diverse group of SoCal teens finds a chance to create a better life. Following several students as they prepare for and compete in the 90th Drama Teachers Association of Southern California Shakespeare Festival, this uplifting documentary voices the dramatic personal stories of a cross-section of youth from the Los Angeles area who find redemption, camaraderie, and a creative outlet on the stage and in the classroom.
Director Alex Rotaru's portrait of promising and dedicated students and their teachers features interviews with DTASC alumni including Richard Dreyfuss, Val Kilmer, Mare Winningham, and executive producer Kevin Spacey. A galvanizing film that reminds us of the positive impact of performance education on impressionable youth, Shakespeare High offers a powerful message in support of the arts at a time when budget cuts facing many schools put the future of these curricula in peril.
Length: 81 minutes
Primary Cast: Tosh Hall, Melvin Emesibe, Sam Sterns, Colleen Greenhalgh, Marisa Gold, Galvin Emeslbe
Director: Alex Rotaru
Producer: Brad Koepenick, Lori Miller, Ronnie Planalp, Alex Rotaru
Executive Producer: Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, Dean Devlin, Eugen Rotaru
Director of Photography: Brian O'Connell
Editor: Drew Kilcoin
Composer: Nathaniel Blume
Co-Producer: Brian O'Connell
ALEX ROTARU was born in Bucharest and started out as an award-winning child actor. He studied physics at MIT and interrupted his PhD studies in physics to get an MFA in film from USC. He has directed the documentaries They Came to Play and Kids With Cameras. He is prepping his first narrative feature, The End of Rain.