Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Shana Redmond Added To Paul Robeson Birthday Celebration On April 9

Randy Ross Ph.D. has written a short theatre piece, Essie's Paul, about Robeson and his wife.

Shana Redmond Added To Paul Robeson Birthday Celebration On April 9

Paul Robeson (1898-1976), actor, singer, athlete, civil rights activist and humanitarian is the inspiration for The Robey Theatre Company and the man from whom The Robey gets its name. On Friday, April 9, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. PDT, The Robey will have a virtual birthday celebration for Paul Robeson. This is the first of projected annual celebrations commemorating Paul Robeson.

The Robey Theatre Company's Producing Artistic Director, Ben Guillory, will make welcoming remarks and speak about the artistic and historical importance of Paul Robeson on the occasion of his 123rd birthday.

Randy Ross Ph.D. has written a short theatre piece, Essie's Paul, about Robeson and his wife, Eslanda (Essie) Cardozo Goode Robeson, which will be performed by actors Chauntice Green and Jah Shams.

Actor/songwriter/vocalist Cydney Wayne Davis will perform her original composition Don't Give Up the Fight.

There will be a play-reading of Melvin Ishmael Johnson's short play Revolutionary Genocide, about William Lorenzo Patterson (portrayed by Danny Glover) and Paul Robeson (played by Ben Guillory), who in 1951 at the United Nations, accused the United States of the attempted genocide of Black people because of the Federal government's failure to pass anti-lynching legislation and its failure to bring the perpetrators of racial murders to justice. Guillory directs the cast, which also includes Melvin Ishmael Johnson, Cydney Wayne Davis, Crystal Nix and Philip Sokoloff.

There will be documentary film footage of Paul Robeson.

Ben Guillory and Melvin Ishmael Johnson will have a conversation with Mary Louise Patterson (daughter of William Lorenzo Patterson) and Dr. Shana Redmond (activist, scholar and author of Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson) about the lives of Paul Robeson and William Lorenzo Patterson and their impact on the Civil Rights Movement and their relevance to all of our lives today.

Ben Guillory and Danny Glover will present the Paul Robeson Award to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas in recognition of his longtime contributions to the artistic, cultural and civic life of Los Angeles.

Danny Glover and Ben Guillory will then make closing remarks. The estimated running time of the entire event is 100 minutes.

This is a free event. Please register at After registration, you will be sent a link to attend the event.

The Robey Theatre Company is a nonprofit developmental theatre organization. Please feel free to make a suggested donation of $10 to support our programming at

The Robey Theatre Company was founded 27 years ago by Danny Glover and Producing Artistic Director Ben Guillory with the objective of the theatrical presentation of stories of the Global Black Experience.

Executive Producer: Ben Guillory. Special Events Producer: Millena Gay. Producer: Cydney Wayne Davis, Associate Producer: JC Cadena. Associate Producer/Production Design/Editor:: Jermaine Alexander. Production Stage Manager: Crystal Nix. Graphic Artist/Design: Jason Mimms.

Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories

More Hot Stories For You