NAC English Theatre

Hip Hop Theatre Festival

January 31 - February 10, 2024

Music Hip-hop Theatre

Curated by Rose-Ingrid Benjamin with Nina Lee Aquino and NAC Popular Music and Variety

Emerging in the 1970s from disenfranchised Black communities in the Bronx, hip hop has deeply influenced Canadian culture for over four decades. The five elements of deejaying, emceeing, graffiti, breaking and knowledge characterize hip hop not only as a musical genre but a lifestyle and culture – a highly performative art form boasting a rich history of international events which pay homage to hip hop’s inherently theatrical foundation. Inspired by this reality, the NAC Hip Hop Theatre Festival invites you to join us as we celebrate the power found at this intersection.   

The eleven-day festival will revolve around the text-based essence of hip hop, opening with a free monumental Hip Hop Cypher. Subsequent performances will encompass battle rap, spoken word, staged readings, panels, concerts, and virtual events, all aimed at broadening our perspective on how we view and experience theatre at its core.  

NAC English Theatre is excited to join in the tradition of Hip Hop Theatre festivals being presented around the globe. We hope our unique NAC take on this tradition helps audiences cultivate a deeper respect and admiration for hip hop as a distinct and vibrant theatrical form.

Select 3 events or more for 15% off!
FESTIVAL PACKAGE: Buy three or more NAC Hip Hop Theatre Festival events and save 15% off regular priced tickets. *Discount will be applied at checkout.

Upcoming events

  1. One of hip hop’s most exciting displays of spontaneity, skill and creativity, the cypher is the official kick-off to the 10-day festival that pays homage to … read more

  2. How do queer artists thrive in an artform that has historically been unwelcoming—even hostile—to people who identify as LGBTQ+? Five Canadian artists sit … read more

  3. This multidisciplinary work blends original songs, stories, poems, anecdotes, and spoken word pieces from artists around the Niagara Region. Originally conceived as … read more

  4. Popular Music and Variety’s Fridays At The Fourth is excited to introduce emerging Hip Hop artists from across Canada to the stage as part of NAC’s … read more

  5. Focused on bringing hip hop into the classroom as a teachable tool, Hip Hop Headucatorz is a collective of DJs, producers, emcees, breakers and graffiti artists who … read more

  6. Anchored by rhyme, word play, and storytelling, spoken word is a powerful medium that blends poetry and performance. These artists have plenty in common with … read more

  7. How do text messages and a Charles Dickens classic from 1838 connect in the modern era? In this reimagining of Oliver Twist, TWISTED follows Ollie and Nancy, roles … read more

  8. After twin rap stars CashMoney & MoneyPussy get into a car accident that kills one of the siblings, this unique one-man production follows the other as he … read more

  9. Popular Music and Variety’s Fridays At The Fourth is excited to introduce emerging Hip Hop artists from across Canada to the stage as part of NAC’s … read more

  10. Cold Heat

    Presented by NAC Hip Hop Theatre Festival in collaboration with Charron

    The training ground for many of the world’s best lyricists, rap battles see speed and braggadocio take center stage as skilled wordsmiths compete by crafting … read more

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