Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shakespeare Behind Bars: Chicago inmates treated to hip-hop version of "Othello" by Stephanie Slifer

(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - The Chicago Shakespeare Theater put on a performance of a hip-hop version of "Othello" at Chicago's Cook County jail this week. The play was performed to an audience of 450 inmates and featured an onstage DJ and a plethora of rhyming, rapping and poetry.
"Othello-The Remix," as the play is dubbed, was written and directed by Gregory and Jeffrey Qaiyum, two Chicago brothers and rappers who are known as "The Q brothers." The play features a modern-day plot which illustrates Othello as a rap star and music mogul.
This is the third Shakespeare play the brothers have translated into hip-hop style, following "The Bomb-itty of Errors" and "Funk It Up About Nothin."
This new Othello - originally commissioned by Shakespeare's Globe Theater - has been performed in England, South Korea and Chicago. Taking the play behind bars, the brothers expected the inmates would apply themes written four centuries ago to their own lives today.

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