Our Story

The Underground Shakespeare Company was founded in January 2001 by Akiva Fox and Nigel Caplan at the University of Pennsylvania. Our mission is to produce high-quality, no-nonsense plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. We use a variety of approaches to bring the plays alive and to break down the barriers between actors and audience.

The Underground Shakespeare Company is resident at Rodin College House and usually performs in its beautiful Rooftop Lounge. From this comfortable lounge, 25 stories above the ground, the audience is treated to a panoramic view of Philadelphia. This fun, informal atmosphere characterizes our group and our productions.

The Undergroundlings are a company of players; we have no committees or hierarchies. We select our plays and projects democratically, collaborate on all aspects of each production, and have a lot of fun in the process. Our philosophy calls for short rehearsal periods that stress textual meaning; these help us produce authentic, organic, and enjoyable performances.

Getting Involved

Company auditions for actors, musicians, and technical crew are held before each production and are announced on this website, on our email listserv (contact thenigel@undergroundshakespeare.com), on our facebook page, on our twitter, and on posters around the Penn campus.

The Underground Shakespeare Company welcomes anyone remotely affiliated with this or any other local university, including but not limited to undergraduates, graduate students, visiting scholars, alumni, and university staff.

We also would love to catch up with you after one of our shows! Please don't be shy about saying hello.