Price: $195.00

    Code: 2417

    Directed by Alex Rotaru
    2011, 81 min
    Purchase: $195 | Rental: $95
    K-12: $99.95

    Shakespeare High is an uplifting documentary that follows a diverse group of Californian high school students as they prepare for and compete in the 90th Drama Teachers Association of Southern California Shakespeare Festival. Through their passion and working together toward a common goal that reflects and transcends their ethnic and socioeconomic divides, the dedicated teens manage to overcome their own personal hurdles and history.

    The film focuses primarily on under-privileged teens and highlights the life-changing effects drama programs such this can have on young people. The film follows a compelling group of teens with moving and dramatic personal stories, including: Tosh, African-American, a sophomore; Luis, Latino, a sophomore; and Chris, Latino, a senior - all three former gang members from East LA's Pacoima Valley. Nicole comes from a struggling family living in Hesperia, an isolated, low-income desert community. Tommy was raised by his single mother in Hesperia after his parents - former skin-heads - separated. Galvin and Melvin are African-American twin brothers who witnessed a violent family act.

    The teen's stories are interspersed with commentary from alumni of the DTASC program including Kevin Spacey, Val Kilmer, and Richard Dreyfus discussing and teaching students hands-on the magic of drama and Shakespeare. Shakespeare High is a riveting celebration of performance education, creativity and youth.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    *Top 5 Audience Award, Palm Spring Film Festival, 2011
    *Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival, 2011
    *Official Selection-Mountainfilm Film Festival, 2011
    *Official Selection, National Council of Teachers of English Film Festival, 2012


    “Inspiring. Performing Shakespeare can save children’s lives. That is the persuasive argument of Shakespeare High.” - Stephen Holden, The New York Times

    “Engaging… enormously inspiring.” – LA Times

    " This film is a must-see for all English teachers as it shows how students can transform their lives when they become involved in programs like the one featured in Shakespeare High ”. - National Council of Teachers of English

     width=" Highly Recommended . A film to which many youth will relate and understand". – Educational Media Reviews Online

    " Real and inspirational, this strong, well-edited film captures the highs and lows of a major high school Shakespeare competition. Recommended for arts collections , especially those serving educators and parents."— Ernest Jaeger, formerly with North Plainfield Schs., NJ, Library Journal

     width=  width=  width= Recommended - Video Librarian

    " This uplifting presentation captures the teens' love of acting. Recommended for young adults. Teen actors and drama students will be interested in seeing their peers prepare for the competition." — Brian Wilson, Booklist

    " Shakespeare High is peppered with an impressive roster of facts about the importance of school arts programs that have been provided by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education". - The Huffington Post

    " Shakespeare High offers an inspiring account of young people using theater as a steppingstone to adult life... definitely recommended for Shakespeare buffs, teen artists, and drama teachers. - Santa Fe New Mexican

    “It’s impossible to remain unmoved by inspirational documentaries about teens overcoming the odds. Especially when they’re as compelling as this one.” – New York Daily News

    “A terrifically spirited, deeply moving documentary. With keen insight, Rotaru shoots and edits enough actual performance footage to have your mouth watering to see more of the blazingly fresh, fiercely physical and perfectly coordinated energy these kids bring to lines and situations that are centuries old.” – Film Journal

    " Shakespeare High allows the audience to observe the exercise of training in Shakespeare proficiency for the inexperienced and be moved by the bravery of high school students who want to make a difference in the world." - Kino Critics