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Hip Hop Theater

January 27th to March 3rd 4-6pm

@ Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning

161-04 Jamaica Avenue

This six week, six session workshop offers students the opportunity to conceptualize, write and perform their own hip hop theater pieces.

Sessions dates - January 27th, February 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, March 3rd (4-6pm)


About the class:

Through immersive activities, exercises, and assignments, the group will learn to create and perform rhythmic speech as a tool for effective performance, storytelling, self-expression, and cultural engagement. This workshop is writing and performance intensive. Every session will include free writing exercises, acting/performance exercises, and topical discussion, while consistently offering students the space to develop their craft. The group will re-contextualize and examine the writings of legendary hip hop artists, alongside the timeless works of William Shakespeare. We will explore variations of both classical and contemporary acting techniques, and put them to use delivering verse in a modern context. We will deconstruct the dramatic implications of diverse rhyme schemes.


Participants will pull content from the stories connected to their lives, to create compelling, inventive performance pieces. Finally, students will examine the power of the contemporary hip hop bard- the MC, expand notions of this tradition into the realm of performance art, and transcend stereotypes of what is possible to create within the culture.


  • This workshop welcomes all students interested in spoken performance, including but not limited to rapping, spoken word, acting, theater, poetry, storytelling, public speaking, and crowd persuasion.

  • Journals will also be issued to students upon the start of the workshop, and students will be directed and encouraged to write daily, outside of workshop sessions.


About the teaching artist

Malik Work, the NYC based actor-teacher-writer-emcee is a founding member of the groundbreaking jazz/hip hop conglomerate: The Real Live Show. He has written and starred in a one man show entitled Verses At Work, for which he was nominated for Best Solo Performance at the AUDELCO Awards. The abridged version of the show was recently featured on tour with the Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, a rare feat for a non-Shakespearean theatrical piece. He also wrote, starred in, and executive produced a film version of Verses @ Work that was selected by the Hip Hop Film Festival, and won the International Spotlight Award at the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival.

His recent television credits include Broad City on Comedy Central and Blacklist: Redemption on NBC. He has provided award-winning voice-over for national network commercials, scripted television, radio, and internet. Malik is also the voice of Planet Word, an immersive museum of the English language in Washington D.C. billed as the world’s first voice-activated museum. He teaches acting, Shakespeare, theater arts, creative writing, hip hop and hip hop theater, locally and internationally.


He is a faculty member and alumnus of the National Theater Institute, and a teaching artist for the Public Theater. His show Verses @ Work has taken many forms: an experimental Odyssey version debuted at Park Avenue Armory in NYC, an immersive Black History version debuted at Nublu 151 in NYC, and a “post”-pandemic version debuted at Joe’s Pub, while the international version has thrived in South Africa, most recently at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, formerly known as Grahamstown. Follow him: @malikwork on IG/Twitter,,