About Us

Mission ~ Board ~ SBTS History ~ FAQ

"This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce my children to Shakespeare that I could not otherwise afford.” — Margaret Kemp, Long Beach

Shakespeare by the Sea (SBTS) is a nonprofit organization (tax ID # 95-4785457) that was launched in 1998 by Producing Artistic Director Lisa Coffi. Partnerships with local city organizations enabled us to offer the performances for free. The first season was tremendously successful – over 3,000 people attended the nine performances at what was then an unused facility in the park.

Since then, SBTS has blossomed. We now present a repertory season that runs for 10 weeks – 4 weeks in San Pedro and 6 weeks in venues throughout LA, Orange and Ventura Counties.

Our Free Summer Festival is for everyone — regardless of age, race, economic stability or address and our audience is a melting pot of Americana. It is the only annual admission free theatrical event that serves the entire South Bay, LA, and parts of Orange and Ventura Counties and we are only Shakespeare company on the West Coast that travels to over 20 communities with its programming.

"Three years ago we heard about SBTS and we’ve been coming ever since. You are all wonderful – this is the highlight of our summer. My kids love it too!” — K. Dahlin, Gardena

Over the years, SBTS has developed into a mid-sized arts organization with three core programs:

  1. Free Summer Repertory presented in San Pedro and then throughout the South Bay, LA, Orange and Ventura Counties.
  2. Little Fish Theatre (LFT) a professional theatre in the San Pedro Arts District which provides year-round theatrical experiences of new, classic and contemporary works.
  3. Shaking it up with Shakespeare (SWISS) our touring educational outreach program.

These programs reflect our mission to enrich the lives of individuals, youth and their families in diverse communities. Since its inception, SBTS has grown into a mid-sized arts organization that is an integral part of the San Pedro and South Bay communities.

Since 1998, SBTS has reached over 335,000 youth and their families, seniors and individuals in Southern California with quality entertainment and educational programs.

Our free summer festival remains our core program and has become a tradition for thousands of South Bay families.

Including our other programs, SBTS has brought quality entertainment to thousands of youth and their families, seniors and individuals in Southern California since 1998.