Kenneth Roberts in Sharing Stage of Acting Career
PLATTSBURGH, NY __ The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh helped
set the stage for Kenneth Roberts' life.
It was on stage in Hartman Theatre where Roberts, a 1987 SUNY Plattsburgh graduate, met his wife.
"She was a set tech, and I was the actor," he said.
It was during a campus visit with his family that the next decade would be decided. Roberts was asked to cover a class by one of his former professors nine years ago. Roberts has been working as an adjunct lecturer of theater at SUNY Plattsburgh ever since.
"It has been an amazing experience. I didn't plan on teaching in Plattsburgh, but I fell in love with the atmosphere and the students."
Roberts concluded his education with a master of fine arts from the University of Pittsburgh in 1991. During the same time, he was an actor performing in Off-Broadway, film, voice over and television with actors like Anthony Hopkins and Marissa Tomei.
As a 5-year-old, Roberts knew he wanted to be a professional actor. His father was an actor.
"Sometimes it's in your blood," Roberts said.
This past summer, he had the lead in the Chazy Musical production of Inherit the Wind and appears in the advertisements for AuSable Chasm.
"I'm content with what I have done as a professional actor; I've now moved on to the sharing stage of my acting career."
When entering a class taught by Roberts, students feel welcomed.
"I try to make people as comfortable as possible. Without trust in the classroom, the students can't feel free to give it their all," he said. "The last couple of years I have been so fortunate to have students willing to give."
Roberts feels his students are always creative and blossoming.
"Students have to understand acting is made to look easy - that's the hard part. I try to help them build a greater appreciation for acting."
"When I first met Ken, he told me to take risks, make choices and do theater," said KeriAnne Murphy, from Cross River, N.Y. "Now I am a theater major at SUNY Plattsburgh. If it weren't for Ken, I probably wouldn't be a theater major. He gave me the push I was afraid to take."
During his time at SUNY Plattsburgh, Roberts has been the director of "Theatre Sports" for seven years and the director of the comedy improvisation group, "Strange Bed Fellows." He has also served as the faculty representative for Alpha Phi Omega, the honorary theatre fraternity, while teaching introductory and upper level theatre classes; two of which he created.
"I created an audition preparation class and a theories of acting course. I think it's important for our students to be well rounded."
Roberts directed his first main stage play, The Incorruptible , at SUNY Plattsburgh in fall 2004 and is directing his second play this semester.
"We're doing The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie in November. It's a who-done-it murder-mystery, and everyone in the audience has to promise not to tell anyone who did it. This way all of the audiences can be surprised."
His goal was to find a comedy that both the students and the community will enjoy. Roberts believes this is his way of contributing to the bridging of the two communities.
When he's not on the stage, in front of the cameras or teaching a class, he enjoys playwriting, spending time with his family, taking care of his Saint Bernard and loving the North Country atmosphere.
"I think it is amazing here," he said.