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Darryl Maximilian Robinson Notes 40th Anniversary As Sir Thomas More In Robert Bolt's 'A Man For All Seasons' At UMSL show poster

Darryl Maximilian Robinson Notes 40th Anniversary As Sir Thomas More In Robert Bolt's 'A Man For All Seasons' At UMSL at The Excaliber Shakespeare Company Los Angeles Archival Project

Dates: (10/1/2024 - 11/30/2024 )

Theatre:

The Excaliber Shakespeare Company Los Angeles Archival Project


90065
Los Angeles,CA 90065

Tickets: 0.00

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  3. Darryl Maximilian Robinson Notes 40th Anniversary As Sir Thomas More In Robert Bolt's 'A Man For All Seasons' At UMSL


In 1984, the very first African-American stage actor to appear in the leading role of Sir Thomas More in any production of Robert Bolt's acclaimed play "A Man For All Seasons" was cast.

The role of Sir Thomas More was played by Chicago-born and stage-trained actor Darryl Maximilian Robinson.

40 years ago this October, in the fall of 1984, while serving as a Guest Professional Director and Instructor for The University Players of The University of Missouri-St.Louis-UMSL, skilled AEA veteran actor and Theatre Project Company of St. Louis Member John Grassilli needed a strong dramatic actor that could handle the rich, lush language of Robert Bolt's greatest script and the leading role of Sir Thomas More for his revival staging of "A Man For All Seasons".

"Darryl Maximillion Robinson leads the play in the role of Sir Thomas More. Robinson is an extroverted craftsman who constantly displays his talents. A well-spoken man of experience, Robinson said this role is the most desirable." -- Phillip H. Dennis, 'A Man For All Seasons' opens UMSL theatre season, The UMSL Current, Oct. 18, 1984

During his audition process, the actor who met the demands of the role, the actor who proved best suited for the part, was a then 23-year-old, African-American, classically-trained, professional stage performer named Darryl Maximilian Robinson ( a Chicago native who just appeared earlier in the year as a Guest Professional Actor playing the title role in Director Dr. James Barushok's revival staging of Shakespeare's "Othello" with The Stageplayers of Northeastern Illinois University of Chicago, who also had just completed a second full season of critically-praised professional summer stock performances at The Enchanted Hills Playhouse of Syracuse, Indiana, and who currently was touring under a theatre-for-young-audiences contract with The MUNY / Student Theatre Project Company based at The Theatre of The New City School in the Central West End of St. Louis ).

Call it grit, call it guts, call it nerve, CALL IT COURAGE, but Director Grassilli chose to put talent and skill above the issue of race and he cast Darryl Maximilian Robinson as the first documented African-American professional stage performer in the role of Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's "A Man For All Seasons".

The rest is UMSL Theatre History.

"It is a rare occasion when I am genuinely moved by a theatrical production. I am often delighted or intrigued, but rarely moved. I was moved when I heard Richard Harris' final speech in "Camelot," and when I saw Sir Lawrence Olivier last year as King Lear. But Thursday night I was moved by a slightly lesser known actor. Darryl Robinson truly moved me in his role as Sir Thomas More, hero of "A Man For All Seasons"...Robinson's strong stage presence and command of Bolt's words, and John Grassilli's direction combined to produce a character so realistic and inspiring that I was left with the feeling I had just been through a religious experience." -- Steve Givens, 'A Man For All Seasons' a success, Theatre Review, The UMSL Current, Nov. 1, 1984.

Director John Grassilli staged a multiracial cast revival of " A Man For All Seasons" in 1984, which also featured talented African-American actors James West as The Duke of Norfolk and Keith Montgomery as Signor Chapuys.

He also highlighted scenes with Darryl Maximilian Robinson as Sir Thomas More opposite then young, skilled, college actor and future critically-praised and award-winning St. Louis stage performer Dave Wassilak as The Common Man.

Darryl Maximilian Robinson will always be grateful to professional Director John Grassilli and the truly committed entire cast and crew of "A Man For All Seasons" of UMSL for the great acting opportunity and the wonderful experience.

2022 Making The World Happening Award Winner for his numerous online theatre-related offerings at Allevents.in, 1997 Chicago Joseph Jefferson Citation Outstanding Actor In A Principal Role In A Play Award Winner for his performance as Sam Semela in Athol Fugard's "Master Harold And The Boys" at The Heartland Cafe Studio Theatre of Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood,  2015 / 2016 Los Angeles Elate Season Ticket Holder Best Actor Award Nominee for his performance as the debonair but aging leading man Ernest in Tad Mosel's "Impromptu," and Four-Time Chicago Black Theatre Alliance / Ira Aldridge Award Nominee Darryl Maximilian Robinson ( The Founder, Artistic Director and Producer of both The Multiracial Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago and The Excaliber Shakespeare Company Los Angeles Archival Project ) is delighted to share a remembrance of his St. Louis, Missouri Public Stage Debut in notes on his role of Sir Thomas More in a revival production staging of Robert Bolt's acclaimed play "A Man For All Seasons".

Darryl Maximilian Robinson considers his portrayal of Sir Thomas More in "A Man For All Seasons" at UMSL among the great personal triumphs of his 50-year long stage career.

Darryl Maximilian Robinson has become noted as the very first black actor in American Theatre History to portray on stage a trio of classic dramatic roles including: Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's "A Man For All Seasons" ( in a 1984 revival presented by The University Players of The University of Missouri-St. Louis and directed by AEA Member John Grassilli at The Benton Hall Theater ); King Henry II in a 1992 multiracial cast revival of James Goldman's "The Lion In Winter ( directed by Mr. Robinson for his chamber theatre Excaliber Productions, Ltd in St. Louis and staged at The Wabash Triangle Cafe ); and Andrew Wyke ( opposite the talented actor Sean Nix as Milo Tindle ) in a 2000, 30th Anniversary, all-black cast revival of Anthony Shaffer's "Sleuth" presented under Mr. Robinson's direction by his chamber theatre The Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago at The Harrison Street Galleries Studio Theatre of Oak Park, Illinois.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ages: 18 years and older.



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