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GS Theatre Student Benjamin Roberts, recognized by the Black Theatre Network

Senior, Benjamin Roberts (double major in Theatre and Computer Science) was selected as the second place young actor at the 2023 Black Theatre network conference held this summer in St. Louis, MO.

Students from all over the country submitted auditions featuring monologs, one comedic, one dramatic, and written by playwrights of color. Finalist were invited to workshops to hone their monologues and then resubmit. Five young actors were selected to attend the BTN conference this summer. Roberts commented, “We were able to Network with many professional black actors, directors, playwrights, producers, and agents. This year BTN was able to partner with Walt Disney which also gave us a meeting with them to give us insight on the auditioning processes at Disney, and allowed us to showcase our talent for their representatives. One of the judges from the competition in fact was a casting director for Disney. She also gave the top 5 the opportunity to have individual and personalized session with her to work material for auditions at Disney. The representatives also explained the procedures for auditioning for tv/film, musicals/ live performances, and for the parks all over the world.”

While attending the conference Roberts was able to attend performances, workshops and meetings, He attended a session with a Tony winning producer Rashad Chambers. “He informed us on what agents are looking for in an actor, how to build those relationships with an agent, how to find the right agent for you, things to avoid when searching for an agent, and information on what it takes to be a producer.”

Roberts and the other finalists also watched a one man show called “Fly.” The production highlights the social justice, spiritual, and political challenges of being Black and conscious in America. Fly also won three AUDELCO awards for excellence in Black Theatre. It was also presented at the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina and at the HBO Performance Space in Los Angeles. “It was an amazing production which motivated us for the competition that followed the next day.”

When asked what was the greatest thing about the experience for him, Roberts replied, “The greatest thing about my experience with BTN how they treated us students and the lengths they went to help showcase young and upcoming black talent. They allowed us to be heard and be black unapologetically. It was a space by us and for us, while providing great resources and opportunities to help us on our journey. They really boosted the students moral and made us feel that our talent is seen and appreciated. Everyone there wanted us to win and feel like winners. The conference set the students up to have acting opportunities after we graduate college. They was not afraid to open doors for us and get us through those doors. The whole process and conference itself didn’t lack in any area and just made me feel welcomed and like family right away.”

The Black Theatre Network is comprised of artists, educators, scholars, students and theatre lovers who are dedicated to the exploration and preservation of the theatrical visions of the African Diaspora. For 35 years, the Black Theatre Network has collected, processed and distributed information that supports the professional and personal development of its membership (comprised of individuals engaged in the full range of theatre professions, professional and community theatres and organizations, and academic institutions). (from the BTN website

Roberts has appeared on the Georgia Southern stage in “Medea” (2021) and “Fairview” (2022). He was nominated for an Irene Ryan acting award for his work in “Fairview.”


Posted in Theatre & Performance