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“Most of the performances shown are inventive and energetic, and you wish more were shared in the film, along with the rehearsals that produced them. One teacher talks about the “natural high” of theater, and you can feel it throughout. The stories of the Emesibe twins and Luis suggest that whole movies could be made about their lives.” -Stephen Holden, New York Times

“It’s also a marvelous demonstration of the way the arts enrich and expand lives that otherwise might be constrained by family and economic forces.” -Marshall Fine, The Huffington Post

“No matter how many you see, it’s impossible to remain unmoved by inspirational documentaries about teens overcoming the odds. Especially when they’re as compelling as this one.”

– Elizabeth Weitzman, NY Daily News

“The kids will have fun at the movie the same way they have fun engaging in this activity that keeps them in school, and involved. It’s fun, but I think it’s important to remind educated, interested, socially conscious audiences of the fact that the principles they hold dear, when put into action, can give results. And these are some of the results.” – Alex Rotaru, Director/Producer,

“There won’t be a more inspiring or moving documentary made this year than Alex Rotaru’s powerful tribute to students besotted by the Bard.” -David Noh, Film Journal International

“And perhaps there truly is no dramatic substitute for a well-practiced and chilling performance of King Lear by seasoned veterans, but as the kids in Shakespeare High prove again and again, doing it their way seems like a hell of lot more fun.” -Robert Tumas,  Slant Magazine

“When we made this film, I didn’t know we were going headlong into an education funding crisis with the arts being the first to get axed. And I didn’t know this documentary would become a powerful advocacy tool — which it is, since it shows this program costs close to nothing while delivering great value!”  – Alex Rotaru, Director/Producer, Huffington Post

“The stories told are rich and compelling. Since the viewer begins to care for students at each of the competing schools, it is difficult to know which one to root for in the competition.” – Hannah Madans, Campus Circle

“Rotaru allows us to be excited for his protagonists even as we fret for them, and it’s with a mix of exhilaration and dread that we watch them try to pin down a future that hovers just beyond reach.” – Robert Hershorn, Tiny Mix Tapes

“Everyone acknowledges that plays, music and other forms of art make a country rich. But the arts have been sliced out of the pie in many high school while sports remain. How many play basketball or football after high school?”

– Linda Hassler, Huffington Post

“It’s the work itself that survives — and creates and enables even competitions such as this one, which Mr. Rotaru has brought to the screen with enough energy and thought to make it worth your time.” -James van Maanen, Trust Movies

“Director Alex Rotaru is careful to assemble a cross-section of student subjects who hail from all walks of life, from former gangbangers, to athletes, to members of low-income families. What unites them is their passion for acting out centuries-old texts.” -Ethan Alter, Television Without Pity

“The hardest thing about this movie is realizing that some of the kids you come to like so much, and their teams who’ve worked so hard, are going to lose the competition. That’s the a bit of a reality check. Some seniors who won’t have the chance to compete again burst into tears when they realize their efforts are over, and they must move on. But they do so with so much more than they had going in to their Shakespeare experience.” – Jennifer Merin,

“Shakespeare High is most moving when it focuses on the young actors’ dedication and joy, as they work through their scenes and begin to sort out their lives in the process.” – Chris Barsanti, PopMatters

“I got a sinking feeling early in the new documentary Shakespeare High–not through any fault of the film… Oh dear, I thought. This movie is going to wreck me.” – Jason Bailey, DVD Talk

“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.” – Vimooz

“If there was ever a reason to want to support a cause like funding arts programs in school, this film is an excellent place to start.” – StarPulse News

“…The real stars here are the kids themselves – all chasing after a small shiny statue, and a much larger dream.”- Stephen Whitty, The Star Ledger

“Shakespeare High reaffirms Flocabulary’s firm belief that arts education is crucial–not just to create future artists, but to inspire and motivate all students.” – Flocabulary

“Through their inspirational stories, we see the impact an arts education has on their lives, providing them with community, focus, passion, communication skills, self-confidence, and self-awareness.” -Susan Viebrock, Telluride Inside…and Out



New York Post

Tribeca Film Festival interview with Director Alex Rotaru

The Weekend Warrior by Edward Douglas –

Romanian Cultural Institute of New York

MovieLine Giveway

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