You can also download Aaron’s CV as a PDF file.



Blood Magic – music by Ian Williams
Workshops: The Old Globe, 2009; National Alliance for Musical Theatre Development Grant, 2009; Educational Center for the Arts, 2008; Developmental residency at Weston Playhouse, 2008.

Stuck Elevator – music by Byron Au Yong
Workshops: Museum of Chinese in America, 2009; On The Boards, 2009; Risk/Reward Festival, 2009; Theatre Off Jackson, 2007. Funding by Creative Capital, NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute, Artist Trust, 4Culture, and Asian & Pacific Islander Artist Presenting Initiative.

Kingdom – music by Ian Williams
The Old Globe, 2009; ReVision Theatre, 2009; Best Musical, Best Book of 2008-09, Newark Star-Ledger; NEA Distinguished New Play Development Finalist, 2009. Workshops: The Public Theater, Queens Theatre in the Park; Richard Rodgers Award, American Academy of Arts & Letters, 2008; International Community Arts Festival, Rotterdam, 2008; National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival, 2007; Bregamos Community Theater, 2007; Most Promising New Musical award, New York Musical Theatre Festival, 2006; Public Theater, New Work Now!, 2005; NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, 2004.

Shakespeare: The Remix – music by Gihieh Lee
Collective Consciousness Theatre, 2006-present; Zachary Scott Theatre, 2008; Capital Repertory Theatre, 2008; The Arts Farm, 2007; International Festival of Arts & Ideas, 2006; St. Louis Black Rep, 2006; TheatreWorks, Palo Alto, 2003-2006; Commissioned by TheatreWorks, Palo Alto, 2003.

No Lie – music by Alex Vitttum & Liam Baum
Southern Connecticut State University, 2009; Quinnipiac College, 2005-2009; Passage Theatre, 2003; Long Wharf Theatre, 2002; H.E.R.E., 2001; Nuyorican Poets Café, 1999; International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, 1999; 50+ colleges and high schools, 1997-present.



  • 2009-2010 Artist-in-Residence (with Byron Au Yong), NYU Asian / Pacific / American Institute
  • Creative Capital Award (Stuck Elevator), 2009-2011
  • Quinnipiac University Poetry Slam winner, 2009
  • Best Musical, Best Book of 2008-09 (Kingdom), Newark Star-Ledger
  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mixing Texts Artist Residency (Hip Hop – Shakespeare), 2008, 2009
  • Richard Rodgers Award (Kingdom), American Academy of Arts & Letters, 2008
  • Writer’s Residency, Weston Playhouse, 2008
  • 50 Writers to Watch, The Dramatist, 2007
  • Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, 2007
  • Most Promising New Musical (Kingdom), New York Musical Theatre Festival, 2006
  • Outstanding New Musical citation (Kingdom), Talkin’ Broadway, 2006
  • Alberto Vilar Global Fellowship in the Performing Arts, NYU, 2002-2004
  • Artist Residency, Macdowell Colony, 2003
  • Writer’s Residency, TheatreWorks, Palo Alto, 2003
  • New England Artists’ Congress Poetry Slam winner, 1999
  • Open Rap Slam winner, National Poetry Slam Championships, 1997



Bilingual/ESL Theatre Teacher
Columbus High School – Bronx, NY (2009-present)
Created and taught theatre class for English language learners, utilizing reader’s theatre, improvisation, playwriting, and acting exercises to improve English conversation and writing skills.

Comprehensive Arts Program – New Haven, CT (2000-present)
Developed and taught poetry units for middle school and high school students. Worked with English teachers to weave poetry units into class curriculum, from literature analysis on standardized tests to a grade-wide study of the Harlem Renaissance. All students finished each class writing and revising their own poetry. Each residency culminated in a student poetry reading and anthology. Also taught poetry units entirely in Spanish to bilingual classes.

Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Life Department – New Haven, CT (2004-present)
Created writing program for teens in oncology and general wings of children’s hospital. Program introduces hospitalized youth to poetry, hip hop, and theatre; teaches patients to use writing to pinpoint feelings. Incorporated into well-being program for long-term patients.

Hip Hop Theatre Teacher
Boys & Girls Club – New Haven, CT (2009)
Created and taught summer course in hip hop theatre for 9-14-year-olds. Participants created and performed hip hop monologues, dialogues, and collective scenes.

The Old Globe – San Diego, CA (2009)
Led twenty students from Lincoln High School in the writing and performance of an original hip hop play responding to themes of identity in the musical Kingdom. Led workshops in exploring conflict through hip hop scenes for hundreds of students at Lincoln and San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Theatre Faculty
Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp – Steamboat Springs, CO (2004, 2008)
Taught two-week classes in musical theatre styles and musical theatre auditioning to high school students. Taught master class in Theatre as Social Action to high school and college students. Guest-taught classes in playwriting, music, and acting, working with Theatre Department to incorporate activist theatre theory and practice into existing curriculum.

Writing Teacher
New England Young Writers’ Conference – Breadloaf, VT (2002, 2003, 2004, 2008)
Taught four-day workshops in poetry and prose to some of New England’s best high school student writers. Taught extra workshop in hip hop theatre, leading students through Moliere, De La Soul, and their own hip hop scenes. Solo hip hop play No Lie was the featured performance at the conference in 2002 & 2003.

Visiting Artist
International Community Arts Festival – Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2008)
Led workshop in hip hop theatre improvisation for arts festival performers from visiting theatre companies from eight countries.

Theatre Teacher
Educational Center for the Arts – New Haven, CT (2006-2008)
Created and taught semester-long Immigration Project, in which high school students researched, collectively created, and performed an original play about immigration. Students also created hip hop scenes, music, and movement through improvisation and writing.

Teaching Artist
City Lights Youth Theater – New York, NY (2005)
Co-taught four-month conflict resolution theatre workshop to 5th grade students at PS 140, beginning with study and re-enactment of Wampanoag-Pilgrim conflict in the years around the first Thanksgiving, and ending with scripting and acting of students’ own conflicts.

Governor’s Institute on the Arts – Castleton, VT (2004)
Taught Writing as Social Action. High school students learned techniques to move audiences to think in new ways. Using forms like epic theatre, Teatro Campesino’s acto, and Japanese renga, students wrote solo and collective pieces that were published in the GIA magazine and performed at all-Institute shows.

Cultural Development Officer
Arts Council of Greater New Haven – New Haven, CT (2000-2002)
Directed arts programs in New Haven’s most diverse neighborhood, Fair Haven. Surveyed Fair Haven’s cultural assets, then organized collaborations among the identified assets (local artists, businesses, non-profits) to produce community plays, photography programs, mural projects, and an arts newsletter.

Teaching Artist
Long Wharf Theatre Legacy Program – New Haven, CT (2001-2002)
Led bilingual playwriting / acting workshops at Clínica Hispana, Hill Arts & Culture Network, and Youth Center for Change. At YCC, facilitated the writing of Cliff Lombard, a play about father-son relations created collectively by young men in juvenile detention.

Drama Teacher
New Haven Public Schools – New Haven, CT (1997-1999)
Taught acting to middle school students through the plays of Shakespeare, Lorraine Hansberry, Gary Soto, and others. Helped organize and direct school-wide performance each year.

Project Manager
Out Loud: The Hip Hop Poetry Slam of the Year – New Haven, CT (June 1998)
Organized city-wide series of poetry / hip hop slams for International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Coordinated over one hundred poets, MC’s, DJ’s, graffiti artists, slam masters, business owners, panelists and volunteers. Successfully publicized event to expand community participation in the festival.

Student Teacher Poet
Poetry for the People – Berkeley, CA (1996-1997)
Initiated, coordinated, and co-taught poetry workshop for inmates at federal women’s prison in Dublin, CA. Taught a section of UC Berkeley undergrad and grad students in June Jordan’s class. Taught poetry to seniors at Berkeley High and adults at Glide Church.



New York University (May 2004)
MFA, Musical Theatre Writing
Alberto Vilar Global Fellow in the Performing Arts
Tisch Salute performer, Madison Square Garden

Connecticut Commission on the Arts (1998-2001)
Inner City Cultural Development Program, artistic development program for urban artists. Mentored by Doug Hughes and Naomi Ayala.

University of California, Berkeley (May 1997)
BA, Interdisciplinary Studies, Concentration in Arts and Social Change (adviser Peter Sellars). Minor in Creative Writing (adviser June Jordan). Highest Honors, Highest Distinction in General Scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa.

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City (Fall 1995)
Junior term abroad

Fluent Spanish
Extensive teaching, writing, performing, and community organizing experience in Spanish.

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  • “Critic’s Choice. With the raw spirit of the hard-hitting ‘Kingdom’... rap, Latin sounds and razor-edged rock tap into pure blasts of emotion, like a needle dropped straight on the brain. A bold step forward for the Globe.” – San Diego Union-Tribune
  • About Aaron

    Aaron Jafferis is a hip hop poet and playwright. Read his bio, his CV, or contact him.