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Despite big name, Shakespeare school still feels cuts




Students from Rafe Esquith's Hobart Shakespeareans perform in this year's production The Tempest.
Students from Rafe Esquith's Hobart Shakespeareans perform in this year's production The Tempest.
Kurt Ingham
Students from Rafe Esquith's Hobart Shakespeareans perform in this year's production The Tempest.
Students perform during a production of the Tempest at LAUSD's Hobart Boulevard Elementary School.
Kurt Ingham
Students from Rafe Esquith's Hobart Shakespeareans perform in this year's production The Tempest.
Emily Park, who plays Prospero, performs in a scene from Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Kurt Ingham
Students from Rafe Esquith's Hobart Shakespeareans perform in this year's production The Tempest.
Brandeaux Lazo (center) performs with other students in The Tempest at Hobart Boulevard Elementary School.
Kurt Ingham
Students from Rafe Esquith's Hobart Shakespeareans perform in this year's production The Tempest.
Brandeaux Lazo, age 10, plays Caliban in a production of The Tempest.
Kurt Ingham


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For decades, superstar teacher Rafe Esquith has staged Shakespeare plays with students from Hobart Boulevard Elementary School in LA's Koreatown. Most of the kids come from low-income families and English isn't their first language. 

His success has been very public. He's written several books, been featured in a PBS documentary, and counts Oprah Winfrey and Sir Ian McKellen among his fans. But the notoriety hasn't spared Hobart Elementary from statewide cuts to school arts programs. 

KPCC's Mary Plummer sat in on this year's play, and tells us how the school has changed since he arrived.