Baron Kelly

Baron Kelly is a faculty member at UW Madison – holding a joint appointment as a professor with both the School of Education’s Department of Theatre and Drama, and the Division of Continuing Studies’ Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies, where he works with the Odyssey Project. Prior to his current position, Kelly was serving as head of graduate acting and director of graduate studies at the University of Louisville.

Kelly got interested in this field as a young child who loved watching old movies on television and reading books on actors from Hollywood’s golden era to understand their journeys in the business. He has gone on to become a four-time Fulbright Scholar and a member of the National Theatre Conference. Kelly has traveled extensively as a cultural specialist for the United States Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, teaching and lecturing on the theater in Africa, Europe, and Asia. His teaching of acting has led him to teaching and lecturing residencies in more than a dozen countries on five continents and in 20 American states. He has been a fellow at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research.

As a performer, Kelly has worked internationally for the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain; Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada; National Theatre of Norway; Yermelova Theatre, Moscow, Russian; Constans Theatre, Athens, Greece; Academy Theatre Dublin, Ireland; the Edinburgh Theatre Festival; and Bargello, Florence, Italy, among others. Broadway credits include “Salome” and “Electra.” He has also enjoyed numerous classical and contemporary roles for over 30 of America’s leading regional theaters, including the Oregon, Utah, Dallas Fort Worth, and California Shakespeare Festivals; Yale Repertory; The Guthrie; Shakespeare Theatre Washington; Actors Theatre of Louisville; Old Globe San Diego; Mark Taper Forum; South Coast Rep; Hartford Stage Company; Repertory Theatre St. Louis; Baltimore Center State; Missouri Repertory Theatre; Berkshire Theatre Festival; McCarter Theatre; and Huntington Theatre Company, among others. He has also been a participant at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. Film and television work include: “A Day Without a Mexican”; “Bird”; “Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers”; “As The World Turns”; “Loving”; “Frazier”; “Law and Order”; “The Innocent”; and “Majority Rule.”

Kelly’s work has been published in Theatre Journal; American Theatre; Routledge; African American National Biography; Stage Directors and Choreographers Journal; Slovo i Chas; Journal of Ukrainian Institute of Education and Science; Cambridge Scholars Publishing; Peter Lang Publishers; and the Journal of the institute of African Studies, among others.

His 2015 book, “An Actor’s Task: Engaging the Senses,” is available from Hackett Publishing Company.

Baron Kelly

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