Get Familiar: Meet the Cast
Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. (Lewis) Blue Door
marks the debut of Mr. Hobbs at Arden Theatre Company. Celebrating his 27th year in the fall of ‘09, Mr. Hobbs is a tenured associate professor at the Ira Brind School of Theatre Arts at The University of the Arts. In 1996 Mr. Hobbs was the recipient of the Mary Lou Beitzel Award for Distinguished Teaching.
He is also the Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Academic Achievement Program and the advisor of the African American Student Union and the African Diaspora Collective. Recent directorial efforts were Cider House Rules Part I
as well as Does Your House Have Lions
–the poetry of Sonia Sanchez. The Legacy of Love Foundation–Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (Philadelphia Chapter)–recently honored Mr. Hobbs for his contribution in Arts & Culture.
Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. is proud of his thirty plus years affiliation with the nationally recognized Freedom Theatre and attributes much of his success to the training and mentoring he received from Freedom Theatre’s co-founders, the late John E. Allen, Jr. and the retired Robert Leslie.
The three-time Barrymore nominee has played key roles in many of Freedom Theatre’s most critically acclaimed productions. Most notably: Black Nativity, Black Picture Show, Simply Heavenly
with Melba Moore and Zooman and the Sign
with Virginia Capers (Los Angeles Premier). Mr. Hobbs has enjoyed critical success with the works of August Wilson: Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Two Trains Running,
and King Hedley II
. He has traveled to China and Japan through Philadelphia’s Sister City Program. Noteworthy film and television credits include principal roles in Star Stuff, The In-Crowd, Twelve Monkeys, Snipes, Up Close and Personal, The Wire, Rocky Balboa
with Sylvester Stalone and most recently, Cover
directed by Bill Duke. Mr. Hobbs also distinguished himself in a tour-de-force performance of Paul Robeson
by Phillip Hayes Dean directed by Walter Dallas.
Kes Khemnu (Simon/Rex/Jesse)
Characters of the Baconion canon include: Puck, Sir Toby, Othello, Hotspur, Macduff, Mercrutio, Oberon, Petruchio, Don Jon, with various Shakespeare companies in Connecticut and elsewhere. Regional theatre from Rhode Island to Atlanta to Boston to New York to etc with the
contemporary works, Alien Garden, The Piano Lesson
(Barrymore nominee) Lesson Before Dying, Lobby Hero, Highland Mist
(writer), The 11th Year, American Buffalo,
amongst others. As a director, Ivanov
with the Neptune Rep Co in NY, Othello
with Forest Rep in CT, and Spiritual Porn
(writer) with the Rooster Theatre Co in Manhattan. TV: Law and Orders