Shakespeare: The Remix

Music by Gihieh Lee, words by Aaron Jafferis. Originally commissioned and produced by TheatreWorks (Palo Alto).

What does Will Shakespeare have in common with hip hop?
We’re both so hot, we’ll make your bottom lip drop!

So say Shayla and Shakespeare in the midst of the wild and wonderful battle of words that is Shakespeare: The Remix. Colliding original text from Shakespeare’s plays with original rhymes fresh from the mouth of a high school girl, The Remix is an introduction to all that is good, relevant and irreverent in Shakespeare and in hip hop.

When Shayla, a hip-hop-loving high school girl on the verge of dropping out, meets Shakespeare, a 440-year-old ghost having a mid-death crisis, a pitched battle of wits erupts that pits Shayla’s sharp and questioning young mind against Shakespeare’s hunger to prove himself relevant. As Shayla and Shakespeare jump in and out of scenes from Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Merchant of Venice, it is the third character – the “ghost” audience of school kids watching and often participating in the show – that is left most wowed and inspired by the power of words. The Remix is an unparalleled way to introduce Shakespeare (as you’ve never known him) to young audiences.

School Tours: Shakespeare: The Remix school tour
The Remix is a uniquely hip, dynamic, educational way to introduce Shakespeare to young audiences. Includes monologues and scenes from Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Merchant of Venice. Length: 45 minutes. Appropriate for grades 5-12.

Learn more about The Remix workshops and study guides.

Thanks to tours in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York, Shakespeare: The Remix has reached over a hundred schools and tens of thousands of students. Make your school next. Collective Consciousness Theatre is currently touring a production of Shakespeare: The Remix, directed by Dexter J. Singleton. To inquire about booking a show in Connecticut, contact info@yaconn.org. For all other bookings, contact dexterj2000@yahoo.com.

Shakespeare: The Remix was the perfect show for us to use in reaching out to the community – it is able to reach people of all shapes and sizes. As soon as the first beats came out of the boombox, the young people were hooked. Not only was it entertaining for the kids, but I had parents come up to me saying they learned more about Shakespeare in these 45 minutes then they did all through high school and college! The Remix is a truly unique piece of musical theater.”
– Michael Harrington, Artistic Director, The Arts Farm

“The youth of Jane Boyd truly benefited from the Arts Farm workshops and the production of Shakespeare: The Remix. The opportunity to interact with thespians and view a live production opened up their perspective on opportunities for themselves.”
– Karl Cassell, Executive Director, Jane Boyd Community House

For Theatres:
The Remix is also available for theatres to stage and tour on their own. It is 45 minutes in length; requires two actors and a simple, portable set; includes six hip hop/spoken word songs (and underscoring for the Shakespearean scenes) on one CD. To request a script, demo CD, or to inquire about staging your own production of Shakespeare: The Remix, contact aaronjafferis@gmail.com.

  • “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.