Breakdancing Shakespeare

Breakdancing Shakespeare

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Nina Pinchin
Choreographed by Brandon Couloute

William Shakespeare’s As You Like It is the story of a diverse cast of characters thrown together by misfortune into a desolate place where they find they are nevertheless able to grow friendship, love, and forgiveness. The cast of Breakdancing Shakespeare will create a modern hip-hop telling of this 400-year-old story complete with Shakespeare’s original text and contemporary music/dance.

Meet the Cast

About Breakdancing Shakespeare

Students between the ages of 14 and 18 who live in the greater Hartford area are eligible to audition to be part of the Hartford Stage Young Company cast of Breakdancing Shakespeare, which combines the text of a classic Shakespearean play with the language of hip hop, rap and breakdancing. Throughout the six-week rehearsal process, students take master classes with guest artists, developing skills related to the production. Past master classes include text and vocal work, music and recording, mime, magic, mask-making, stage combat and color guard.

What is Breakdancing Shakespeare?

Breakdancing Shakespeare is part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s award-winning Neighborhood Studios program, a nationally recognized summer arts apprenticeship program for area teenagers between 14-18. Participants are paid a $100 weekly stipend, teaching them the important responsibility of a paying job. Throughout the program, apprentices participate in all-day workshops with master teaching artists, including a career-building curriculum that teaches resume writing, financial literacy, interviewing and networking skills – as well as vocational skills necessary to succeed in today’s workforce: creative problem-solving, multimedia communication, teamwork and civic responsibility. Apprentices are selected from across the Arts Council's 34-town service area, providing an opportunity for teenagers to learn from others with different cultural, economic and geographic backgrounds. Breakdancing Shakespeare apprentices also learn breakdancing techniques, physical and vocal characterization, movement, and interpretation of classical text and use these skills to put a modern twist on a classic Shakespearean play. What culminates is an exciting, high-energy public performance that makes Shakespeare accessible to audiences of all ages.

Production History:

  • 2016: Romeo & Juliet
  • 2015: Hamlet
  • 2014: Love's Labour's Lost
  • 2013: Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • 2012: Much Ado About Nothing
  • 2011: The Tempest
  • 2010: Macbeth
  • 2009: The Comedy of Errors
  • 2008: Antony & Cleopatra 
  • 2007: A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • 2006: Romeo & Juliet