Shakespeare's VILLAINS

Extended in 2014

After a sold-out run in Pasadena, Los Angeles at the end of 2013, VILLAINS is regrouping, remounting, and touring in 2014! Check back here for more details soon!

Imagine if Shakespeare's best villains were taken out of their respective plays, reassembled Frankenstein-style, and finally got to be the focus of their own stories. The California Shakespeare Ensemble will do just that in Shakespeare's VILLAINS as they weave three of the Bard's finest antagonists into one engaging 90-minute show, using only Shakespeare's original words. 

This dark tragicomedy examines what it means to be a "villain". Shakespeare's most well-known villains like Iago and Richard III have a long history of fandom. But some of The Bard's more complex villains may actually show us how much evil is in all of us. Is Shylock really a villain? Is Macbeth?

The show follows three of Shakespeare's villains--Shylock (Merchant of Venice), Macbeth (Macbeth), and Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet)--using Shakespeare's original words and their own separate stories, but with a new adaptation and edit by CSE Artistic Director Brian Elerding.


"To improve Shakespeare by way of editorial wit is to enact a miracle,

and the CSE has enacted a miracle."

-Ken Baumann, Baumannblog


"The shift in focus allows the audience

to view the characters in a different light...

Go, if you can still get tickets."

-Ellen Dostal,




Jeremy Radin as Shylock

Shakespeare's VILLAINS.