Shakespeare High is a feature-length documentary that tells the story of a group of teenagers in Southern California who find a place to belong within their high-school drama program and are determined to succeed in the 90th Annual DTASC (Drama Teachers Association of Southern California) Shakespeare Competition. Theater has become their inspiration; a reason to strive and overcome adversity. The film features their stories of how the arts enriches their lives amidst personal troubles, including poverty, violence, gangs, drugs, absentee parents, as well as the troubles and hardships of adolescence.
Through Shakespeare, these students are able to find community; they discover passion, drive, and confidence to pursue their dreams and dictate the course of their lives.
Tosh and Taco are sophomores from East LA and former gang members. Nicole’s family lives below the poverty line in the isolated, low-income desert community of Hesperia. Tommy is an energetic and spry redhead whose parents were former skin-heads before his dad left the family. Galvin and Melvin are twin brothers who moved in with their aunt and uncle after their father murdered their mother following a spiteful divorce. Their touching stories of change and determination are interspersed with commentary from well-known actors including Kevin Spacey, Val Kilmer, and Richard Dreyfus, all of whom are alumni of the life-changing DTASC program.