Jackson Doran, company member of The Q Brothers, rehearses with Charlotte Weber '16, with Cody Fisher '13 in the background.
This weekend, the Connecticut College Theater Department presents the story of Shakespeare's two star-crossed lovers - with a hip-hop beat in the background.
"I <3 Juliet," an original hip-hop musical inspired by Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," premieres Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Tansill Theater. The play was written and directed by The Q Brothers, who have been in residence at the College developing the play for the last few weeks. It features an original script rapped over a series of original beats that run through the whole performance.
"The entire form of hip-hop theater is dazzling," says Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater Nancy Hoffman. "The combination of poetry, pathos and wit, all over a beat that just doesn't let up - these ingredients make for an electrifying show. With the Q Brothers, the end result is a supercharged version of the Bard that you will both recognize and see through new lenses."
The Q Brothers - GQ and JQ Qaiyum, along with company members Jackson Doran and Postell Pringle - have gained prominence in the theater world for their "ad-rap-tations" of well-known Shakespeare plays like "The Comedy of Errors" (re-envisioned as "The Bomb-itty of Errors") and "Much Ado About Nothing" ("Funk it Up About Nothin'"). This past spring, the Q Brothers were commissioned to write and perform a new take on Othello for the Globe to Globe Festival as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The show they created - "Othello: The Remix" - played to rave reviews and went on to win Best New Musical and Best Lyrics at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The Q Brothers' production of "I <3 Juliet" has been made possible by funding from the Dayton Artist-in-Residency program, The National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the Theater Department.
Tickets are $8 for general admission and $6 for students. Performances are Oct. 4-6 at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances Oct. 6 and 7 at 2 p.m. To purchase tickets, call the Connecticut College Box Office at 860-439-2787 between noon and 5 p.m. To view other events on campus this month, visit the Connecticut College events calendar or follow us on Twitter at @ConnCollegeLive.