The hip-hop theatre company Q Brothers visited the SVSU campus last week for a variety of events.
Through the Dow Visiting Scholars and Artists series, the company held a workshop and a question and answer session about entrepreneurship and diversity on Tuesday, March 20.
They also performed ‘Q Gents,’ an adaption of Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” on Wednesday, March 21, and Thursday, March 22.
The Q Brothers have created many adaptations of Shakespeare and a few other classical authors. In their remake of “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” the two gentlemen are football stars at the high school Verona College Prep. The two Q Brothers, JQ and GQ, play all of the parts in the show, along with a D.J., Jackson Doran.
Richard Roberts, the theatre department chair, was thrilled to learn that the theatre department could get the Q Brothers to SVSU. He has wanted to invite the duo to campus for a while.
“I was first introduced to the Q Brothers back at the 2015 KCACTF Region III Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” Roberts said. “Immediately, everyone was drawn to not only their unique approach to classic works but their pure joy and energy for working with students. Since then, Dave Rzeszutek and I wondered how we could possibly get them at SVSU for a week. Last spring, the opportunity presented itself when the folks from the Dow Visiting Artist and Scholars Series program contacted us with the financial support we needed to get them here.”
Roberts believes that artists who are brought to the university need to be able to help students find a new perspective on theatre or learn more about a certain aspect of theatre. In that vein, he believes the workshop was very beneficial for the students who attended it and that it taught students about the theatrical business.
“Understand that the theatrical world is a very small community, and you never know whenever a fleeting connection, can turn into a performance opportunity,” Roberts said. “And more importantly, it’s not only about how talented you are as an actor, but your work ethic, your attitude towards the ensemble.”
That leads into what the Q Brothers talked about when asked how they view the business and how to not let it change one’s attitude towards others.
“Love will get you through the door, not ego,” JQ said. “When egos come into the room, it damages not only relationships but the integrity and quality of the work.”
That is a lesson that applies to all disciplines because the way one treats people impacts the way they interact with oneself. When talking about getting your name out there, GQ commented on how it is important to appeal to people on a human level.
“Instead of telling them about yourself, honestly ask them about how you can improve,” GQ said. “Explain what you are struggling with and ask their advice. Five minutes with a professional can truly help you, so soak in all they have to say.”