Will Power creates Hip Hop version of The Tempest speech

WORLD SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL UPDATE

LEADING U.S. PERFORMANCE POET WILL POWER CREATES NEW HIP HOP VERSION OF SHAKESPEARE'S SPEECH FROM THE TEMPEST FOR THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY'S DIGITAL PROJECT myShakespeare.

Will Power, the acclaimed US based performance poet, playwright and hip hop artist will premiere his take on Caliban's speech from The Tempest when it goes live on the RSC's myShakespeare digital platform this Friday (27 July 2012).

The hip hop rendition of Caliban's 'The isle is full of noises' speech is launched on the same day that the speech will feature as part of the Olympic Games opening ceremony. This modern take on Caliban's words was specially commissioned for myShakespeare, which launched in April 2012 as part of the World Shakespeare Festival with a digital film by Tim Minchin and performance of a new poem by Kate Tempest.

Power believes that people have different entry points into Shakespeare and his is through the rhythm. He draws parallels between the rhythm of hip hop and that of Shakespeare, and documents his process through a short four-minute film.

The commission is a unique collaboration with composer and award winning producer, Justin Ellington. Together they have created full A cappella and instrumental mixes that can be used by others to remix and make their own versions to be shared on the myShakespeare platform. The track is available to listen to on Soundcloud.

Will Power said of the commissioned piece 'Hip hop is now the widest disseminated form of poetry in history and is accessed all over the world. I have a love of Shakespeare's verse and I've enjoyed working with Justin Ellington on a classic text, it's been a great collaboration. I'm delighted to be working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the World Shakespeare Festival, and to be given this opportunity to explore Shakespeare in a contemporary way'.

Geraldine Collinge, RSC Director of Events and Exhibitions who created and commissioned the work for myShakespeare, said 'We want myShakespeare to have as wide and varied pieces of work by as many international artists as possible, all with their different and personal ways of responding to this most famous of playwrights. So far we have commissions from Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Brothers McLeod and Central Saint Martins. Will's work is an exciting, contemporary take on the powerful rhythm of Shakespeare's language.'

To find out how to use the tracks to remix and share your work on myShakespeare, people should contact Sarah Ellis, RSC Project Manager on sarah.ellis@rsc.org.uk

For further information or interview requests, please contact philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Will Power

'...combines the complexity of serious drama with the visual and sonic arsenal of MTV' – New York Times

'The best verse playwright in America' - New York Magazine

Will Power is an award winning Playwright, Performer and M.C. Along with a small select group of others, Power helped to create the popular performance art form known as Hip Hop Theatre. His plays and performances have been seen in some of the world's greatest venues including Lincoln Center (New York), The Sydney Opera House (Australia), The Battersea Arts Centre (London), Royce Hall (Los Angeles), and many others. Mr. Power spent much of his early years as a key member in two critically acclaimed avant-garde Hip Hop bands, Midnight Voices and the Omar Sosa Sextet. With these groups Power recorded and toured extensively.

His drama Fetch Clay, Make Man had its world premiere at the McCarter Theatre Center (upcoming New York run 2013). Power's adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes, retitled The Seven, enjoyed a successful off-Broadway run at the New York Theater Workshop in 2006 and The La Jolla Playhouse in 2008. His solo show FLOW was featured in the Hip Hop Theater Festival before touring nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. Power's numerous awards include a United States Artist Prudential Fellowship, a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, the TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, a Drama Desk Award nomination, and the Trailblazer Award from The National Black Theater Network. Power's numerous film and television appearances include The Steven Colbert Report (Comedy Central), and Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS). Presently, Power is in the process of developing new works for The Dallas Theatre Center, The Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, and Hartford Stage.

For more www.willpower.tv

Justin Ellington

Composer and Grammy award winning producer based in New York by way of Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout his career he has worked with stellar artists in both theatre and the recording industry. As a composer his work has been heard on stages around the world, most recently in the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Other Desert Cities, which earned a Tony nomination for Best Play. Working alongside some of our greatest living playwrights, John Guare, Neil Labute, Jon Robin Baitz, Will Power and also directors Joe Mantello, and Des McNuff, has had a profound and motivating effect on Justin's career.

In 2004 Ellington had the pleasure of joining the now multi platinum production company Bangladesh Productions. Artist, Beyonce, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Rhianna and others have all benefited from the music produced by Bangladesh Productions.

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