Drama Professor Uses Acting to Positively Shape Community

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ursula O. Robinson, drama program coordinator and a tenured associate professor of drama at SC State University, believes in making dreams come true by cultivating and molding young dreamers into accomplished artists.

Ursula Robinson
While nurturing budding entertainers, Robinson also serves others by using her talents in acting, directing and playwriting.

She accomplishes her deeds of service in her capacity as a professor and owner of a production company. The Ursula O. Robinson Productions company is a comprehensive artistic company that creates tailor-made works of art that heal, entertain, educate and set the mind free. This summer, Robinson had the opportunity to share her playwriting talents with communities in the Los Angeles area.

In May, she served as a story consultant for “Bag Lady,” an idea conceived by actress and radio personality Tammi Mac, who is one half  of the  “Mac and Amiche Radio Show,” on Los Angeles’ 102. 3 KJLH. “Bag Lady,” a play about anger, love, relationships and more represents the baggage that many people carry and are afraid to let go of. 

As the story consultant for the play, Robinson helped Mac finalize the direction and continuity of the play.

“I enjoyed seeing events that I had heard of or even witnessed come to life on the stage. This piece called for women to be accountable for their bad choices and to forgive themselves,” said Robinson. “Mac had a very good story and we worked together to make sure that her overall theme was revealed to the audience,” she added.

l to r: Tammi Mac and Ursula Robinson appear at the premiere of “Bag Lady,” in Los Angeles, Calif.
The first two nights of the play was performed to sold out audiences at Stage 52 Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif.

When Robinson is not behind the scenes or standing in the spotlight, she helps children discover their niche in the world.

Recently she was featured on the “Meredith Allen Show,” an integrated marketing show designed to inspire, promote and connect entrepreneurs and femfessionals.

The show airs every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. on WIS/NBC-TV. On the show, Robinson shared her experience with the Columbia Bethlehem Community Centers’ Kids Film Camp in Columbia, S.C.

“The kids camp provided youth with experiences in arts and the ability to use modern accessible technology to tell their stories through media networks,” she said.

During the Kids Film Camp, Robinson taught script writing and acting for the camera. She worked alongside camp organizers David Pendergrass and R.J. Foley to create box cameras constructed from cardboard for the participants to use. The participants also used their smart phones to record and edit videos.  As a mentor for the future screenplay writers, Robinson noticed how technology is shaping the way kids think and move throughout their day.

“I love working with kids because they are eager to create media that is specific to their lives. They are connected to social media and television all the time. They are learning how to create the kind of work that they have seen others create,” said Robinson.

Serving her community through real life experiences, she believes that the arts have the ability to change people lives for the better.

Robinson is known for her one-woman plays, her hilarious comedy acts and her prowess as writer of personalized monologues.

In October, Robinson will debut, “Skinny: One Woman’s Journey to Fatty,” at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival in Atlanta, Ga.

To learn more about SC State’s Drama Program, contact Robinson at (803) 536-8815 or via email at urobinson@scsu.edu.