DETROIT (WJBK) - Shakespeare and rap music are two things normally thought of on opposite sides of the spectrum, but one artist and educator from New York is bringing the two together in hopes of making Shakespeare more accessible to students.
Devon Glover, or, better known as The Sonnet Man, is a New York rap artist who takes the words of Shakespeare and puts them to a hip hop beat, and then translates the dialogue to modernize the words.
But here's where the magic happens. FOX 2's Lee Thomas sat in on a class at the Detroit School of Arts in Midtown. The kids are not only listening, they were enjoying themselves.
Glover travels the world teaches his brand of The Bard to the masses. He's a former teacher himself, and says he discovered the idea while teaching math at P.S. 92 in Brooklyn. Now he works with the Stratford Festival in Ontario with his teaching partner, actor Brad Hodder.
The two focus on Shakespeare's language and movement to the kids, getting them performing exercises that help re-enforce the lessons.
Even though Stratford actors have been workshoping in Michigan for two decades, Hodder says what The Sonnet Man does is something special.
"As soon as Devon started doing his thing, what I started seeing was students just - they think they know what they're getting. 'Okay, here's the Stratford guys, free period, whatever, you know.' Devon opens up the students. They realize that they can make this their own," Hodder says.