Shakespeare & Hip Hop at McLaughlin Youth School

The Shakespeare & Hip Hop Workshop is open and available to students, ages 14-19, that attend the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage, Alaska, located on Dena’ina land. In this workshop, students will have the opportunity to produce original hip-hop songs and have the opportunity to create a theater production based on their work. The workshops will be co-facilitated by See Stories Educator Kaneyo Hirata, hip-hop artist Tayy Tarantino, and actor/director Keith McGill. Students will rewrite a section of Othello as a hip hop song and perform their scenes. Students will confront the themes of betrayal, jealousy, love, and racism found in Othello, and their’ engagement with Othello lays the groundwork for writing their own hip-hop songs that they will have the opportunity to record or perform. 

This workshop is open to students that attend the McLaughlin Youth Center and is not open to public application. 

Workshop Details

  • February 1, 2022 - June 1, 2023

Instructors

Kaneyo Hirata

Kaneyo Hirata is See Stories’ Culturally Responsive Story Educator who will be the co-instructor for this workshop. She is a Pacific Islander and Asian Educator who grew up on the Northshore side of Oahu, Hawaii and on Tutuila Island in American Samoa, and currently lives on Dena’ina land. As our Story educator, Kaneyo manages and instructs our youth podcast education programs in Anchorage, designing curriculum for these programs. She aims to inspire Alaskan youth to connect to their cultures and identity to tell their stories.

Tayy Tarantino

Tayy Tarantino is an American hip hop recording artist and songwriter from Anchorage, Alaska. He serves as co-instructor for the Shakespeare & Hip-Hop workshops, engaging students in writing their own hip-hop songs based on themes from Shakespeare’s Othello. As a hip-hop artist Tayy has released five full length albums and performed across the country. His own experiences of having loved ones who are or have been incarcerated are invaluable in connecting with youth at McLaughlin School. Shakespeare’s work resonated with the people of his time because he spoke the language of the streets; Tayy’s words connect similarly with McLaughlin students, and he supports students to translate their journal entries inspired by Othello into hip hop songs. His musical influences are J-Cole, Jay-Z, Kanye, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Timberland. He currently performs between the East and West Coasts & Alaska, but Tayy’s passion for giving back to the community that raised him inspires him to commit to this program on a regular basis despite his busy travel schedule.

Keith McGill

Keith McGill has been a free-lance teaching artist and workshop leader for over 25 years with organizations including Shakespeare Behind Bars, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and Commonwealth Theatre Center and Actors’ Theatre’s New Voices playwriting program. He has also appeared in productions with various theater organizations, such as Actors Theatre, Stage One, Looking for Lilith Theatre Company and Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. He is an actor and director, most recently having directed Ghost and Monster of Mine for Stage One Children’s Theatre, and he appeared in The Public, opposite Alec Baldwin. He is also a freelance teaching artist for Commonwealth Theatre Center (CTC), Actors Theatre, and Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, among others. As a playwright, Keith created Nation in Crisis, an educational one-person presentation of major moments in the Civil Rights Movement. We are grateful to bring Keith in and believe that McLaughlin youth will benefit greatly from his expertise in Shakespeare and theater. 

Land Acknowledgement

This workshop is being offered on Dena'ina Land. Learn more about land acknowledgements at native-land.ca.