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Home 23rd Annual Simply Shakespeare Fundraiser-Tom Hanks,Rita Wilson,Sir Paul McCartney Support The Arts

23rd Annual Simply Shakespeare Fundraiser-Tom Hanks,Rita Wilson,Sir Paul McCartney Support The Arts


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The Broad Stage in Santa Monica was full of star power as it hosted the 23rd Annual Simply Shakespeare benefit reading of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.”  The evening will featured a star-studded cast including Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Val Kilmer, William Shatner and many more celebrities.  Simply Shakespeare is one of Los Angeles’ most anticipated annual fundraising events and features a hilarious and entertaining evening of impromptu Shakespeare and song.

All proceeds from the event support the SCLA and its arts based veterans employment and youth employment programs for inner-city youth, arts education in local schools, and professional union contracted productions at the Japanese Garden on the grounds of the West Los Angeles Veterans Medical Center,  that are accessible to all.

In attendance was Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Martin Short, William Shatner, Christina Applegate, Eric McCormick, Val Kilmer, Thomas Sadowski, Lily Rabe, Ben Donenberg (SCLA Artistic Director), Jackson Browne, Kelly and Ron Meyer (Vice Chairman, NBC Universal),  and more!

Guests enjoyed an evening of song and were treated to an awesome after party.

“Our organization is so fortunate to have such extraordinary and dedicated supporters,” said Ben Donenberg, Shakespeare Center Los Angeles founding Artistic Director.  “We are thrilled for their involvement in our annual Simply Shakespeare production and providing the opportunity to showcase SCLA’s work and raise funds to support our life-changing programs for at-risk youth and veterans in our communities.”


Since 1985, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles has been a vibrant hub of unique programs, performances and events designed to make Shakespeare accessible and engaging to all.  SCLA continues to build community through its innovative outreach programs including “Will Power to Youth,” an academic enrichment program that combines hands-on artistic experience with paid job training and arts education for at-risk youth.  The program has been nationally recognized for its effectiveness in reducing high school dropout rate and delinquency.  More importantly, it instills a lasting sense of creativity and competency in the youth who participate.

SCLA’s “Veterans in Art” program represents an innovation in veterans programming that explores how the arts can contribute in a meaningful way in the efforts to assist veterans to recover and reintegrate into mainstream Los Angeles civilian life.  This summer’s “Shakespeare Under The Stars” professional production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” incorporated a full veteran workforce supporting the production and continues to offer free tickets to active military, veterans and their families and care givers.  For more information on the Simply Shakespeare benefit performance or SCLA, please visit

The SCLA Simply Shakespeare reading of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” is made possible by the support of its premiere sponsor Entertainment Industry Foundation and benefactor sponsor Deutsche Bank.

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