The Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company (LAWSC) is a nonprofit organization which produces professional productions of Shakespeare's plays with an all-female ensemble. They provided opportunities for collaboration between multiracial, highly accomplished artists: actors, producers, directors, choreographers, designers and educators. LAWSC contributes to a transformation of the perceptions of women's roles in our society by demonstrating unbounded cross gender potential. Their productions illuminate contemporary issues in classical context, offering a unique political and social perspective.



Lisa Wolpe, Shakesperian actress, Los Angeles Womens Shapespeare Company


Lisa Wolpe





Lisa is a good all round theatre maker: actress, director, teacher, playwright and producer. She was the  Producing Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company which was active for 17 years, from 1993 until 2010, according to their website. Shortly after founding in 1993 the LAWSC, LA Magazine named this troupe as: 


“one of the ten coolest things to do in Los Angeles


Since then, the LAWSC has been featured on PBS, CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS News. Honors include the 2008 L.A. Drama Critic's Award for Sustained Excellence, hardly surprising after (at that time) 15 years of quality performances - and we take our hat off to Lisa and the girls. Lisa has directed more than 30 productions of Shakespeare and played many of the Bard’s leading male roles. She directed many kinds of contemporary and classical theater and also teaches Acting and Directing. Lisa starred in 'A Marine Story,' a full length feature film.

The troupe has appeared at: 


the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 

Shakespeare & Company, 

San Diego Repertory Theater, 

Arizona Theater Company, 

Southwest Shakespeare Company, 

People’s Light & Theatre, 

Boston Playwright’s Festival, 

Boston Center for the Arts (one-woman show). 


Which roles included: 


The Merchant of Venice, 

As You Like It, 

The Tempest, 

The Winter’s Tale, 

Much Ado About Nothing, 

Twelfth Night, 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 

Richard III, 



Romeo and Juliet, 

Measure for Measure, 

The Importance of Being Earnest, 

A Tyrant’s Tale, 

Macbeth3 (Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company). 


International appearances: 


Banquo, Macduff and Duncan in Macbeth3, 

Uncle Sam in Yankee Doodle Vaudeville, 

Chorus in Medea, Ramona in Zara Spook (Edinburgh Festival). 




A Marine Story (see video below)

Mr. Nobody, 


L.A. Law, 

A Year in the Life. 


Writing credits: 


Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender (one-woman show); 

Adaptations of Shakespeare including: 

Katie the Curst (Taming of the Shrew), 

A Tyrant's Tale (Winter's Tale), 


Parzival (San Diego Critic’s Award Best New Play; 

ClownWork (Sushi Gallery) Harmonious Proportions (Boston Center for the Arts). 


Other honors include: NBC Local Hero, Women in Theater, Drama-Logue, Ovation, LA Weekly, Maddie awards. Globe International Theater Fellow.





Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company began its producing history in 1993 with Romeo & Juliet at the 50-seat Hollywood Actor's Theater, funded by individual donations. We then won grant support for our subsequent productions, allowing us to rent slightly larger theaters and pay modest stipends to our artists and staff, while remaining at core a volunteer-based, grass-roots company with an enthusiastic and dedicated ever-expanding audience.

Major Programs have included: 

  • Romeo and Juliet (1993); 

  • Othello (1994); 

  • Hamlet (1995); 

  • Richard III (1995); 

  • Much Ado About Nothing (1996); 

  • Measure for Measure (1997); 

  • Twelfth Night (2000), 

  • The Tempest (2002); 

  • The Merchant of Venice (2005); 

  • As You Like It (2007); 

  • Othello (2008); 

  • Macbeth3 International Tour (2008); 

  • Wicked Wilde Shakespeare Festival (2010) - Macbeth3, A Tyrant’s Tale, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Lovers and Madmen.

The LAWSC have also produced a series of lavish Gala Events, featuring the stellar work of such guest artists as: Tina Packer, Kathy Bates, Rue McLanahan, Sharon Gless, Lynn Redgrave, Susan Ruttan, Linda Hopkins, Gates McFadden, and Polly Bergen.

The LAWSC 'Outreach Program' has a long history of presenting many lectures and demonstrations of their unique cross-gender Shakespearian performances to over 30 University, High School, and Community Groups. They employed a wide range of administrative and production-related student interns from various universities including: the University of Southern California, UCLA, Otis College of Design, Cal Arts, Boston University, Syracuse University and other schools.




  • Sumner Redstone Charitable Foundation, 

  • The ARCO Foundation, 

  • California Arts Council, 

  • California Community Foundation, 

  • City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, 

  • City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department, 

  • The Flintridge Foundation, 

  • The Fund for the Feminist Majority, 

  • Los Angeles County Arts Commission, 

  • National State & County Partnership, 

  • NEA, O’Donnell & Schaffer, 

  • Peter Norton Foundation, 

  • Pfizer Corporation, 

  • Tresorelle Foundation, & 

  • The Women’s Foundation.


Lisa Wolpe as Iago - William Shakespeare production


Lisa Wolpe as Iago






LA Women's Shakespeare Co - Youtube



Trailer for The Importance of Being Earnest

We were delighted to have Mr. John Achorn appear with us in "The Importance of Being Earnest" as Lady Bracknell - he was definitely a major reason why this show sold out so often! What a hoot! The cast included Lisa Wolpe as Jack, Cynthia Beckert as Algernon, Laura Covelli as Cecily, Linda Bisesti as Ms. Prism, Katrinka Wolfson as Gwendolyn, Mark Bramhall as Rev. Chasuble and Kevin Vavasseur as Lane and Merriman. This is one we will have to remount someday!. Directed by Lisa Wolpe with Cate Caplin.


Trailer from The Tyrant

"The Tyrant's Tale", adapted and directed by Lisa Wolpe from Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale", featured Heidi Robbins as Hermione, Laura Covelli as Perdita, Andrew Heffernan as Polixenes, Scott McRae as Leontes, Lisa Wolpe as Paulina, and David Glasser as Florizel.


Trailer from Othello

Lisa Wolpe as Iago in the 2008 LAWSC/Theatre @ Boston Court co-pro of Othello, starring Fran Bennett as the Moor, directed by Lisa Wolpe.





Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company 
1158 26th Street # 399 
Santa Monica, CA 90403 
(310) 453-5069 



LAWSC website




About the LAWSC


Union Daily Times - Shakespeare-troupe


Smooth Faced Gentlemen

Nickel Shakespeare Girls




Los Angeles - Women's Shakespeare Company





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