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#BARS Workshop

    July 18th - September 5th

Mondays, 7:00pm - 10:00pm for #BARS Workshop Participants.


This July, #BARS begins it’s second session as a lab series, created by artists Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs, to serve as a space for artists to investigate the intersection between contemporary verse and theater.

#BARS Workshop applications are now closed. Thank you all who applied to this program.


"Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs are geniuses of verse drama, hip hop artists working in the field that Shakespeare pioneered. They are rooted in history, fiercely of the moment, and busy creating the future. The Public is proud to give them a home." - Oskar Eustis

For the Rapper who wants to step into theater, or Actor who wants to incorporate rap into their wheelhouse – the BARS workshop gets you firmly at the center. Develop rap, rhythmic narrative, spoken word and improvisation skills to bring yourself to the forefront of the next evolution in theater. This workshop is for the well-versed and the unrehearsed.

RAFAEL CASAL is nationally celebrated poetrapper and playwright. A seasoned spoken word artist, He featured on Seasons 4,5 & 6 of HBO’s Def Poetry, is a member of the Living Word Theater Ensemble, and served as Creative Director for the first Hip Hop Theater undergraduate program in the country at the University of Wisconsin Madison. There he developed their 4-year arts curriculum and curated 3 annual theater festivals. Under his direction, the program was granted the Governor’s Arts Award for creative programming, and featured works with presenters like the Hip Hop Theater Festival NYC, the New Amsterdam Theater (Broadway) and Contact Theater in Manchester. In 2011, he was given an Art’s Residency with UW to research and create works that combined poetry, contemporary music (rap) and theater. He has released 3 music projects, solo and with band mate Daveed Diggs, toured nationally and internationally, and has had his music featured on shows for MTV and Showtime. His YoutubeFacebook work has earned him nearly 5 million views for his music, poetry and comedic shorts.

DAVEED DIGGS is an Award-winning American actor and rapper. He is the vocalist of the hip hop group clipping., and originated the roles of both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the 2015 musical Hamilton, for which he won a Grammy Award and a Tony Award in 2016. He was in the national tour ensemble for Marc Bamuthi Joseph's choreopoem Word Becomes Flesh, has done numerous theater productions around the West Coast at venues like  SF Playhouse, Berkeley Rep & Intersection for the Arts, and has released a solo rap album, Small Things to a Giant. He is a member of freestyle rap theater troup Freestyle Love Supreme with fellow Hamilton Cast members Lin-Manuel Miranda and Chris Jackson. 

The first session of #BARS concluded in June 2016, punctuated by the release of the first installment of a video series called the #BARS MIXTAPE MUSICAL MEDLEY, which received high praise from ELLETIMEENTERTAINMENT WEEKLYTEEN VOGUESLATE & more! 

The BARS Workshop, hosted by The Public, is made possible with support from Time Warner, Inc. 

Course Overview

  • Introduction to Approaching Verse
  • BARS philosophy, phenomenology, how self & art intersect
  • History of Oral Tradition, Intersection of Hip Hop, & Hip Hop IN Theater
  • Dissecting our artistic barometers (poets, rappers, Playwrights)
  • The 7 common stories in literature and why
  • Learning the daily rituals/games (exercises)
  • Rap as form (Bar, Haiku, Pantoum, Sonnet)
  • Neighboring forms (Poetry, Classic, etc.)
  • Bar form In Rhyme, Internal
  • Delivery, Double and triple-time cadences and function
  • Writing in verse (topic foundation, POV, silo of self, finding your access point)
  • Monologue in verse
  • Reconstructing scene into verse + performance

The BARS Workshop, hosted by The Public, is made possible with support from Time Warner, Inc.