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What you need to know:

  •  Rehearsals take place at Hartford Stage Rehearsal Studios
  • Rehearsals run Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Past Master Classes have included: stage magic, circus performance, stage combat, color guard, mime, and more.

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Breakdancing Shakespeare

JUST ANNOUNCED: The 10th Anniversary Season of Breakdancing Shakespeare presents Romeo & Juliet

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. In celebration of our tenth year of the program this year, we will stage a new production of Romeo and Juliet, which was the first Breakdancing Shakespeare show in 2006. The program culminates in three public performances on the Main Stage at Hartford Stage, on August 11, 12 and 13.

Auditions are required. Each applicant will be notified of the audition requirement and scheduled for an audition time on Thursday, May 12, between 4 – 7:30 pm at Hartford Stage’s rehearsal studios at 942 Main Street. Callbacks will be held on Thursday, May 19.

Breakdancing Shakespeare is part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s award-winning Neighborhood Studios program.  Neighborhood Studios is 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 building, financial literacy, interviewing and networking skills, as well as vocational skills necessary to succeed in today’s workforce: creative problem solving, multi-media 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.

For more information and to download an application, click HERE.  Application deadline is May 6.

What is Breakdancing Shakespeare?

Created in 2006, in conjunction with the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Studios program, Breakdancing Shakespeare is a paid, six-week summer apprenticeship for students ages 14 through 19 from the Greater Hartford area. Over the course of the program, students learn techniques of breakdancing, physical and vocal characterization, movement, and interpretation of classical text. The students use these skills to put a modern twist on a classic Shakespearean play which culminates in an exciting, high-energy public performance geared toward making Shakespeare accessible to audiences of all ages.

Production History:

  • 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