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Shakespeare & Hip Hop

Featuring KP Powell
Actor/Rapper/Combatant/Comedian

Where: Butler Theater – Fayetteville State University
When: November 20th, 2019 at 7pm

FREE for FSU students, faculty, and staff.
$5 for community members.
Registration REQUIRED.
The registration form is here: https://forms.gle/3sMrSUQ12zEx21aZ9

The connection between Shakespeare’s legendary rhetoric and hip hop comes to life in this workshop as veteran stage actor and lyricist KP Powell. Shakespeare and hip hop have been at the center of contemporary conversations about understanding the Bard’s linguistically sophisticated and subversive artform. Championed early on by UK rapper Akala and his Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, artists, students, and teachers are waking up to the provocative, embodied forms of Shakespeare that move the text from the page to the stage. This workshop puts the work in the voices and bodies of its participants, enlivening the black and white page to a colorful and enlivened performance.

Powell is St. Louis born city boy to the core. He’s performed classic Shakespeare roles including Laertes, Guildenstern, Benedick, Macduff, Hotspur, Paris, Bassanio, and Feste on stages from North Dakota to Houston, and as part of the American Shakespeare Center’s national tour. He went to St. Louis University and got a Bachelors in Exercise Science before going to the University of Houston to get his MFA. A lover of heightened language and live music, K.P. has been a lyricist and rapper for 15+ years. This workshop is based on one he created for the American Shakespeare Center for teaching Shakespeare’s rhetoric and wordplay by using modern hip-hop. He believes there is nothing more powerful than a story, so he dedicated his life to telling them.

Powell has taught acting to all ages from the University level to as young as 2nd grade and has created original content for every theater he has worked for, including the original rap battle he wrote for a production of Romeo and Juliet at the American Shakespeare Center (see here: https://www.facebook.com/americanshakespearecenter/videos/10154874947683347). Powell loves theatre that challenges audiences and is passionate about classical work and new works. He dreams of completing Shakespeare’s canon, August Wilson’s canon, and stealing Lin Manuel’s career.

Powell is in Fayetteville as a guest director for Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s upcoming winter production of Macbeth.

For more about Shakespeare and Hip Hop, visit: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/46215/how-hip-hop-can-bring-shakespeare-to-life
For more about KP Powell, visit: http://kppowell.com

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