LAUSD's after-school program 'Young Shakespeareans' helps students build confidence and experience

Leo Stallworth Image
Sunday, April 16, 2023
LAUSD after-school program helps students build confidence in theater
LAUSD elementary and middle school students are building confidence by performing Shakespeare's comedy "A Midsummer Nights Dream" at West Vernon Avenue Elementary School in South L.A.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Some students from Los Angeles Unified School District are getting hands-on experience with theater production.

LAUSD elementary and middle school students are building confidence by performing Shakespeare's comedy "A Midsummer Nights Dream" at West Vernon Avenue Elementary School in South L.A.

The performance debuted in late March to a packed auditorium.

"My favorite part about Shakespeare is watching other kids act and like performing and stuff like that," said K'een Weeks, a student performer.

The set for the play is designed to resemble a post revolution 1923 Mexico. Students did all the work to create the set, including a sound designer for the production.

Since 2010 the Young Shakespeareans' after school program has brought performing arts, production design and Technical Arts programs to title one elementary and middle schools. The students past and present say taking part in the production builds confidence in all areas of their lives.

"It helps me because in class, I love to participate so now I don't get shy when I have to talk in public or anything," said Delilah Garcia, a current performer from the production.

Some past performers say it's exciting watching kids take part in the program. Shirley Macias says seeing them professional at their ages.

"It feels nice if I did influence any of the kids because it's a great feeling working with them the experience and designing," said Eliceo Cortinez, a past production member.