For Immediate Release
Contact: Theresa M. MacNaughton,
office: 860-520-7114

Hartford Stage Announces August Performances Dates for Breakdancing Shakespeare: As You Like It    

Special Benefit Performance Added    

Hartford, CT, June 20, 2017 - Hartford Stage, in conjunction with the Greater Hartford Arts Council's Neighborhood Studios, has announced performance dates for this summer’s Breakdancing Shakespeare: As You Like It. Four performances will be held at Hartford Stage Thursday, August 3, through Saturday, August 5, which will include a special benefit performance.

A possible decrease in funding for Breakdancing Shakespeare, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last summer with Romeo & Juliet, would seriously compromise the theatre’s ability to carry out this immensely popular teen program next season. A special benefit performance has been added this year for As You Like It, with all proceeds directly supporting the 2018 Breakdancing Shakespeare production. At present, a grant from Neighborhood Studios funds only half of the program.

“With potential cuts in funding, we are being very proactive about raising money this year to ensure that Breakdancing Shakespeare will continue next year,” said Michael Stotts, Managing Director of Hartford Stage. “This has become one of Hartford Stage’s flagship youth  programs that would be terribly missed if we had to cancel it due to lack of funding.”

Breakdancing Shakespeare is part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s award-winning Neighborhood Studios program, a nationally recognized summer arts apprenticeship program for area teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18. Participants are paid a $100 weekly stipend, teaching them the important responsibility of a paying job. Apprentices are selected from across the Arts Council's 34-town service area, providing an opportunity for teenagers to learn from others with different cultural, economic and geographic backgrounds. Breakdancing Shakespeare apprentices also learn breakdancing techniques, physical and vocal characterization, movement, and interpretation of classical text and use these skills to put a modern twist on a classic Shakespearean play.

“We absolutely love this program, as do many families, alumni, and community members who have been in the audience over the past ten years,” said Jennifer Roberts, Director of Education at Hartford Stage. “We invite everyone to rally together to help ensure the future of this critical and beloved program.”

William Shakespeare’s As You Like It is the story of a diverse cast of characters thrown together by misfortune into a desolate place where they find they are nevertheless able to grow friendship, love, and forgiveness. The cast of Breakdancing Shakespeare will create a modern hip-hop telling of this 400-year-old story, complete with Shakespeare’s original text and contemporary music and dance.

The full cast and creative team for As You Like It will be announced next month. The production will be directed by Nina Pinchin, Associate Director of Education for Hartford Stage, and choreographed by former Breakdancing Shakespeare cast member Brandon Couloute.

Performances of Breakdancing Shakespeare: As You Like It will be at Hartford Stage on Thursday, August 3, and Friday, August 4, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, August 5, at 2 p.m., with the benefit performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 5. General admission tickets for the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoon performances are $10. Seated tickets for the Saturday evening benefit performance are $30, $50, and $100. Tickets can be purchased through the Hartford Stage Box Office at 860-527-5151 or online at

To learn more about Breakdancing Shakespeare, visit or contact Robert Reader, Education Programs Manager, at 860-520-7263 or To learn more about Neighborhood Studios, visit

Breakdancing Shakespeare
Breakdancing Shakespeare

The cast of Breakdancing Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet (2016)


Now in its 54th season, Hartford Stage’s mission is to enlighten, entertain, and educate by creating theatrical works of the highest caliber that have a transformative impact on audiences, the community, and its field. Led by Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts, Hartford Stage is renowned for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals – including over 70 world and American premieres – as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches approximately 20,000 students annually.

Since Tresnjak’s appointment in 2011, Hartford Stage has presented the world premieres of the new musical Anastasia by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens – currently on Broadway; Rear Window with Kevin Bacon; Reverberation by Matthew Lopez; Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Tresnjak; and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 1988 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Other national honors include Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, OBIE, and New York Critics Circle awards. Hartford Stage has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April; The Orphans' Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); The Carpetbagger's Children; and Tea at Five.    

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