Chicago Jeff Award Winner Darryl Maximilian Robinson Celebrates 50th Anniversary As An American Stage Performer!

Photos provided by Darryl Maximilian Robinson
Photos provided by Darryl Maximilian Robinson

Chicago Jeff Award Winner Darryl Maximilian Robinson Celebrates 50th Anniversary As An American Stage Performer!

This month marks a special achievement for veteran theatre artist Darryl Maximilian Robinson, Founder, Artistic Director and Producer of the multiracial chamber theater known as The Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago.

Fifty years ago this month, on December 21, 1973, a skinny, apprehensive, stage-frightened, 13-year-old, African-American kid walked upon a makeshift stage in the gym at a now nonexistent middle school, the West Side of Chicago's Robert H. Lawrence Upper Grade Center, to play the role of Mr. Jones in that Chicago Public Schools facility's holiday play for students and staff entitled "A Black Christmas Carol." By the end of the second school day performance of that work the kid knew, above all else, he wanted to be an actor, a professional actor in The Theatre, and he would do all that would be required of him as a Student of The Performing Arts to achieve that goal.

During his high school years, ( as a Student Performer at Albert G. Lane Technical High School and Whitney M. Young Magnet High School for The Performing Arts, and as A Guest Student Actor Performer at Josephinum High School for Girls ) he would go on to perform many roles and receive educational training at many facilities. He would happily work with numerous professional arts educators, who were also working professionals in The Windy City's entertainment industry, including four years (1975-1979) giving public performances and receiving quality musical theatre training with The Chicagoland High School Theatrical Troupe.

By 1980, he was a working, paid for his craft, stage performer. His 1980s stage credits would include roles with The National Shakespeare Company Tour of New York, The Indianapolis Shakespeare Festival, The King Richard's Faire and Bristol Renaissance Faire of Wisconsin, and St. Louis' historic Goldenrod Showboat docked at Laclede's Landing.

Ten years after his first appearance on the stage, he was honored to play The City of Chicago's Historic Founder. For a time, in 1983 ( just two years after winning the 1981 Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Reviewer's Recognition Award for Outstanding Thespian of the Season for a gallery of his stage roles, particularly for the part of Fagin in a revival of Lionel Bart's classic musical "Oliver!" at Enchanted Hills Playhouse of Syracuse, Indiana ), for the highly-regarded Urban Gateways arts and educational organization, Chicago-born and stage-trained actor and play director Darryl Maximilian Robinson, toured to numerous public and private schools throughout the greater Chicagoland area playing the Caribbean Island-born, African-American, French and English speaking Frontiersman and Founder of The City of Chicago, Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable ( 1745-1818 ), in local playwright Alice Rubio's highly-effective, one-act historical drama "Chicago: A Tale of One City."

On the occasion of his 50th Anniversary as An American Stage Performer, Darryl Maximilian Robinson ( winner of both a 1997 Chicago Joseph Jefferson Citation Award for Outstanding Actor In A Principal Role In A Play for his critically-praised performance as Sam Semela in The Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago staging of Athol Fugard's "Master Harold And The Boys" at The Heartland Cafe Studio Theatre of Rogers Park and a 2019 Broadwayworld Chicago Award nomination for Best Performer In A Musical or Revue for his portrayal of the dual roles of The Chairman Mr. William Cartwright and Mayor Thomas Sapsea in the 2018 Saint Sebastian Players of Chicago revival of Rupert Holmes' Tony Award-winning Best Musical Whodunit "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" at The Windy City's more than a century old St. Bonaventure Church of West Lakeview ) provides a previous tv appearance where he discusses a few of his most early Chicago Stage Roots and several of his Los Angeles Stage Roles during the September 19, 2016 edition of veteran entertainment journalist and reporter Ron Brewington's internet performing arts television show "The Actor's Choice" Episode 2.37. This program is available for viewing at YouTube.

After an intriguing interview with Guest Actor John Ruskin, Founder of The Ruskin School of Acting in Santa Monica, California, Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago Founder Darryl Maximilian Robinson talks of his training and experiences during the second half-hour of this informational program with Host Ron Brewington.
Most recently, Darryl Maximilian Robinson was named a winner of a 2022 Making The World Happening Award from for his numerous online theatre-related offerings during the early years of The Covid-19 pandemic.

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