Q&A with theatre artists Josh Thomas & Caitlin Hernandez

Q&A with theatre artists Josh Thomas & Caitlin Hernandez

Fools and Madmen is a series of mobile hip hop adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, touring Baltimore City Schools and communities. Our goal is to bridge hip hop and classical theatre culturally and artistically, and to combat racial disparity in classical theatre. We believe that Shakespeare’s stories and characters are for everyone to access, and hope to break the perception that they belong only to one audience or culture. Our plays integrate Shakespearean text with original hip hop songs, creating a lyrical and rhythmic mash-up of classical and modern language, of poetry and music. Performed in the round, scored by live musicians, by an ensemble of BIPOC artists, our productions show that the only thing separating Hip Hop and Shakespeare as artforms are the voices and experiences of the people telling the stories.
About the guests:

Josh and Caitlin are theatre artists in Baltimore City dedicated to increasing diversity in classical theatre. After knowing each other through classical theatre for years, they began collaborating in 2017 to produce Shakespeare in a new way for an audience they didn’t see it serving. Together, they create hip hop adaptations of Shakespeare's plays under the name Fools and Madmen. They are guided by their belief that Shakespeare’s plays belong to everyone and that everyone should have the opportunity to access them.

Fools and Madmen is a series of mobile hip hop adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, touring Baltimore City Schools and communities. Their goal is to bridge hip hop and classical theatre culturally and artistically, and to combat racial disparity in classical theatre. They believe that Shakespeare’s stories and characters are for everyone to access, and hope to break the perception that they belong only to one audience or culture. Their plays integrate Shakespearean text with original hip hop songs, creating a lyrical and rhythmic mash-up of classical and modern language, of poetry and music. Performed in the round, scored by live musicians, by an ensemble of BIPOC artists, their productions show that the only thing separating Hip Hop and Shakespeare as artforms are the voices and experiences of the people telling the stories. 

About the Show (Julius Caesar, running July 8-17 at Motor House):

A hip-hop adaptation of Julius Caesar, written and adapted by Baltimore artists Joshua C. Thomas and Caitlin Carbone Hernandez and directed by Mari Andrea Travis. Inspired partly by the film Moonlight, our adaptation focuses on Brutus and Cassius’ relationship, showing a male friendship as complex and intimate to challenge the idea of Roman stoicism as a pillar of masculinity.

The Truth In This Art
The Truth In This Art is a podcast interview series supporting vibrancy and development of Baltimore & beyond's arts and culture.

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Fools and Madmen

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